For Patricia

Two dancers skipping in a circle and two musicians playing on stage

“For Patricia” is a dance piece where the choreographic and musical composition is generated in real-time with AI and through audience interaction. The piece is an ode to postmodernism in Dance. “For Patricia”, or for Trisha, is in honor of one of the inventors of postmodernism Trisha Brown. Expanding on the legacy of Brown and other postmodern dancers and composers like Merce Cunningham and John Cage, the piece will use simple musical and choreographic patterns based on sound recordings and everyday gestures and explore ways in which we can compose with these patterns based on complex structures generated through AI and modified through audience interaction. “For Patricia” is realized onstage as a quartet between two dancers (Sarah Fdili Alaoui with a second invited dancer) and two musicians (John Sullivan and an invited acoustic musician).

Cover Photo: Mircea Topoleanu

Sarah Fdili Alaoui

Sarah Fdili Alaoui is a French Moroccan scholar and dance artist. She is an associate professor at University Paris-Saclay in human-computer interaction, interaction design, dance, and technologies. She is a dance artist, choreographer, dancer, and Laban Movement Analyst. She was a researcher at the School of Interactive Arts+Technology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. She holds a Ph.D. in Art and Science from the University Paris-Sud 11, the IRCAM-Centre Pompidou and LIMSI-CNRS research institutes, an MSc from University Joseph Fourier, and an Engineering Degree from ENSIMAG in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science and over 30 years of training in ballet and contemporary dance. She completed a Laban Movement Analyst certification at the Laban/Bartienieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York, USA. Sarah has created several art and science projects integrating technologies in creation, from interactive choreographic work to interactive installations and tools for supporting choreography and dance archive.


John Sullivan

John Sullivan is an interaction designer, researcher and musician. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at University Paris-Saclay, where his research focuses on multimodal interaction design and the development of new technologies for music, dance, and multimedia performance. With a background in music performance and human-computer interaction, his work includes user research, design workshops, and collaborations with musicians and artists to better understand and support professional performance practices. Additionally, he has conducted research in the areas of motion capture analysis of live performance, haptic interaction, and accessible digital musical instrument design. As a musician, John was part of multiple indie rock groups from the northeastern United States. He released several albums under various names and has toured extensively in the United States, Canada, and Europe. John holds a Ph.D. in Music Technology from McGill University and an M.F.A in Intermedia from the University of Maine.


MODINA Residency

The 8-week MODINA residency for the development of this project took place at CNDB, Bucharest, between 15/1/2024 and 10/3/2024. It culminated with an artist talk and a public showing, 1/3/2024.