A new and exciting podcast, Dances with Robots, is set to launch on November 14. Created and hosted by Sydney Skybetter, choreographer and deputy dean at Brown University, this podcast brings together a diverse range of guests to explore the fascinating relationship between dance and technology. Joining Skybetter as co-host and executive producer is Ariane Michaud, adding her expertise to the mix.
Q: Why was this the right time to start a podcast?
A: The idea for the podcast came about when Ariane Michaud suggested it as a way to share the thought-provoking conversations happening at the Conference for Research on Choreographic Interfaces (CRCI). The growing community around CRCI, consisting of dance practitioners, technologists, critical theorists, scholars, and improvisers, made the podcast a natural extension of their work.
Q: How does this podcast align with CRCI’s mission?
A: The podcast aims to bring equitable consideration to the intersection of performance and emerging technologies. By representing diverse perspectives and stories, it embodies the prismatic discourse cultivated by CRCI. The goal is not to put technologists on a pedestal but to explore the complexities of these collisions through inclusive and collaborative conversations.
Q: Can you tell us about the structure of the podcast?
A: Each episode of Dances with Robots is the result of extensive research and dialogue between Skybetter, Michaud, and their international network of dance enthusiasts. The stories shared on the podcast reflect the rich experiences and insights shared at CRCI over the years.
Q: What have you learned about the intersection of dance and tech from teaching choreo-robotics?
A: The podcast delves into the multifaceted and reciprocal nature of teaching choreo-robotics. Through this course, Skybetter and Michaud explored the socio-cultural factors influencing the value placed on different forms of expertise and labor. The goal is to discover how to create equitable collaborations between technologists and artists.
Q: How capable are today’s dancing robots?
A: Choreography serves as a means to explore how bodies make meaning and interact with technology. Robots are becoming increasingly agile, intelligent, and capable of dancing. However, making robots dance seamlessly is a challenging feat. The podcast sheds light on the potential future capacities of robots, particularly in elder care, where their kinesthetic awareness and dexterity will be vital.
Q: Will robots replace choreographers’ jobs?
A: Skybetter acknowledges the concerns surrounding job displacement, but argues that the dance tradition has always adapted to disruptive technologies. From stages to pointe shoes, the dance world has embraced innovation throughout history. Skybetter firmly believes that dancers and choreographers of today and the future will find ways to collaborate with robots, virtual reality, and AI. The key is creating inclusive spaces for exploration and investigation.
Q: Can we expect a Season 2 of Dances with Robots?
A: Absolutely! According to Skybetter, Season 2 of the podcast is already in the works, promising more fascinating conversations and explorations at the intersection of dance and technology.