You can leave your cell phone on during the performance of e-Station. That’s because in this dreamlike movement piece—created by Chinese company Théatre du Rêve Expérimental—cell phones, digital cameras, and other electronic media devices are the stars of the show.
Inspired by the physical techniques of director Ohta Shogo, e-Station sets its performers’ mesmerizingly deliberate motion against technological gadgetry’s speed. With ritual solemnity, the black-clad actors drag computer keyboards along the floor, swath themselves in cable, and pan video cameras across the audience, projecting live feed onto a screen upstage. Cell phones blink like giant fireflies in the darkness.
e-Station’s sensual approach to digital devices helps us see them as objects, not just gateways to images or information. Occasionally, I wanted more from the troupe—a comment on their digital dance, or an electronic apotheosis. But technology is a constant backdrop in the world outside, and as e-Station’s performers inch out of the theater, keyboards and cables in tow, it’s clear that revealing our real-life digital surround—without conclusion or culmination—is the point.