Slow Pixel

Move over adagio, there's a new slowpoke in town. 176 slowpokes, to be exact. "Slow Pixel" is a new London-based theatrical experience where the choreography is performed by snails. 

Yes, snails - like the shelled gastropod you can order at a restaurant with extra butter and garlic. Created by two Parisian artists, Elizabeth Saint-Jalmes and Cyril Leclerc, the exhibit's goal is to encourage the audience to take life at a snails pace. "They are the DJs, they are the dancers, the performers, they are the stars,” say the artists. 

The 'dance' performance is set to a slowed down, 47 minute long version of the Nirvana classic 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', played at 35 BPM, which is the tempo of a snail's heart. Each snail has a little LED light on their back, that is linked to a sensor that can change what is happening with the sound. Though the snails can't hear, the vibrations of the music affects their direction and, presumably, their 'dance.' 

47 minutes seems like a long time to observe and interact with some snails, but the 4 minute clip is definitely worth a watch. Who knows, maybe you'll be inspired next time you head to ballet class! 

And don't worry - after their final performance, the snails will be taken to the south of France to live out the rest of their days. If only all dancers could retire like that...

About the author

Anne Luben has performed works by notable choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Bill T. Jones, Jiri Kylian, Idan Cohen, Alex Ketley, and Summer Lee Rhatigan, among others.