Several years ago Patrice M. Regnier embarked on a project which was designed to dramatically aid in the rehearsal process. The problem was clear. The main – and the most time-consuming difficulty – was not in having a trained dancer learn individual movements but was in the context or phrasing of those movements. In order for a dancer to successfully put movement A after movement B, followed by movement C, it is necessary for the body to learn that sequence before the dancer can reproduce it in a way that the choreographer or audience might see the actual outcome of the idea.
Patrice developed a “beta” system consisting of Walkmans and invented words that she prerecorded. Because the dancers knew what these invented words meant they were able to respond immediately dancing complex, randomly organized phrases. Since the body didn’t have to memorize the sequences, Patrice was able to see her idea right away, as opposed to after hours and hours of rehearsal.
Then she thought about expanding this idea, creating a choreographic system for regular people to have a kinetic communication experience. Partnering with hardware designer Jesse Lackey and software designer Eric Singer, Patrice created a multi-channeled, sampling broadcast system for choreography where each person could hear their own sequence through their headset. She developed a dictionary of suggestive and exacting instructions, which anyone off the street could perform, refining the kinds of words and word groups people respond to best. Named after Terpsichore, the greek muse of dance, the TERP® system was born.
After choreographing and producing TERP® experiments in the loft, TERP® Corp has begun customizing experiences for different markets. We have hosted after school programs as well as gym trainer team-buildings in our loft and have taken the TERP® System to various elementary schools and universities including New York University’s ITP program. The TERP® System has been presented at conferences in New York and California, most recently Envision in Monterey and Responsive in Berkeley. We welcome new clients and new experiences!
The TERP® system is covered under Patent #US 7853249 B2 for “Systems and Methods for Choreographing Movement” and #US 9,275,617 B2 for “Systems and Methods for Choreographing Movement using location indicators”.
— Patrice M. Regnier, TERP® Inventor