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LIPS - Live Internet Performing Structure

Fall 1998 at Bennington College (VT) and Prague (Czech Republic)
Bennington performers: Susan Sgorboti, Sara Rudner, Lionel Popkin, Frank London, Reuben Puentaduras
Prague performers: Michael Bielicky

 

Bennington College 1998<br/>Still from video by: Kevin Bubriski
Participants in Bennington, VT - Bennington College 1998<br/>Still from video by: Kevin Bubriski
Performer: London - Bennington College 1998<br/>Still from video by: Kevin Bubriski
Performers: Popkin, Rudner - Bennington College 1998<br/>Still from video by: Kevin Bubriski
Performers: Puentaduras, Weis (on tv) - Bennington College 1998<br/>Still from video by: Kevin Bubriski
Performers: Sgorbati, Bielicky (eyeball from Prague) - Bennington College 1998<br/>Still from video by: Kevin Bubriski
Performers: Popkin, Sgorbati - Bennington College 1998<br/>Still from video by: Kevin Bubriski
Performer: Rudner - Bennington College 1998<br/>Still from video by: Kevin Bubriski
Audience in Bennington, VT - Bennington College 1998<br/>Still from video by: Kevin Bubriski
Live performer from Prague: Michael Bielicky - Bennington College 1998<br/>Still from video by: Kevin Bubriski

Decades before Skype or Zoom became household words, LIPS (Live Internet Performing Structure) was developed as a technical set up to connect two different locations culminating in a live performance in both. The two sites use the same equipment to freely incorporate performers, images and sound from either site. They are like two kitchens stocked with the same ingredients. The recipes that the participants concoct are what make the show.

Weis first began merging live and prerecorded images with live performance in the late 1980s. The development of LIPS was a natural progression of these ideas. With advancements in Internet technology, Weis could now connect dancers in spaces separated by distances that no cords could reach.

The first presentation of this performance structure was in 1998 at Bennington College. Live video of performers in Prague was piped in over the Internet; the choppy, pixelated images were projected on the back wall of the stage as live performers moved simultaneously in front.

As Weis became more familiar with the issues involved, she adapted the structure accordingly. A spontaneous reaction often appeared to be several seconds late due to the time it took for a video image to travel across a continent or an ocean. So Weis and her long-distance collaborators synchronized watches and built in lag time. Through dial-up connections, cable modems and mobile Internet access, the rules continue to change as technology advances.

LIPS stands as a living history of the Internet, its applications and progression through the eyes of one choreographer.


Performance history:

The Kitchen, NYC (1995 – precursor)
Bennington College, VT/Prague, Czech Republic (1998 – premiere)
Susan Hess Studios, Philadelphia, PA (1998)
Bennington College, VT/The Knitting Factory, VT (1999)
Bennington College, VT/Harvestworks, NYC (1999)
Bennington College, VT/Skopje, Macedonia (2000)
Franklin Furnace, NYC/Parsons School of Design, NYC (2000)
The Kitchen, NYC/Skopje, Macedonia (2001)

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┬ęCathy Weis 2021

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