The crystal spies on us. If within the four
walls of a bedroom a mirror stares,
I am no longer alone. There is someone there.
In the dawn reflections mutely stage a show.
— Jorge Luis Borges, from a fragment of the poem “Mirrors”

How, asks movement artist and performer Scotty Hardwig, can we hold a stone of many dimensions?

“Our fingers trace its edges, always finding a new surface,” he said. “We all maintain, sometimes unknowingly, a continuous practice of search and discovery. As one thing is learned, a new question arises.”

To explore such questions, Hardwig has created ENGRAM 4, an experimental dance piece for the screen that asks how the intersection of the language of the body and multimedia can reveal new portals that direct us toward a shared sense of humanity.

The world premiere of ENGRAM 4 will take place on October 1 at 7 p.m., October 2 at 7 p.m., and October 3 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“From virtual presence we build an existential space through an unfolding world of ideas and sounds, trying to apprehend our own multiplicities and to recognize ourselves as virtually interacting rhizomatic units, revealing the infinite connections between us,” said Hardwig, an assistant professor in the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts, in describing the piece. “Inhabiting a kind of Escherian landscape at the digital crossroads between mirrors, cameras, geometries, and bodies, four human beings search for themselves and for others through unlimited space. Is there a way out?”

ENGRAM 4 highlights a multinational collaboration of artists from the United States and Mexico. The project was directed and designed by choreographer Claudia Lavista, with original music by composer Albert Mathias and technological direction by Raúl Mendoza. Performances are by Keanu Brady, Jonathan Alavés, Hardwig, and Diego Alcalá.

The dance performance was commissioned and produced by Hardwig and the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts in partnership with Delfos Danza Contemporanea.

The production was made possible in part by generous funding from the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences through a Global Partnerships Grant, a School of Performing Arts Bruce Carver Grant, and the Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology at Virginia Tech. The collaboration with Delfos Danza Contemporanea received additional support from the Programa para el Fortalecimiento de las Artes Escénicas-México.

Tickets to the online performance are $12 each. With your ticket purchase you will be automatically added to the Zoom registration list for this event, and the Zoom lobby will open 30 minutes prior to the performance. A moderated question-and-answer session with the artists and performers will follow each performance.

To purchase tickets, visit the ENGRAM 4 webpage.