Before We Flew Like Birds We Flew Like Clouds

Evening length performance at 12th Ave Arts

Before We Flew Like Birds, We Flew Like Clouds Program

Premiere: 2017, Seattle

Before We Flew Like Birds, We Flew Like Clouds
was an audience activated installation illuminating the experiences of four humans with extraordinary relationships to their bodies – an astronaut, a professional athlete, a survivor of a near death experience and a differently-abled person – using Virtual Reality films, prerecorded and live music staged inside a floating, immersive set of star-like objects.

The narrative centered on the question, “what is it like to be in your body?” Each contributor’s personal stories were integrated in the installation through audio interviews sampled and used in the score.

The film component consisted of four Virtual Reality short films created in partnership with these contributor’s – each as the subject matter of their own film.

The music and films were experienced in an interactive, planetarium-like environment. Viewers sat in swivel chairs throughout the space amidst floating, star-like sculptures hovering in the space, created by enclosing helium balloons in an architectural triangular framework made from Styrene tubing. Live dance, vocals, and strings added the performative element to the work.

This project was commissioned by Velocity Dance Center’s Made In Seattle Program. After it’s Seattle premiere, Before We Flew Like Birds, We Flew Like Clouds will go on to IMAGINE Festival co-produced by Earthdance and Dance Films Association in Massachusetts in September, 2017.

Press for Before We Flew Like Birds We Flew Like Clouds

The Stranger, 2017: The Overwhelming Artistry of KT Niehoff’s Before We Flew Like Birds We Flew Like Clouds
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The Seattle Times, 2017: KT Niehoff’s latest: Rich blend of human experience, high-tech virtuosity
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  • The incomparable drummer and composer, Zeke Keeble collaborated with KT Niehoff on sound design. Michael Cozzi brought his phenomenal engineering talents to the sound.
  • Cameron Irwin (LMN Architects) and Amiya Brown made magic with the design and lighting.
  • Dancers/Artists Liane Aung, Alia Swersky, Thomas House and Wade Madsen graced the space with their talents.
  • Guest directors, Norma Jean Straw, Sandy Cioffi, Gretchen Berger and Dacia Saenz joined the team to add their vision to the mix, under the supervision of VR technical specialist Jacob Fennell, using VR cameras he created.
  • Stefanie Karlin and Squid MGMT held us all together.
  • Thank you to supporters Case Van Rij and Carlo Scandiuzzi.

Funding: Bossak/Heilbron


Donors: Case Van Rij, Carlo Scandiuzzi, Michael Cozzi, Graham/Baba
Management: Stefanie Karlin of SQUID MGMT
Images by Kelly O, Haley Blavka, Nate Watters, Tim Summers