[ISEA2011] Panel Statement: Kim Vincs (moderator) – Motion Capture and Dance: what it can do, what it can’t do, and what it should never attempt

Panel Statement

Chair Per­son: Kim Vincs                                                                                                                           Pre­sen­ters: John Mc­Cormick, Ruth Gib­son & Bruno Martelli, Sarah What­ley & Susan Kozel

Mo­tion cap­ture analy­sis of­fers dance new pos­si­bil­i­ties for re-con­cep­tu­al­iz­ing move­ment in ways that are not in­tu­itive, and not based on the tra­di­tions and in­grained move­ment gram­mars of spe­cific dance gen­res and styles. Look­ing at dance as mo­tion cap­ture data can pro­voke a more rad­i­cal de­con­struc­tion of ex­ist­ing move­ment dis­courses than is oth­er­wise pos­si­ble given the deep cor­po­real in­scrip­tions em­bed­ded in dancers’ and chore­o­g­ra­phers’ bod­ies. The flip side is that the vast vol­ume and de­tail of data mo­tion cap­ture gen­er­ates means that the pos­si­ble map­pings and or­ga­ni­za­tional par­a­digms mul­ti­ply ex­po­nen­tially.  De­cid­ing what to high­light and what to value, and what to con­sider ‘noise’ and ig­nore, is a crit­i­cal part of mo­tion cap­ture analy­sis. This in­escapable re­duc­tion­ism is also, how­ever, the an­tithe­sis of artis­tic method, which val­ues the whole, the ac­ci­den­tal, the in­clu­sive. Analy­sis forces choices based on value judg­ments, which have the po­ten­tial to dis­tort and close down, as much as open up and ex­plore, dance re­search.  The panel will use a round-table for­mat to ad­dress:

  1. What aes­thetic and cul­tural choices are em­bed­ded in mo­tion cap­ture analy­sis?
  2. What are the ben­e­fits and pit­falls of using mo­tion cap­ture to analyse and cre­ate dance?
  3. What ex­am­ples are there of trans­lat­ing mo­tion cap­ture analy­sis into new chore­o­graphic works?
  4. How can mo­tion cap­ture analy­sis in­form live in­ter­ac­tive per­for­mance?
  • Kim Vincs is As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor of Dance and Mo­tion Cap­ture at Deakin Uni­ver­sity (AU), and Di­rec­tor of the Deakin Motion.Lab mo­tion cap­ture stu­dio and re­search cen­tre. She is a chore­o­g­ra­pher, in­ter­ac­tive artist and re­searcher spe­cial­iz­ing in de­vel­op­ing new ways of in­ves­ti­gat­ing and cre­at­ing dance using dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy. Her col­lab­o­ra­tions in­te­grate sci­en­tific and artis­tic ap­proaches. She is cur­rently work­ing on ‘Cap­tur­ing Dance: using mo­tion cap­ture to en­hance the cre­ation of in­no­v­a­tive Aus­tralian dance’, a three year pro­ject, sup­ported by the Aus­tralian Re­search Coun­cil’s Dis­cov­ery pro­gram (DP0987101), which aims to iden­tify chore­o­graphic move­ment sig­na­tures using mo­tion cap­ture, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Math­e­mati­cian Vicky Mak-Hau (Deakin Uni­ver­sity) and Bio­mech­anist Richard Smith (Uni­ver­sity of Syd­ney).  She also col­lab­o­rates with cog­ni­tive psy­chol­o­gists Kate Stevens (MARCS Au­di­tory Lab­o­ra­tory, Uni­ver­sity of West­ern Syd­ney) and Emery Schu­bert (Uni­ver­sity of New South Wales) in­ves­ti­gat­ing chore­o­graphic struc­tures and au­di­ence re­sponse.  Her chore­og­ra­phy fo­cusses on using mo­tion cap­ture and 3D stereo pro­jec­tion to en­hance the spa­tial im­pact of dance per­for­mance. Works in­clude ‘The Silk Road Pro­ject’ in 2007 with Matthew Del­bridge, QUT, ‘Aura’, 2009 with in­ter­ac­tive artist John Mc­Cormick, and ‘Choreoto­pog­ra­phy’ in De­cem­ber 2010, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with John Mc­Cormick, Daniel Skovli, Peter Divers, Rob Vincs, Deakin Uni­ver­sity’s Cen­tre for Mem­ory, Imag­i­na­tion and In­ven­tion and the Mel­bourne Bal­let Com­pany.