Dancing to the Tune of “Don’t Drop Your iPhone”

Technology Bounden Dance App

Earlier this year, Dutch game developers introduced Bounden, an app that invites partners to dance while holding and not dropping an iPhone.  The choreography directed by the iPhone is a not so subtle demonstration of our obsessively protective relationship with this technology.

Bounden works like this: two players hold the phone from opposite ends and guide a cursor through a sort of maze on the screen while music plays; the shape of the maze forces the players to twist, spin, and loop around and under each other, as in a dance. The underlying choreography was developed by Ernst Meisner of the Dutch National Ballet, and the app contains videos of company members performing the finished dances.

When executed by professionals, the pieces all tell a strange story about two people who are terrified to drop an iPhone. Bounden begins to play music, a romantic passage like Adolphe Adam’s “Giselle,” or a jaunty march that recalls Ludwig Minkus’s “Don Quixote.” The phone beseeches the couple to dance, and dance they do, never looking at one another, always grasping their tiny, fragile overlord.

When played by untrained dancers, Bounden creates jagged, awkward movement patterns that resemble a rather abstract downtown performance. It’s a partner dance, but it’s not clear who, if anyone is meant to lead. Sometimes, you find yourself pulling on the phone, or being pulled along, tugging at a two-hundred-dollar piece of technology that contains your entire existence.


Photograph courtesy of Bounden.

Quoting: Katia Bachko



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