Convergence of Dance And Tech


AI Technology & Dance Converge in New Work by Cat Machines Dance 

Earth: First Encounters Premieres

May 12-13 at Cubberley Theatre, Palo Alto CA

ChatGPT, Dall-E and interactive wearables merge with innovative dance as Cat Machines Dance takes to the stage in Earth: First Encounters. 

Premiering in Palo Alto—the epicenter of digital culture and computing—the new works by choreographer and computer engineer Jen Costillo are a playful sci-fi riff on an alien’s one-night visit to Earth.

Artificial intelligence is an integral part of the performance, beginning with a tongue-in-cheek pre-show spotlighting AI’s capabilities as a dance critic and an authority on proper theatergoing etiquette. An intermission video showcases AI-generated images inspired by the show’s theme.

The first piece, “Searching for Home,” features hand-sewn costumes by Costillo and Kyle Chan, which respond to on-stage motion and light. A later piece,  “Survival” – originally conceived as a podcast spot – provocatively explores both the desire to control AI and our growing dependence on it.

“I’m excited to combine the dance and technology that I love with the fun of campy science fiction,” said Costillo of Earth: First Encounters. “Working with AI as a collaborator, so to speak, makes it even more interesting.”

As the story unfolds, the alien visitor experiences contemporary life on Earth, encountering everything from war and oppression to quirky robots and social media. Finding our planet far more chaotic than expected, the extraterrestrial ultimately leaves us to our fate.

In support of the local dance community, ticket revenues for Earth: First Encounters will directly benefit Zohar Dance and DanceVisions, two nonprofit dance studios in Palo Alto.

Cat Machines Dance presents Earth: First Encounters
May 12-13, 2023 (Friday & Saturday) at 8:00 p.m.
Cubberley Theatre 4120 Middlefield Rd | Palo Alto, CA 94306

Tickets (Advance/Door): General ($25/ $30), Student/Youth ($20/ $25),

Special General($45/—) general seating.

Purchase online at


Contact: Jen Costillo


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