Dance Loops is a collection of projects designed to explore interactive technology in performance on stage and on screen. It is a creative space for dancers and coders, poets and analysts, animators and researchers.
In the central performance of Dance Loops, a pair of dancers create their own movement in a structured improvisation and use onstage controllers to trigger their own video recording and motion capture with Microsoft Kinects. In collaboration with an offstage visualist, the performers are then able to select, manipulate, and loop video projections of their movement (and their musical accompaniment), creating a virtual ensemble performance.
The other elements of Dance Loops will explore all of the interests of the students involved. These could include performances for 3D video; generative applications for dance, music, text, and visuals; motion capture for physiological and psychological research; and performance as data visualization.
Dance Loops received a prestigious Presidential Fellowship for Faculty Scholarship at Utah Valley University. Students and faculty will spend the 2012-2013 school years developing a series of creative and scholarly works, which will be performed and presented locally, nationally, and digitally in the spring and summer of 2013. The video below explains some of the technology that will be used in this project.
Students with a wide range of expertise and interests are invited to join the most exciting interdisciplinary project at Utah Valley University. We are currently in need of students in the following disciplines:
- Digital Media
- Art & Visual Communication
- English & Literature
- Computer Science
- Information Systems & Technology
- Behavioral Science
- Exercise Science
- And others
Dance Loops is a piece of improvisational modern dance but dancers with any background are welcome. Dancers will work with Nichole Ortega of the UVU Department of Dance and Jacque Lynn Bell of the University of Utah Department of Theatre to create and perform improvisational structures appropriate for motion capture and interactive performance.
Theatre students are needed to assist in stage design and projection lighting, as well as the development of non-dance performances using 2D and 3D interactive technology.
Musicians with an interest in live, interactive, electronic performance and algorithmic composition are invited to assist in creating and performing scores. Sofware to be used includes Ableton Live, Max for Live, and Max/MSP. Hardware includes the Akai APC40 & APC20 controllers, the Novation Launchpad, and the Microsoft Kinect.
Digital Media / Art & Visual Communication
Artists and animators are needed to create live, interactive, projected animations based on performers' movement. Software may include Processing, Max/MSP/Jitter, and Autodesk MotionBuilder, among others. While the performance is intended to be 2D, small 3D video cameras (Sony Bloggie 3D) and projectors are also being explored for related projects.
English & Literature / Languages
Students with an interest in languages and writing are invited to create written and spoken text to be used in Dance Loops as projections, recordings, or live performance. The texts may be fixed compositions, texts based on live data (e.g., Twitter feeds, blog posts, or readers' comments on articles), or generative compositions.
Computer Science / Information Systems & Technology
Students with an interest in creative coding and data-based art are needed to assist in creating the frameworks for interactive animations and music, as well as the creation of generative algorithms for use in web-based presentations and stand-alone applications. Software will include Processing (a Java-based language), Max/MSP/Jitter (a node-based visual language by Cycling '74), and possibly C++ with the openFrameworks or Cinder libraries, which replicate Processing's functions.
Students with an interest in capturing and measuring motion with the Microsoft Kinect are needed to create measurement schemes and data storage/analysis systems. Students are also invited to create research projects using the technology included in this performance.
Students in Other Disciplines
Any student at UVU with an interest in the interaction of art and technology is invited to participate in Dance Loops.
About Dance Loops
Dance Loops is intended to be performed locally, nationally, and virtually in the spring and summer of 2013. The faculty mentors are pursuing opportunities for performances and residencies at Utah colleges and universities, as well as at a major national dance and/or technology event, such as the American Dance Festival, the National College Dance Festival, or SIGGRAPH (the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, which has featured, for example, performances by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company).
In addition, variations of Dance Loops will be developed for presentation on the Internet, as computer applications, and as gallery/public installations.
Students Initiatives and Funding
Students from all departments are encouraged to develop their own creative and scholarly projects based on the technologies and practices included in Dance Loops. Mentoring can be provided by the core faculty or can be arranged with faculty from the students' home departments. Students would be encouraged to submit their own work for publication or presention at events such as the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research or the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, among others.
A small amount of funding will be available to help students travel to events in the spring and summer of 2013. Additional funding opportunities will be pursued during the year.
Dance Loops is the interdisciplinary creation of three faculty members from Utah Valley University and the University of Utah. Project Director Barton Poulson is an associate professor of Psychology in the Behavioral Science Department at UVU and is the creator of several technology-based performance pieces. Nichole Ortega is the chair of UVU's Department of Dance, with a background in both ballet and modern dance. Jacque Lynn Bell is a modern dance choreographer who teaches movement in the Department of Theatre at the University of Utah. Barton Poulson and she are currently collaborating on a performance called "Hello World" for Repertory Dance Theatre's October 2012 concert, "Embark."