Chinchilla dance
By wylie beckert and Chinchilla(s)

Started on: 05/24/06 09:59:46
Medium: Performance

project by myself, tyler, jamie, and alex, as detailed in "chinchilla freestyle performance environment" and "dust to dust."
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Project Updates
05/24/06 10:16:29 - another progress update

so far:
the construction of the performance environment is progressing well; rather than creating two separate enclosures (the stage and the private "backstage" area) joined by a ramp or tunnel, we've begun to create a single enclosed area divided into the two essential environments. the half-pipe style floor may present some issues for the chinchilla as far as balance and gaining of purchase underfoot go; some ideas so far are to add traction by attatching strips of wood, plastic, or other "tread" to the curved floor; also an alteration of the floor material would be a possibility.
all attempts will be made to make this the ideal performance environment for Gizmo; his backstage area will be enclosed in custom-made curtains for privacy (although possibly monitored by webcam) and well-stocked with some of his favorite bedding and refreshments. other ideas in the works, final outcomes depending on the technical savvy of Giz's collaborators, are a lighting system to add the necessary dramatic weight to his performance, a simultaneous video presentation of a previously recorded chinchilla dance, and the possible integration of sound into the performance. all these things must be dealt with fairly delicately, due to the small size and elevated sense of smell, hearing, etc of the chinchilla. all efforts will be made to avoid creating sensory levels that are unpleasant to Gizmo, as they would no doubt affect his creative desire to perform.

a further note on Gizmo and his performative personality:
a few days ago we witnessed an interesting go-ahead from Gizmo that i believe to be a true sign of his eagerness to participate in this project. a day or two prior, a very small amount of dust had been spilled on the tile floor where Gizmo regularly plays. upon encountering this dusty floor, Gizmo immediately tried to push as much of the dust as he could into a pile with his front paws and, upon gathering a suitable amount of the dust, rolled gleefuly in it in his characteristic manner. this action, combined with his tendancy to perform impressive acrobatic flips off of walls and door frames when he is being actively watched by humans, has further reinforced our confidence in his drive to collaborate, as long as he (the somewhat prima donna chinchilla) is given the primary spotlight in the affair.

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