Performed by the Leipzig Ballet, an international dance company in Germany with a history of pushing artistic boundaries since the 17th century, Fusion is one of the first choreographed shows to use artificial intelligence (AI) as an inspiration for its dance, set design, costumes and music.
The performance, which combines classical ballet with a contemporary approach to choreography and composition, electronica and beatbox techniques, is co-directed and composed by English speech artist and musician Harry Yeff, aka Reeps100, choreographed by Mario Schroder and designed by stage designer Paul Zoller.
Yeff, together with Schroder, used generative AI tools like DALL-E 2 or Midjourney to create an AI series of imagined ballet dancers based on portraits of the 35 dancers participating in the production. Schroder then choreographed the 90-minute performance, which takes its inspiration from Plato’s concept of the ‘divided self’ (the logical, the spirited and the appetitive), exploring how humanity constantly yearns for unity, harmony and balance.
A standout feature of the performance is the music composed and directed by Yeff in collaboration with associate composer Gadi Sassoon and contemporary classical composer Teddy Riley. Yeff’s own voice serves as the catalyst for the performance: using voice and AI technology, he trained for over a thousand hours to achieve almost machine-like control of his voice. ‘My voice is now augmented as a result of hundreds of hours of training with AI — I am able to reach speeds and depths I didn’t believe were possible,’ he said. ‘I am a living, breathing augmentation; soon there will be many more of me.
This incorporation of AI into the creative process not only highlights Yeff’s innovative approach but also unveils uncharted territories of artistic expression and the future of performance art
Fusion runs at the Leipzig Opera house until 8 July 2023. For more information visit https://inda.ba/43t894L.
Photographs: Ida Zenna, Harry Yeff, Leipzig Ballet.