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Atmospheric, exciting, now more than ever our lives are influenced by unseen algorithms and surveillance technologies. How does this have an influence and impact on behaviour?

Choreographer Alexander Whitley has developed a reputation for his bold, interdisciplinary approach, producing innovative and thought-provoking productions, and is known for his ground-breaking use of digital technology.

His new work asks what it means to be human in the shadow of big data. Now more than ever, our lives are influenced by unseen algorithms and surveillance technologies, with filter bubbles, feedback loops and fake news having a profound impact on individual behaviour and political events. Created before the Covid-19 pandemic, Overflow considers how our desires, fantasies and vulnerabilities are powerfully influenced by social platforms, exploring what lurks beneath our compulsions to check, share and like.

Overflow features a dazzling kinetic light sculpture, created by Children of the Light and programmed by creative technologists Luca Biada, which, along with lighting by Guy Hoare, define spaces of connection and isolation for Alexander’s intricate choreography.

Costumes and 3D printed masks designed by fashion artist Ana Rajcevic are inspired by facial recognition technology and music producer Rival Consoles’ exhilarating score incorporates samples from digital platforms and devices, such as the data flowing from the modem of his smartphone as he scrolled through Instagram.

“Whitley discovers a new way of designing contemporary dance which offers boundless, exciting opportunities for the future.”

Commissioned by Sadler’s Wells, and supported by Arts Council England, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, the London Community Foundation, MA Scène Nationale-Pays de Montbéliard, PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations, Bonnie Bird New Choreography Fund and DanceEast.

Alexander is a New Wave Associate at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

Key Information


2 March 2022


DanceXchange, The Patrick Studio, Birmingham Hippodrome