The Bakery | Homo Ludens
Richard Siegal's The Bakery
The Bakery, Richard Siegal, Dance

Homo Ludens

The choreographic underpinnings of Homo Ludens are a series of games which were made using Siegalʼs If/Then methodology. Siegal has expanded on this syntactical binary system through longstanding experimentation, notably with games initially composed of simple gestures and rules: “If you do x, I do y. If I do y, you can do z or n.” The resulting dialogues grow to reach exceptional levels of complexity.


In Homo Ludens, this If/Then principle guides not only the dancersʼ movements, but also the live cello music onstage and the real-time gesture recognition, which in turn influences the set design, projected images and sound.


From a formal, logical notation system is born a playful, dynamic conversation. A narrative undercurrent brings dramatic rhythm to the piece. What is the nature of human choice? How is it shaped by digital technologies? How do we strike the balance between autonomy and interdependence?


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Date: 2009
Duration: approximately 60 minutes

Composer/Live Music: Lorenzo Bianchi / Aki Ito
Light Design: Gilles Gentner, Manuel Weber
Gesture Follower Technology: Frédéric Bevilacqua
Gesture Recognition Programming: Jean-Philippe Lambert
Production Manager: Dieta Sixt

Performers: Kenneth Flak, Richard Siegal

Musicians (Cello): Eric-Maria Couturier / Wolfgang Zamastil

Partners: The Bakery, Zkm (Karlsruhe) Institute for Visual Media Co-production: Muffathalle (Munich), with support from the Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris), Ycam (Yamaguchi, Japan), Goethe-Institut (Osaka), Temps d’Images – Tanzhaus Nrw and la Ferme du Buisson, Champagne de Valromey, Centquatre (Paris)