Experimental Media Performance Lab - xMPL

The Experimental Media Performance Lab (xMPL) in the Contemporary Arts Center is a flexible theatrical performance space with advanced capabilities in technology and a sprung dance floor.  Designed to allow any number of audience-performer configurations (including installation), the xMPL provides dance faculty and graduate students the ability to present innovative combinations of choreography and video, the Internet, lighting, or other technologies.  MFA thesis projects with such combinations are often presented in the xMPL.

The Sacre Project was the first full-length dance production in the xMPL.Created to coincide with the 100th year anniversary of The Rite of Spring, The Sacre Project situated dance in a non-traditional setting, incorporating advanced visual and sonic environments that interacted with choreography and dancers to examine notions of memory and embodiment. Five UCI Dance professors collaborated to produce The Sacre Project: media artist John Crawford (Director), choreographers Chad Michael Hall, Jodie Gates, and Lisa Naugle, and composer Alan Terricciano, along with Drama professors Michael Hooker (sound design) and Luke Hegel-Cantarella (scenic design).  

The Sacre Project began with small groups of dancers in “pods” arranged around the xMPL. The audience was encouraged to walk through the space as they wished. The dancers gradually transformed the space from this unstructured experience to a circular performance environment, where the event concluded with the sacrificial dance from the The Rite of Spring on the central platform.



Pictured: The Experimental Media Peformance Lab