I am a director + choreographer who creates seamless visceral experiences across physical and virtual space.
My work is best described with a Venn diagram. The three circles: theatre, dance, technology. The work I lead sits in the middle of that Venn diagram, while the work I collaborate on with others finds itself in various other spots. I am a form follows function maker. I am constantly searching for the correct medium for an idea whether it be a dance, immersive experience, or something in between. Always, I seek to create seamless visceral experiences with cohesive worlds built by movement and design.
Physical language is paramount to the worlds I create. As a dancemaker, I write each experience with a new physical language that is driven by research and rooted in a confluence of athleticism and gesture.
My work questions and investigates how social media and internet cultures have shifted our concepts of community and identity. Our personal identities have become fractured with the introduction of social media and digital platforms as these new personas have the ability to distance us from ourselves and each other: whether it be the normalization of the violent act of swiping across a face on a glass screen to find a date or navigating the inundation of rants on your Twitter feed. The question of who is the “real you” has never been more complex. Further, I am fascinated by the memeification of pop culture and our growing desire to express ourselves through collectively created images and vocabularies. How does this unite us? How do these subcultures with their own developing languages create silos in our community? I am also fascinated with our how human community will reconcile with the lack of control we are birthing with artificial intelligence. We have lived epochs with humanity as the dominant culture on earth, but are now in the process of creating a new intelligent form that has the ability to overtake us. This has severe implications on how we live our lives each day.
As an artist and citizen, I seek not to judge the use of technology, but rather embrace it and understand it as inevitable a resource as the advent of plumbing in the 19th century. Only if we are critical and unpack how it’s affecting us can we begin to understand the nuances of contemporary life. Technology has the ability to create immersive environments which cause sensations we have still yet to fully comprehend. I am artist who strives to be at the forefront on this performance research and wield artificial intelligence, mixed reality, and performance tech for visceral artistic experiences that can express the power of theatre makers to a global audience.
Photo credit: Jenny Anderson
Brandon Powers is a director + choreographer from New York City committed to new experiences blurring the lines between theatre, dance, and technology. Most recently, Brandon collaborated with Lance Weiler and others on FRANKENSTEIN AI, an immersive installation harnessing AI which had it's world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. For the project, he invented a new dance notation which created algorithmic dance that was manipulated in real time by an AI and performed by a human dancer. He choreographed Dane Terry's JUPITER'S LIFELESS MOONS (Performance Space New York, COIL 2018), The Goree All-Girl String Band (NYMF), and the world premiere of Riot Grrrl musical RIOT ANTIGONE (La MaMa, Ars Nova). Last Spring, he worked alongside Andy Blankenbuehler for BANDSTAND (Broadway/Paper Mill Playhouse). He directed and choreographed PINK MILK at Oracle Productions, which was nominated for four 2014 Non-Equity Jeff Awards including Best Choreography and Best Ensemble. He is reigning xyz nyc dance series champion at The Tank.
Additional directing + choreography credits include: immersive dance theatre experience AND IT FELT LIKE A KISS (HERE, chashama, Dixon Place), ALL RIGHT, GOOD NIGHT, a technology driven dance event to memorialize the passengers of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, MUSIC OF THE NIGHT, a dance-driven adaptation of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and workshops of new musicals NIKOLA TESLA DROPS THE BEAT (Musical Theatre Factory) and COMING TO BAD ENDS (Standard Toykraft). Choreography credits include ARDEN/EVERYWHERE (dir. Jessica Bauman, BPAC), THE MUSICAL ADVENTURES OF FLAT STANLEY (dir. Lookingglass Theatre Company's David Catlin), THE PAJAMA GAME, GREASE, and PIPPIN.
Assisting credits include: Woodshed Collective’s epic immersive mobile adventure EMPIRE TRAVEL AGENCY (dir. Teddy Bergman), THE UPPER ROOM (dir. Jeremy Bloom), NPR Podcast THE ORBITING HUMAN CIRCUS OF THE AIR (dir. Elena Heyman).
Brandon is a proud graduate of Northwestern University, Associate Member of SDC, Collective Member of the 92nd St Y Musical Theatre Development Lab, and Team Member of Musical Theatre Factory, where heads Director/Choreographer Programming. He has collaborated, worked and trained with Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab, Dixon Place, Feast Productions, The Hypocrites, Mark Morris Dance Group, Musical Theatre Factory, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Primary Stages, Rady & Bloom, the TEAM, and Woodshed Collective.