After we choreographed several other phrases using paper, we designed this “machine.” We refer to it as a machine because, even though the moving parts are made of dancers, it’s designed to move paper from one side of the stage to another. We’ve played with this and many different pieces of the machine. In fact, this version of the machine in the video is what we engineered in the fall of 2014, but by the time we performed the machine in the spring of 2015, it was really different. We also think we improved it. We added new pieces that functioned better and were more energetic, and we removed others that were less useful to us.
If you’re the designer of a machine like this, what features would you keep? Which ones would you change? How would these work?
We’d love to see your own paper machine in which each component is made from a person. How would you design it?
What other kinds of machines could you create? Some classroom activities we’ve seen build “Rube Goldberg” machines that are designed to smash a grape. Some great examples of these make their way into videos by the band, OK Go.