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Graphics and layout: Konstanze Winkler
One of her most radical projects is called “Cyber Gypsy” and uses the possibilities of cyberspace for a very special dance performance. After reporting on CG 1 we thought it decent for CG 2 to speak with one of her closest co-workers. Louise Hechmann was so friendly as to talk with us.  – In spring 2012 Dud Muurmand will promote a big festival in Copenhagen, Denmark, where there will be artists and other people from all over Europe.
Since the first time we saw Dud Muurmand dancing, we kept her in mind. Allthough she dances (among others) Tribal Fusion she has a distinctive different way to perform her art. The Danish dancer knows a thing or two about drama and theatre, and that you can see in her moves and whole appearance.
Tell us something about you and your dancing.

My name is Louise Granhøj Hechmann. I’m currently doing my masters in cross-cultural studies, and when I’m not studying I spend almost all my time on the dance, which has always been a big part of my life. My mother is a dance instructor, so dancing has always been close to my heart. From the time I could walk and until I was around 14 I took part in various forms of dancing and acrobatics, then I took a break for a couple of years but started again when I was 22, where I (after spending a long time in Latin America) started to take salsa lessons.

At a salsa week in Jutland, Denmark I got introduced to oriental belly dance and this caught my attention. When I returned from the salsa week, I immediately signed up for belly dancing classes. After dancing for about a year I met Dud Muurmand, who was filling in for one of my regular dance instructors. I quickly fell for Dud’s unique dance style, and when she introduced me to ATS and Tribal Fusion I was sold. Then I started taking classes with Dud where she taught me ATS, tribal fusion, Gypsy and Baladi. After a year I was fortunate enough to become a part of Dud’s dance troupe “Tribe of Gaia”, and since then we’ve taken part in various exiting projects, like Cyber Gypsy.

What role did you play in CG 1 and CG 2?

I’ve been a part of both Cyber Gypsy 1 and 2. “Cyber Gypsy II – Matrix Expanded” was a follow-up project on the “Cyber Gypsy” webcast from the year before (webcasted Dec 16, 2009). In Cyber Gypsy 1, I was a part of the small team helping with the practical and technical stuff, both before, under and after the airing of CG1. Even though I wasn’t part of the dancing the first time, it was an incredibly learning experience being backstage and I realized how big a project it was, making Cyber Gypsy happen. Even the technical part was demanding and unforeseen stuff kept popping up.
(for example using Ustream as our life broadcasting channel). Also the filming of Cyber Gypsy II explored the dance in a new way, considering both the technical possibilities and limitations together with the artistic side.
As said earlier, as a dancer you get a whole different kind of tension going on, when you know that there is an audience sitting out there right now in Cyber space, looking at you and following every step you take, and that tension shows in the dance, in a very good way. Plus in a live broadcast you can’t edit anything.

What is going on in the 10 minutes while the camera is running is what people will see, and if something goes wrong, you just have to go along with it, just like in a real life performance. This is why it had to be live broadcasting and not just a video that we would make and then afterwards upload it to You Tube. We wanted the audience to be there with us while we where performing, so we could make this experience together, and all take part in it.
Who should watch CG?

Everyone could and should watch Cyber Gypsy, both dancers and ”non-dancers”, young and old. One of the ideas with live broadcasting was to reach people all around the world. We had 82 people watching from, among other places, Germany, United Stated, Sweden, Norway and the Czech Republic. And while we were performing people were chatting on Usteam giving comments on the show and asking questions. So you could say that Cyber Gypsy kind of connected a big group of people from all around the world, which was the whole idea. We wanted to mix the audience and ourselves (the performers) into a connected unit, who would ”be together / meet” at the exact same moment, just like at a real life theatre-performance.
What is planned for the future?

About our future plans for Cyber Gypsy, I know Dud is working with the idea about making a video about the whole Cyber Gypsy project. This to give people an idea as to how the whole show is created, like for example, what preparations are needed and underline the show. During the project we did film backstage, both the first time where we had a professional cameraman one of the days before the show, and the second time where we filmed backstage ourselves.
Each time we learn things that make it easier for us to do some improvements, and each time we can explore some new ideas. It’s been a lot of fun doing this exiting project and I’m very happy to have been a part of it. It’s a great pleasure working with Dud Muurmand, who always has new interesting ideas on her mind.


Dud Muurmand:

tribalDance DK:

Photos © Nils Djervad
Louise Granhøj Hechmann
Louise Granhøj Hechmann and Lisa Bügel Jørgensen
during filming Cyber Gypsy II
Dud, Louise and Lisa
Dud Muurmand
at the studio
It’s way different dancing for an audience in Cyber space than it is dancing in front of a live audience in the same room as you. You have to get used to the idea, that even though you can’t see the audience, they’re out there somewhere following your every move, very interesting.
In Cyber Gypsy 2, I took an active role as a dancer, with Dud Muurmand and Lisa Bügel Jørgensen, who is also a part of the Tribe of Gaia. It was a whole new experience to take part like this and an exiting challenge.
What was the intention of CG 2?

Cyber Gypsy 2 was, like Cyber Gypsy 1, an experimental dance performance project with the aim of adding a new and different dimension to dance theatre. In Cyber Gypsy we tried to present a performance where the audience and the performers would meet in cyberspace, by using new media and new forms of communication
One of the most interesting and special things about Cyber Gypsy was the live broadcasting and what could be achieved with this. After we launched the first project last year, people would often ask Dud why we didn’t just film the dance and then upload it to You Tube. The answer to this question is that the whole idea behind Cyber Gypsy was to create a small theatre piece, and not just make a video production. Dud wanted to create something new and different. With Cyber Gypsy she wanted to create the same experience as when you go to see a life performance in a theatre, where you see the tension from the performers.
Also we’re looking forward to making a Cyber Gypsy III. The interesting thing about the project is that every time we learn something new about doing a performance in cyber space.
Project Cyber Gypsy II

Interview with Louise Granhøj Hechmann

by Marcel Bieger