dancing in other space

a cyber-dance group exhibition

Since dance was intersected by the codes of digital technologies, traditional notions about its action field have been reformulated. It is in this confluence, language hybridization, where new related practices were born, many of them grouped into categories such as dance onscreen, cyber-dance or hyperdance. Although these denominations imply some conceptual differences, they all coincide in the reconfiguration of their essential elements.

In cyber-dance the body has been dematerialized. It has extended its scope by transcending its biological limits. New ways of representing it emerge that may or may not be recognized as human. Issues such as gravity, physical energy or genre become obsolete in the virtual scenario.

Movements can be defined by generative algorithms and by interactive choreographies where users define much more than the point of view. Many parameters can be changed and generate new compositional possibilities.

Time is altered, whether due to acceleration or fragmentation, suggesting another temporal dimension. The stage fits on a screen transforming hyperdance into a mediated experience.

This exhibition brings together projects that articulate the art of dance and digital languages. Programmed shapes, movements, sounds and visual textures merge into new discursive practices, new ways of making dance.

Works & Artists

Celestial Motion: a virtual dance experience(2018)

An immersive dance performance in virtual reality, Celestial Motion is inspired by the imagery of solar physics. Choreographed by Alexander Whitley and made in association with Sadler's Wells theatre, the experience features 360-degree filming and motion-capture technology. The dancers are visualised both in human form and as other-worldly digital figures in a cosmic landscape, showcasing the choreography from a unique perspective.

Notes: Click/tap and drag to explore the 360° video. Use cardboard for an immersive experience.

Alexander Whitley

Born in 1980, Alexander Whitley is a London-based choreographer working at the cutting edge of British contemporary dance. As artistic director of Alexander Whitley Dance Company he has developed a reputation for a bold interdisciplinary approach to dance making, producing technologically innovative and thought-provoking stage productions as well as exploring the creative possibilities being opened by new digital platforms. He has also created work for several of the UK's leading companies including the Royal Ballet, Rambert, Balletboyz, Candoco and Birmingham Royal Ballet. Alexander has developed a strong network of collaborators across numerous art forms, working with filmmakers, designers, digital artists and composers to create innovative and wide-ranging work that seeks to broaden the scope of dance and deepen an appreciation of movement across the many mediums it bears relevance to. He is also a member of New Movement Collective, a group of acclaimed dancers and choreographers who seek to redefine the landscape of contemporary dance through creating site-specific and multi-disciplinary performance work.

The Performer(2017)

The Performer follows a curious being on a journey of discovery through a powerful dance performance and point-cloud animations. Using volumetric filmmaking techniques, this movie captures the human spirit in its purest, faceless form. Created using DepthKit, a software that records and visualizes 3D depth data captured on an Xbox Kinect v1. Featuring former Nederland Dans Theater Dancer, Jon Ole Olstad. This piece meshes multiple artistic disciplines with interactive technology.

Credits
Music by Live Footage: Topu Lyo, electric cello - Mike Thies, drums + keys.
Directed by Michael Gugger.
Choreography by Amy Gardner.
Performance by Jon Ole Olstad.
Story Development by Varvara Kanellakopoulos.
Assistant Brandan Gosse.
Composed in DepthKit and After Effects. Other animations created using Red Giant Trapcode in After Effects.
DepthKit developed by James George and Alexander Porter.

Thanks
James George, Alexander Porter, Peder Norrby, Flo (bird animation), community YouTube After Effects tutorials, Sigi Gugger & Ute Michaelsen.

Michael Gugger

Michael Gugger is an international filmmaker whose creativity is driven by curiosity. His ability to find empathy and a passionate interest within various subjects, is reflected in his body of work. Finding a balance between the abstract and objective truth while experimenting with different styles and technologies. Michael loves to collaborate with other artists and is currently based in Berlin, Germany.

Wear to move?(2014)

Live performance held at SecondLife in 2014. With a Bauhaus mood, 'Wear to move?' brings an oneiric choreography where SaveMe Oh’s avatar wears a variety of geometric costumes limiting the movements and forcing the body to create new forms. Taken from different cam angles, this machinima animation instigates new relationships between the self, others and the virtual environment.

Credits
Music by Edgard Varese.

SaveMe Oh

SaveMe Oh is one of the virtual alter egos of Oscar Wagenmans, a Dutch theatre director and actor who has been an intense SecondLife art performer since 2007. As SaveMe Oh, he explores machinima art inquiring into current social issues to unfold provocative interventions. A critical soul lighting up the new media pollution. Since 1991, he has been the artistic director of the Kamak Theatre, a theatre group of actors with learning disabilities, in Hengelo, Netherlands. Besides the Kamak project, Wagenmans works with amateur companies and musicians.

No time to fly(2013)

This animation is an adaptation of a solo dance score written by the choreographer Deborah Hay and was made for the 'Motion Bank' project, in 2013. With fragmented sounds and clear movements, an abstract dancer performs a pictorial choreography. The moving lines and minimal patterns seem to build humanoid sculptures that come to life on a journey through a limitless landscape. 'Motion Bank' was a four-year data collection project based in Frankfurt, Germany that captures dancers' movements through the use of digital technology providing a broad context for research into choreographic practice.

Credits
Deborah Hay is an internationally renowned dance artist whose unique approach to bodily practice has changed the way we make and view dances.

Amin Weber

Amin Weber was born in 1973, in Königstein, Germany. He studied Visual Communications at the Offenbach University of Art and Design and graduated in Experimental 3-dimensional concepts in 2003. Since then, he works as a digital artist and freelance designer in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He is part of the Motion Bank online score team and co-founder of Basis Frankfurt. He experiments mainly with 3D-Software but tinkers around with game engines and other low skill friendly environments.

Last dance(2017)

'Last Dance' is a contemporary, experimental, motion visualization film of the ancient Chinese romance, 'Farewell My Concubine', in the traditional performing arts style of Peking Opera.

Credits
Director: Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.
Concept & Design: Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.
Houdini Artist: Debra Isaac.
Houdini TD: Nema Safvati.
Opera Artist: Ming Zhang.
Motion Capture Mentor: John Brennan.
Music: Min He.
Faculty Mentors: Eric Hanson, Kathy Smith, Mike Patterson.
Faculty Advisors: Tom Sito, Christine Panushka, Mike Fink, Candace Reckinger, Sheila M. Sofian, Maks Naporowski, Lisa Mann, Trixy Wattenbarger.
Sponsored By: Fox Visual Effects Grant.
Rendering Service By: GridMarkets.

Peter Zhaoyu Zhou

Visualization & lighting artist, Peter Zhaoyu Zhou was born in Qingdao, China, in 1989. He studied animation and film at USC School of Cinematic Arts and currently works as a filmmaker and VFX creative. Peter directed awarded films such as 'Karma' (2017) and 'Last Dance' (2017). He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

Reincarnation(2009)

Part of an ongoing series of works that investigate the abstraction of human form and movement playing on the boundaries of abstract and figurative. When the film starts, the human shape won’t be identified, but through movement, the eyes and mind will be searching, seeking connections between abstract shapes and recognizable patterns. Same process as when looking for figures in fluffy clouds.

Credits
This film was developed as an offshoot from creating visuals for the performance ‘Iatrogenesis’ by the Rambert Dance Company and flat-e at Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank, London UK. Choreographed by Alexander Whitley and dancers Robin Gladwin and Miguel Altunaga. Made with openFrameworks music added only to excerpt: “Planet Caravan” by Black Sabbath.

Memo Akten

Memo Akten is a media artist, musician and researcher from Istanbul, Turkey. He has been working with computation as a medium and language to investigate the collisions between nature, science, technology, ethics, ritual, tradition and religion, with special interest in the link between science and spirituality. He works with algorithms and custom software to combine form, movement and sound. Some of his projects includes moving images, video, sound and light installations and performances. Alongside his practice, he is currently working towards a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London in artificial intelligence and expressive human-machine interaction. Akten received the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in 2013 for his collaboration with Quayola, ‘Forms’. His 2009 works ‘Body Paint’ and ‘Gold’ have toured with the Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘Decode’ exhibition. His 2017 work “Learning to see” was part of the Barbican’s ‘More than human’ exhibition. Other exhibitions and performances include the Grand Palais (Paris FR), Royal Opera House (London UK), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow RU), Holon Museum (Tel Aviv IL), EYE Film Institute (Amsterdam NL) and Lisbon Architecture Triennale (Lisbon PT). Akten is a strong supporter of open-source software and many of his open-source tools and libraries are used globally. He is one of the core contributors to the openFrameworks project, and he gives lectures and workshops around the world.