Leading immersive and digital performance innovators ZU-UK will be asking audiences to swipe right and join them in Theatre Royal Stratford East’s restaurant Gerry’s Kitchen for an experiential dating experience. Using binaural sound, participants will be guided by a voice in their ears to ask each other questions, offer answers, and consider the dos and don’ts of what we say, and what we would like to say, to each other on a date. What are we really thinking when we meet for the first time? How much are we prepared to confess? And are the questions we ask each other the questions that will help us find love?
Part interactive performance, part dating agency, Binaural Dinner Date invites individuals looking for love, or existing couples who simply want a very different dating experience. Following two performances at Watermans Arts Centre, Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Gerry’s Kitchen restaurant will be transformed into a lush romantic setting, complete with disco floor and mirror ball, to explore the failure of verbal language. Taking place at nine tables simultaneously, a voice in the ear of every participant guides them through a ‘perfect’ date. Two participants per table are hosted by a waiter/facilitator/DJ and interactively mixed binaural audio with suggestions and comments on dating ‘rules’, as well as games pushing social expectations and ‘acceptable’ table talk topics.
Jorge Lopes Ramos, ZU-UK’s Co-Artistic Director said, “ZU-UK’s artistic work has never shied away from engaging with urgent, problematic and at times depressing aspects of the contemporary human condition. This is a time to question mainstream narratives and to consider our role in shaping communities and relationships between strangers. Dating seemed like a contemporary human ritual worth exploring!”
Binuaural Dinner Date is the first instalment in ten-part series Decalogy of Loneliness. After ZU’s award-winning Hotel Medea (2009-2012) and the interactive technology exhibition Humble Market (2012-2014), the company has been developing ten artworks as part of the project. The company has been working with Canadian research institute TAG (Technoculture, Arts and Games) since 2015 using game-design to deepen ZU’s work with immersive, participatory and interactive performance. Over the next three years, ZU will develop the remaining parts of the Decalogy, always focusing on the relationship between strangers in public and private spaces. In 2017, the company will also be presenting two digital artworks using public phones, #RioFoneHack and How Mad Are You?, and a binaural prototype, Small Data Mining.
Formerly known as Zecora Ura and Para Active, ZU-UK is an established award winning independent theatre and digital arts company based in East London and Rio de Janeiro since 2001. Driven by an artistic partnership between Jorge Lopes Ramos and Persis Jadé Maravala, ZU-UK creates interactive experiences using games, performance and technology. They can happen anywhere including on your phone, in your house, on a stage, in a shopping mall or a field. As a British company that has successfully maintained a satellite base in Brazil for over a decade, ZU-UK has a strong track record of collaborating across cultures and artistic disciplines, delivering ambitious innovation with depth and integrity. Their previous events have explored new forms of collaboration between academics, activists and artists, ‘Dramaturgy of Participation’, discussing best practice for immersive events, ‘What Makes the Perfect LAB?’, sharing their first prototype version of a wearable tech and game design, and their ‘Artistic Leadership Talk Series’, which was part of their Masters Programme run with University of East London. In 2015 the company also opened GAS Station in Stratford, a new space dedicated to projects, ideas and conversations that live somewhere in the intersection between Games, Live Performance and Technology.
@iamzuuk | #binauraldinnerdate | www.zu-uk.com | www.gas-station.uk
Suitable for ages: 16+
Written and Directed by Persis Jadé Maravala
Antonella Nonnis, Deborah Pearson, Jorge Lopes Ramos, Rebecca Stewart, Ross Flight, Will Dickie, Therese Ramstedt
Persis Jadé Maravala, Will Dickie
Previews: Watermans Arts Centre 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS
11 & 12 Nov, times and prices TBC
Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN
Thurs – Sun 16 Nov – 3 Dec, 5.45pm, 7pm, 8.15pm & 9.30pm