This was a Practice Research project in which the specific skills required by dancers when dancing with interactive technologies, were identified, explored, and analysed.
Interactive Technologies was a research project in collaboration with Dr. Alan Stones,Professional Electroacoustic & Interactive Composer and Sound Artist, and Professor Sarah Rubidge, Dance Artist and Scholar. School Staff involved included Darren Ellis, Deputy Principal and Phaedra Petsilas, Head of Studies, as well as volunteer participants from the third year undergraduate cohort at the School.
Although dance and digital technologies have been closely related since the 1990s the emphasis has been on creative activity initiated by choreographers. Although many of those choreographers who danced in their own work (e.g. Sophia Lycouris: Susan Kozel: Dawn Stopellio) the emphasis remained on the creative process. Little focus in Dance & Technology Research has been on the development of the very particular skills dancers need to interact successfully with technology.
The ultimate aim of Interactive Technologies was to develop a toolkit to provide dancers embarking on creative dance tech projects with a range of strategies of ways to move with technology. This in turn aimed at preparing them to make a productive contribution to collaborative choreographic processes utilising technology.
This project concentrated on developing familiarity in both dancers and digital practitioners with their respective systems and processes. Initially Dancers and choreographers were introduced to extant techniques used when working with technological systems such as motion capture and interactive systems (e.g. Motion Capture/Kinect, Max MSP and Isadora).
During this process dancers found themselves being introduced to the ways of thinking and creative processes adopted by those working with and developing technological systems (which are often aligned with contemporary choreographic thinking). Not only did this enable them to become adept at collaborating with digital artists/composers, but also alerted them to the potential of performative engagement with technology.