Quixotic Fusion — the locally based performance group that incorporates acrobatics, multimedia, music and dance into its dazzling aerial stage shows — was selected last month to be a featured performer at the TED2012 conference, in Long Beach, California.
That's kind of a big deal. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences, and the performances and "talks" given by the guests, are viewed online by millions. There's also considerable cultural cachet to it: Tastemakers, donors and intellectuals view the conference as a gathering of the rising national, creative vanguard.
"We had done a few TEDx events, which were local TED events in Kansas City, and Mike Lundgren, who curated those, had sent our stuff in, and it finally got to the right people," says Mica Thomas, co-artistic director of Quixotic Fusion. "The theme at the conference this year is Full Spectrum, which is about using a lot of different types of approaches in performance. They seemed excited about how what we do fits into that theme — specifically, how we mix holographic imagery with performance, and the relationship between performer and animation."
The troupe, along with every other TED presenter, is allowed only 18 minutes at the conference, so just 12 of the roughly 30 core Quixotic members are heading out to California for the February 28 show. Shane Borth, a violin player, is making the trip. "Shane uses a wireless violin, so he can go out and integrate with the visuals and move around with the other performers onstage, which also fits the theme well," Thomas says. (See vimeo.com/quixoticfusion for an idea of what this entails.)
"It's definitely an exciting endeavor in that just a lot of people watch TED stuff," he continues. "Instantly, our brand and art form will be recognized around the world. We've been told that the average TED opener gets 200 million views online. So in terms of spreading the word of what Quixotic does, that's a huge thing for us. It's very exciting to think that something we created here in Kansas City could reach places like South Africa or Germany or small towns in Holland, these other corners of the world."