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  • Helen Gramotnev


We live in an increasingly tech-driven world, and the Australasian Dance Collective has now taken the relationship to the stage in order to explore the bounds of creativity between human and drone. Lucie in the Sky is a show six years in the making, conceived by Artistic Director Amy Hollingsworth and the founder of the World of Drones Education, Dr Catherine Ball. It tackles the sensitive topic of how AI is affecting our human existence with sensitivity and elegance expected from a world class company.

A collaboration with Verity Studios – indoor drone show specialists in Zurich – Lucie in the Sky combines six dancers and five drones (trademarked as Lucies) in a stimulating exchange of personalities, at the same time raising questions about what it is to be human. Beginning with the exploration of emotion, the first part of the show focusses on the interaction between a human and a drone. Compassion? Playfulness? Affection? Curiosity? These are the themes that the show explores, indulging the audience in contemporary dance athleticism and in the creativity of interplay between a dancer and a drone.

When things turn a little sinister, the cute little fairy lights take control over the humans. Six bodies slumped in helpless mindlessness, oppressed in their existence by the army of AI creatures meticulously hovering over. The poignant choreography by Amy Hollingsworth and company dancers evokes distrust and uncertainty – enough to make you afraid.

This production asks difficult questions. Is technology dangerous? Is it a source of joy? Can humans and machines co-exist in the increasingly tech-based world? And the fact that we are able to experience a show like Lucie in the Sky, answers the question of relevance of this technology and this project in itself. As dancers rejoice in their innately human interactions, sometimes coming together, sometimes going on their own individual journeys, the drones, too, attempt to mimic the humans, creating their own harmony in movement and joy. Perhaps there is hope for humanity in the AI-heavy world after all.

The final part of the show leaves questions for the audience. Are the drones friendly? Or should we be concerned about them after all? Or are we most afraid of something that is unfamiliar, unknown? A performance that leaves its audiences with questions is a performance worth watching, and this production will stay with you for some time.


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