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Collaborative Research: Interactive Choreography in 3D Tele-Immersive Spaces - Expanding Human Perception through Creative Practice

Bajcsy, Ruzena
UC Berkeley

This project investigates (a) how immersive 3D technology will motivate, encourage, and stimulate dance collaborators in their creative processes through a model of dance, (b) identify new elements of the IT technology that support new choreography, e.g., new view management capabilities, new synchronization protocols, and (c) characterize two different interfaces for two very different groups of users: the dancers and the choreographers.

By studying dance we can learn about non-verbal communication among people in general. There is no other art form that comes as close as dance to everyday human activity and yet intensifies, amplifies, and transforms that everydayness into extra-ordinary activity. The significance of dance as a means of analysis of a creative process include the following: dance’s coded and choreography’s conventions can be understood as a means of communication that is practiced across racial, cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic boundaries; one can view dance as a shared human activity; dance is a form of expression that uses bodily movements that are rhythmic, patterned, spatial, dynamic, expressive, shaped, felt, improvised, etc. dance is often accompanied by music; one of the oldest art forms, dance is found in every culture and is performed for purposes ranging from ceremonial, liturgical and magical to the theoretical, social, and aesthetic; dance has also been used to effect change in bodily or social conditions for religious and/or political circumstances; in human time, dance has been used as an effective form of communication that went beyond boundaries of linguistic sign systems; dance has a potential shared by music and virtual arts to transform human behavior; dance lends itself to analysis because it exists in a triangle of communication: choreographer, dancer and viewer.

This project will validate two major hypotheses: (1) Dancers will be able to learn faster new choreographies in the 3D tele-immersive spaces than via 2D video technologies, and (2) 3D tele-immersive spaces will allow choreographers to explore new choreographic elements when utilizing Digital Options not possible in co-located environments (e.g., different scales of dancers dancing together). The intellectual merit will be in understanding the creativity process in choreography domain, and in IT domain. These two hypotheses requires the development of IT tools for support of creative processes, i.e., flexible configurations of views for individual dancers, new synchronization protocols in spatial and temporal domain as the tele-immersive sides merge into one tele-immersive (TI space), and new interfaces for dancers and choreographers to access the new Digital Options in an easy manner.

This project will impact developments in the 3D tele-immersive technology as well as the dancing area. From the IT perspective, the new algorithms, protocols, interfaces and corresponding tools will allow users interested in creativity processes to work with and manipulate different views, scales, numbers, backgrounds, shapes, and other digital options needed in visual arts creative processes. In the domain of dance, we will have a better understanding of the learning and the creative processes of dance choreographers. This project will also impact education. Teaching students the art of choreography requires that they expand their perceptions of the body in time and space. Often it takes the student years to learn how to do this. With the help of the 3D tele-immersive system, the student will be given tools to immediately start experimenting with bodies in space. This expansion of perception will have huge implications within the creative process itself, allowing students to see and experience new ways of being in the world, and recombining the human forms in infinitely new relationships to space and to other forms.

Last modified 16 August 2007 at 6:38 am by haleden