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FUSION the world’s first A.I. ballet - FAD Magazine

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FUSION the world’s first A.I. ballet

Oper Leipzig has opened FUSION, a multidisciplinary ballet production pushing the boundaries of art and technology. Performed by Leipzig Ballet the ballet is co-directed and composed by speech artist and musician Harry Yeff (known as Reeps100), to produce the world’s first A.I. ballet, using generative A.I. to inspire all aspects of the work from the concept, to the music and the set. 

Yeff’s live musical performances intertwine the realms of humanity, machine, and nature to explore the harmonious coexistence of these elements. With its gripping narrative and innovative approach, “FUSION” promises to captivate audiences and redefine the possibilities of contemporary ballet. 

Harry Yeff’s remarkable career trajectory has taken him from humble beginnings as a working-class resident of an East London council estate to becoming a renowned beatboxer and creative force in the world of arts and technology. 

At the heart of FUSION lies the remarkable music composed and directed by Harry Yeff in collaboration with associate composer Gadi Sassoon and contemporary classical composer Teddy Riley. Since 2020, Yeff collaborated with Sassoon, Riley, and dramaturge Thilo Reinhardt to discuss and develop this work, creating a fusion of traditional and experimental elements. The music, specifically composed for this ballet, combines contemporary classical compositions, electronica, and cutting-edge beatbox techniques. Audiences will be immersed in a symphony of sound that stretches the boundaries of vocal capabilities. 

The narrative of FUSION delves into the intricate dynamics between humanity, artificial intelligence, and nature. The thought-provoking story takes inspiration from Plato’s concept of the divided self, where humanity yearns for unity and balance. Through choreography by Mario Schroder and stage design by Paul Zoller, the ballet visually represents the journey towards harmony, exploring the interplay of light, water, and shadows. 

One of the key highlights of FUSION is the incorporation of AI technology. Harry Yeff’s own voice serves as the catalyst for the exploration, with generative synthetic voices contributing to the ethereal musical landscape. Yeff has trained for over a thousand hours with voice and A.I. technology to achieve an almost post-human and machine-like control of his voice. This integration of A.I. in the creative process showcases the ballet’s visionary approach, opening new realms of artistic expression and offering a glimpse into the future of performance art. 

The Leipzig Ballet, renowned for its international acclaim, serves as the perfect backdrop for the premiere of FUSION. With a history dating back to the late seventeenth century, the company has consistently pushed artistic boundaries, and this production is no exception. The Neues Opernhaus (New Opera House), the venue for the performance, has witnessed countless iconic ballets and now stands ready to host this groundbreaking fusion of art and technology. 

FUSION is a timely reflection on the relationship between humanity and technology. By exploring the delicate balance between human intelligence and machine intelligence, as well as the profound connection between humanity and nature, the ballet invites audiences to contemplate their own place in an ever-evolving world. 

Harry Yeff, Creative Director and Composer of FUSION said:

My voice is now augmented as a result of hundreds of hours of training with A.I. – I am able to reach speeds and depths I didn’t believe were possible. I am a living breathing augmentation, soon there will be many more of me.

FUSION, Leipzig Ballet, Oper Leipzig, Germany, Creative Direction and music by Harry Yeff/Reeps100, 29th May – 8th July 2023 TICKETS

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