The Dolls, A Media Ballet for Fashion Runway (2015)
by Claudia Hart

Choreography: Kristina Isabelle
Music composition: Kurt Hentschlager
Projection Design: Liviu Pasare

Performed by:
The Kristina Isabelle Dance Company, Sarah Gonsiorowski, Katie Graves, Kristina Isabelle, Angela Luem, April Torneby

The Dolls is a media ballet by Claudia Hart created specially for the runway of the Fashion Walk 2015. It is inspired by the philosophical idea of the “eternal return.” This is the notion that history endlessly renews itself through a process of decadence, decay and rebirth. To embody this, Hart has molded mathematical cycles into visual form, creating rhythmic, animated patterns that have been projected onto dancers wearing paper, hand-drawn tutus that function not only as wearable art but also as movie screens for her animations. Hart’s animations take the form of these pulsing patterns because they are physically mesmerizing and intentionally hypnotic as a result of their algorithmic qualities.

The music for The Dolls was also specially composed for The Dolls by the media artist and digital composer Kurt Hentschlaeger. To create the score, Hentschlaeger expanded on another piece initially commissioned by Hart in 2010 from Ella Joyce Buckley for Empire, her first mixed-reality performance work, drawing on many of the same themes. Choreography for The Dolls was also composed by another Chicago-based artist, Kristina Isabelle, and performed by the Kristina Isabelle Dance Company.

More detailed information on Claudia Hart’s website: 

Barbarians At the Gates, 2015, animated grid, projection-mapped onto computer modeled Princess dress.
Princess Dress, 2015, contour rendering of 3D model of a dress copied from a Valesquez “princess" paintingPaper Doll Tutu, inkjet print on Hahnemuhle
rag paper mounted on cardboard, of an ink drawing derived from the contour rendering of a Valesquez “princess” dress

© Kurt Hentschläger 2022