7 July — 7 September 2009

Polonca Lovsin was invited to respond to the architectural artwork Amphis at Wysing’s Bourn site. Amphis, a communal building made mainly out of wooden recycled materials, was built by Martin Kaltwasser and Folke Kobberling and volunteers in 2008. 

Lovsin trained as a sculptor and architect and her work touches upon ecological and playful alternative thinking. Lovsin’s residency led to a collaboration with choreographer Henrietta Hale, scientist in electronics and sustainable engineering from Cambridge University Department of Engineering Dr. Richard McMahon, Ph.D. student Aeffendi Hashim, assistant choreographer Maria Sanderson and six volunteers dancers Judith, Laura, Lenka, Sheila, Katherine and Peter.

During Lovsin’s first research visit in March 2009, it became clear that she wanted to give life and energy to Amphis. This conceived the idea for Dynamo Door Dance. The project's intention was to test out and suggest alternative energy solutions in Amphis by generating electricity through movement. The nature of the project was interdisciplinary and collaborative and became a test site which allowed openness, playfulness and unusual encounters to happen.


Dr. McMahon advised on how to construct a number of energy-harvesting devices and, with his supervision, pre-existing devices based on the dynamo are were developed. Lovsin looked into camping devices and torches of different types: squeeze torches, string and pull torches, string and pull phone chargers, windup camping lamps, wind up phone chargers and Faraday torches. These pre-existing gadgets became the basis of the energy harvesting devices.

With help from Ph.D. student Aeffendi Hashim, it became possible to transform the devices and install them in Amphis. Electricity was produced by jumping and stepping, and was immediately transformed into light and sound through the devices placed at seven points in the floor, on all doors (except the entrance door) on two columns and two beams running through the space.


Choreographer Henrietta Hale was present throughout the creative process. Hale and Lovsin discussed where to place the devices and how movement would work with them. The playful choreography was based on dancers generating electricity. The use of the devices underlined how the dance created a playful and humorous chain reaction.

The outcome of the collaboration was a performance on 22 August 2009 in Amphis that was reworked as an independent video work by Lovsin screened on YouTube. Click here to read more about the event.