The Lamentations of Orpheus

Solo choreography for an orange industrial robot to Monteverdi’s aria from L’Orfeo in which Orpheus sings out his sorrow over Euridice’s death, vowing to descend to the underworld to bring her back to earth.

This 170 cm high and 500 kg heavy robot consists of three segments, three joints and a grip. The robot movements are choreo- graphed in the Swedish computer program Motographicon.

Below the first 20 seconds of the choreography, where the Motographicon code is translated to the ABB-robot code.


(bodyturn (r 0)(d 50))
(rwrist (r 0)(v 0)(d 50)) 
(RELBOW (R 0) (D 50)) 
(RARM (V 90) (D 50)) 
(WAIST (V 0) (D 50))
(time 700)
(rarm (v 155)(d 750)) 
(time 1450)
(rarm (V 0)(D 100))
(time 1550)
(bodyturn (dr 170)(d 750)) 
(RARM (V 155) (D 750))


WaitTime DT( 1.0);
MoveAbsJ [[0,0,0,0,0,0],ep], 
vmax \T:=DT( 1.5), fine, 
tool0; WaitTime DT( 7.0);
MoveAbsJ [[0,0,-60,0,0,0],ep], 
vmax \T:=DT(14.5), tz, tool0; 
MoveAbsJ [[0,0,65,0,0,0],ep], 
vmax \T:=DT(15.5), tz, tool0; 
MoveAbsJ[[-110,-45,- 55,0,0,0],ep],
vmax \T:=DT(20.0), tz, tool0

Choreography and movement programming: Åsa Unander-Scharin

Music: Claudio Monteverdi (from L’Orfeo, 1607)

Dancer: ABB Robot IRB 1400

Software conversion program: Magnus Lundin

Music recording: Ensemble Fortezza (Carl Unander-Scharin/tenor, Keren Bruce/viola da gamba, Kerstin Frödin/recorder, Urban Westerlund/organ), Åsa Unander-Scharin, Petra Kiiskinen, Erik Persson

Video photographer and light design: Mateusz Herczka

Scen- och Sinnesproduktion in collaboration with The Dance Museum and Asea Brown Bovery, with financial support for the music recording from SAMI

First performance at the Dance museum in Stockholm, 1998.

See video