The Machinery – machine-inspired dance and music, 80 years before Detroit techno

governorLrIf you ever thought artists like Kraftwerk were the first to embrace the machine aesthetic in their dance and music, this curiosity might interest you.

This fascinating dance piece uses steps that directly mimic the sounds and actions of mill machines. Although these steps were danced a century ago by female cotton mill workers, they seem strangely ahead of their time, forerunners of today’s machine-inspired dance music. You can think of this dance as steam-powered Kraftwerk – or techno 80 years before Detroit.

We’ll be performing The Machinery live in the Central Library, Birmingham UK

13:30 prompt on Saturday 18 September
Admission free
This event is part of the British Science Festival 2010

threadsLr

This 15-minute dance piece mixes live clog steps with sound and video recordings, showing the 19th and early 20th-century mill machines which directly inspired them.

We want people to recognise Lancashire clog as a loud and virtuosic industrial dance, not something genteel to be performed on the village green.

Sound and video created by Sarah Angliss (Spacedog) and Dr Caroline Radcliffe (University of Birmingham)
Dance performed by Dr Caroline Radcliffe

Hear a rough cut of sounds from the machines (Audioboo)

The dance will be followed by a short talk on the early, mechanised workplace and the development of this curious dance.

Hope to see some of you there!

side wheel