Directed and Choreographed by Dan Safer in collaboration with designer Sara Brown, co-deviser Wil Petre, video installation by Josh Higgason, Production Coordinator Miguel Flores, Sound Designer / Composer Christian Frederickson, Test Composer Sxip Shirey, and more

5 minute video portraits of human beings right now on the planet.

Compared, contrasted, and commingled.

With dances, poses, problems, possibly revealing intimate moments, and music.

TL/DR: People video themselves following 5 minutes of instructions and send it in. The ‘performance” is we watch two (or more) at a time and see how different people execute the same set of instructions. 


If you would like to get involved or have questions please email Dan at







We will create an audio track that gives specific instructions people execute in front of their camera in their home, with specifics for setting up the room as well. Tasks like “sit in the chair,” “shake your fist,” “go to the safest spot in the room,” “dance like your mom,” “act like you have been poisoned and die,” “dance to a disco song,” “show us where on your body you feel fear,” “touch your face tenderly,” etc etc etc


The company, composed of MIT students, faculty, and professional guest artists, will test and create the Score of Instructions together.


We will get videos from the MIT community, and from the world at large.

Different organizations will participate, and we will put out an open general call.

Submissions will come in from all over the world.


The videos will be presented side by side on a website, and projected on the sides of buildings at some public venues.


There will be at least 10 DIFFERENT ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORES created to accompany the action.


The audio plays along on the website, and is available online to play from your phone at the public venues. The audio consists of a version of the original instructions, so you can hear what the people are trying to do, and one of the many possible original scores composed for the piece. It could all be random, or you could select “i want these two people and this music”.


It makes a portrait of a small community when you choose to view people all from one place.

It makes a portrait of a global community when you choose to view people from all of the locations.



How do we make something that responds holistically to the moment we are in? To our current reality?

I watch about 5 minutes of a zoom play and then I click over to CNN or social media or blogs about overpriced Japanese fashion.

I get super depressed because I feel less connected to people.

What if we made something that fits with all of that? What if we found connections even when we are apart? And celebrated the weird glimpses of ourselves and each other that have been happening on various zoom calls, in front of our pets, etc.

I'm interested in upping the level of JOY in the world at the moment, as well as holding space for the sadness and tenderness and fear and doubt and hope and strength and awkwardness.




Five-ish minute long hits of content, that are funny and delightful and relatable and sad and devastating and surprising. And you can stay and pay attention or you can go watch a movie or go for a walk or play with your cat. Or do a few of those things at once.


It can be random - you can just let it roll. Or you can have a ton of agency. You can say “I want to see this person from Boston and this person from Kuala Lumpur and I want to hear the music by this DJ from New York.”


And those people might be radically different, but probably also similar, and inherently connected and in some ways the VIEWER themselves, for that moment, becomes the connective tissue.



Pretty much everything happens remotely, so you do NOT need to be on campus.

We will work for 8 days over IAP, devising the instructions and score for the piece. 

You will need to pre-register for 21M.806 during IAP by January 4, 2021.

6 units of practicum credit


We will continue our work over the Spring Semester, but it won't be a ‘rehearsal every night’ kind of thing. Weekly meetings as we develop the piece., with Asynchronous work on your own schedule. Exact schedule TBD 

You will need to register for 21M.803 for Spring 21 by February 19, 2021.

3 units of credit


In addition you could work on Video Editing. If you want to do that as well, you could get a total of 6 units in Spring

You will need to register for 21M.806 for Spring 21 by February 19, 2021.



Jan 11 to 14 (M-Th) 11am to 3pm EST

Jan 16 (Saturday) 12noon to 4pm EST

Jan 19 to 21 (T-Th) 11am to 3pm EST

  • Cohort of students and guest artists work on creating score / tasks, videos are experimented with, everything is tested out and refines, project gets more clearly defined as we make discoveries

  • People / places / institutions are researched and contacted to invite to take part in the project


Feb 1- Send Instructions to the World 


Feb 2 to April 1

  • People make and submit videos

  • Composers make and submit scores

  • Website is developed as material comes in


April 1- Final Deadline for videos and music compositions (they can come in earlier of course)


April 2 to May 3 - 

  • Getting Website up and running with all content, etc, and finalizing design of site, etc and how it all works

  • Getting installation ready to go, etc


May 4-11 (Performance and Design week) website launch/installation at MIT.