About the Grant

$25,000 to support Red Rovers (2010), a collaboration between Headlong Dance Theater and visual artist Chris Doyle,  inspired by the Mars Rovers.

About the Project

Red Rovers is about Mars. A barren landscape. Endless dust, extreme heat and cold. Occasional meteorites. Two rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity. They were designed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and were meant to spend 90 days on the Martian surface before breaking down. Five years later, against all odds, they are still there; collecting data and sending it back to Earth. In 2005, one of Spirit's wheels broke. Because she started moving "backwards", dragging the bad wheel, she dug a trench in the Martian soil and uncovered evidence of water (and therefore the possibility of life). Other happy accidents include the fact that the rovers' solar panels were "cleaned" by a Martian dust devil, increasing their communicative capabilities.

The piece will not necessarily tell the story of Spirit and Opportunity. It will explore a constellation of ideas: a lifeless landscape, the search for life on other planets, the impossibility of reliable communication, the bonds between robots and with their makers, the inexorable genetic modification and robotization of our human bodies, task-oriented movements, intricately detailed dance actions, strings of numbers and NASA lingo, propulsion, disability. The end result will be a performance piece as well as a stand-alone gallery installation.

Related Websites

Headlong Dance


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