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Flock (a "virtual Swan Lake") - Trafalgar Square

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Flock, a new interactive installation specially commissioned by the ICA (with the support of ROH2 at the Royal Opera House) will take place on Trafalgar Square from 5pm to 10pm on February 1, 2 and 3, 2007.

Inspired by Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Flock is a free event, creating a “virtual Swan Lake” where members of the public will become “pedestrian performers” and taken on a journey where fantasy and reality merge.

In classical ballet, there is a tradition of a ‘white act’ in which the hero usually comes into a realm where fantasy and reality merge. In Swan Lake, a Prince encounters an enchanted band of Princesses – swans by day, women by night.

Combining the romance and emotion of fairy tale with the classical groupings and lines of precisely drilled dancers, this corps de ballet showcase seems the archetypal image of ballet to many people.

As a dancer, the experience of working as part of such a large group to such bombastic music (usually considered Tchaikovsky’s finest) is also incredibly powerful. Flock will share this experience with audience members who will themselves become the dancers, the corps de ballet.

As the public step into the space (in this first incarnation in Trafalgar Square), they will immediately realise that the seemingly innocent space is actually enchanted. The pavement will be primed so that the moment a person steps into the space it will react.

The technology will pick up a person’s presence and allocate each participant their own personal spotlight. Following the light they cast, each participant will reveal a series of ghostly projections. These will take them on a journey through both the real space and also the story unfolding in the ghostly swan world.

What is a seemingly personal experience for the participant will become something bigger when viewed from afar and by the onlookers on Trafalgar Square. Each participant’s journey through the space will be intricately connected to the group as a whole – ultimately creating a coordinated corps de ballet of pedestrian performers, as engaging to the bystander as the performer in the installation.

Flock is a collaboration between digital artists KMA and choreographer Tom Sapsford, and is produced with the support of ROH2 at the Royal Opera House.

For more information and tickets, call 020 7930 3647 or visit the website.