Locally tied Hammerstep Faces Kickstarter Deadline for Interactive Show | Blogh

Friday, March 13, 2015

Locally tied Hammerstep Faces Kickstarter Deadline for Interactive Show

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 11:22 AM

With its show Indigo Grey, internationally touring, Brooklyn-based dance troupe Hammerstep promises to turn audiences into characters in an action movie. But to realize its virtual-reality idea in meatspace, Indigo Grey first needs some green.

Hammerstep, co-founded by Pittsburgh native Garrett Coleman, has until 6 p.m. Monday to raise $75,000 on Kickstarter.

Promotional materials describe Indigo Grey as a journey through a re-purposed warehouse “where drones fly overhead, directing and monitoring your moves” as you traverse both real corridors and “a virtual reality composed of 3-D projections and symphonic sound … complete with hidden performers and gas-masked, renegade dancers who ambush the audience.”

The troupe promises a CGI-animated environment that looks like “a sci-fi movie set.” Intrinsic is a choose-your-own adventure aspect.

Coleman, 27, grew up in Friendship and attended Central Catholic High School. In a phone interview with CP, he says he started dancing at age 5, at Pittsburgh’s Burke School of Irish Dance. He eventually turned pro, and spent part of his college years at the University of Dayton touring with both Riverdance and the Trinity Irish Dance Co.

In 2009, Coleman and former Riverdance lead Jason Oremus took their years of international experience and founded Hammerstep, which blends Irish, tap, hip hop, African stepping and more, and moves between stage performance, “public-ambush dance” and guerrilla theater. The critically acclaimed group was on America’s Got Talent in 2013 — in black hoodies and the aforementioned gas masks — and has performed at venues ranging from Lincoln Center to Scotland’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Indigo Grey’s creative team includes technical director Mario Beck (Riverdance, Metallica) and composer Dave Eggar, who's known locally for his work with Attack Theatre but who also boasts credits with the likes of Beyonce and Coldplay.

While Hammerstep is based in Brooklyn, it’s been hitting Pittsburgh lately, including a performance last fall at a New Hazlett Theater fundraiser. Likewise, although Indigo Grey is projected to open in New York City, Coleman tells CP that a Pittsburgh staging is a distinct possibility should the project come to fruition.

The show’s premiere is planned for this summer.

As of yesterday, Indigo Grey still needed about $25,000 toward its goal of $75,000.

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