Humanoid robot replaces actor in Uncanny Valley

The programme of DNK - Contemporary Dance and Performance Space continues into the month of July, and the lineup includes performances of the play Uncanny Valley on two consecutive days, 4 and 5 July.

In this coproduction of the famous innovative performance collective Rimini Protokoll and one of the leading German theatres, Münchner Kammerspiele, the human actor is replaced by a humanoid robot. Adopting the physical characteristics and voice of author Thomas Melle, the robot presents a monodrama performance which takes the audience into the “uncanny valley”. The term was coined by a Japanese professor of robotics in the early 1970s and denotes the emotional response that androids evoke because of their close resemblance to humans. They look so human-like that it creates a strange experience filled with insecurity.

Uncanny Valley poses questions such as what happens when the copy takes the place of the original. Do the latter get to know themselves better through the former? The show outlines new dimensions in the development of contemporary theatre and has become a great success on the international scene.

Credits include Stefan Kaegi for concept, text and direction, and Thomas Melle for body and voice.

Uncanny Valley is performed in English, with simultaneous interpretation in Bulgarian. The show is not suitable for viewers under the age of 18.

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