DRHA 2011 Collaboration (Participatory Performance and Round Table)


Cross-cultural Embodiments through Hybrid Participatory Performance Environment

Performance and Round Table

Tuesday, September 6

Nottingham University @ Ningbo, China: 4.00pm-6.00pm

Digital Hollywood University @ Tokyo, Japan: 5.00pm-7.00pm

Senses Places @ Second Life: 1.00am-3.00am


Senses Places @ SL Odyssey Gallery photo : Kakukkfu_Yosuke


Senses Places is a dance-technology collaborative project creating a playful mixed reality performance environment for audience participation. Generating whole body multimodal interfacings keen to a somatic cross-cultural approach, the project stresses an integration of simultaneous local and remote connections, where participants and environments meet towards a kinesthetic/synesthetic engagement.

Grounded by a shared score and Second Life© Sim, performer-facilitators initiate the performance at the conference in China and at another node in Japan, soon tuning the audience members to several modes of physical-virtual body-body and body-environment interactions. Re-purposing the Web 2.0 and recent game devices with a synergetic/semantic approach to interface design, the interfaces include, video and avatar mediations via webcam, Wiimote©, and Kinect©, plus a biometric device.

Through an inclusive process engaging kinesthetic empathy, Senses Places deepens contemporary dance practices, such as, Contact Improvisation and Butoh, weaving Eastern-Western ancient to contemporary somatics, including,  Tai Chi, Yôga, Body-Mind Centering, Release, and Alexander Techniques, Noh and Kabuki Theater. The improvisation evolves in a sharing of corporealized places, times, and energies, encouraging a fuller experience of the moment.

Emerging embodiments, realities, and cultures are generated by the multi-participant playful involvement as the participants follow, act upon, and respond to their own and each other’s physical bodies, video mediations, avatar moves, and/or environmental changes. Climate related body-environment activity is affected through the wireless communication, linking biometric inputs and environmental device actuators, such as, temperature-light/color, breathing-smoke/wind modulations.

Senses Places wishes to contribute to enlarge the range and interconnectedness of sensory-perceptions within the already complex practice of the inter-subjective and group improvisation, proposing a constructive and transformative means of socialization, reversing the dead end substitution, gender and movement cultural stereotypification, and instrumentalization of bodies by avatars in social networks, such as Second Life.

Senses Places @ SL photo: Isabel Valverde

Round Table

Following the performance, the Round Table discussion will include the authors/collaborators in China and Japan and all participants to reflect upon aspects addressed by the performance experience amongst physical, remote, and in-between embodiments and environments; as well as the implications posed by inter and trans-cultural issues, dimensions and particularities, concerning new (mixed reality) choreographic and performative processes, forms, formats, discourses, audience reach and participation.

The recent access to global communication network platforms has been influencing and challenging media art trends, including performance and dance. New formats, concepts and work methodologies produce mixed reality internet networked performances, including, Telematic art, Web/Net art, and Metaverse art, such as Second Life Art. However, rarely do these works integrate or address the implicit embodied cultural intercourse, such as collaborations amongst artists/audience participants from different places/nations/regions. Confronting our illiteracy towards ethnic, cultural, and embodied hydridity, we want to discuss notions and practices concerning local/physical and global/mediatized trans-cultural choreography, kinesthesia, communication, and technology, including:

−      How is movement and gesture-based media work, and its discourses concerning corporeality, contributing to the emergence and development of more inclusive modes of creating, interacting and communicating amongst artists/subjects from different cultures?

−      How are aesthetics principles, methods, forms or strategies already hybrids, nomads, and mutants, converging as well as differentiating Western and Eastern nations and cultures’ movement forms as transnational modes of contemporary production, like Butoh (Japan) and New Dance (USA and Europe)?

−      How do such exchanges, appropriations and assimilations alter the concepts, practices and artworks being produced? How are these approaches deconstructing audiovisual dominant tendencies, towards the development of more inclusive, though not universal, subjective aesthetics?

–       What characterizes the mutating transnational trans-cultural performance production within the recent complexity of globalized technoculture?

−      How can or does transmedia performance accentuate and accelerate national, and cultural exchanges, converging and differentiating nations and cultures into new paradigmatic dimensions? Will trans-disciplinary approaches to art, science, technology, and theory provide the adequate structures and intelligent network platforms and processes for the posthuman paradigmatic condition?

Main Collaborators and Round Table Participants

In Ningbo, China:

Isabel Valverde (researcher, choreographer, dancer)
Institute of Humane Studies and Intelligent Sciences, PT

Todd Cochrane (educator, SL and interface computing),
Wellington Institute of Technology, NZ

DRHA 2011 Conference Technical Assistants

In Tokyo, Japan:

Yukihiko Yoshida (dance critic and researcher)
Keio University

Keiji Mitsubuchi (educator, SL and web computing)
Digital Hollywood University

Jun Makime (independent choreographer/dancer)

Hidenori Watanave (technologist, SL and system mapping)
Google Earth

Digital Hollywood Student Assistants

Short Bios

Todd Cochrane is an experienced educator using MUVEs and a computer technologist who runs the HCI, web development and programming principles classes at the Wellington Institute of Technology, in Wellington New Zealand. He is an expert software developer who has experience with 3D web cam to Virtual World data transfer. Todd is studying towards a Ph. D. in Education on How to use MUVEs effectively in vocational contexts.

Jun Makime (dance experience) Contemporary Dance, Butoh, Performance, (technologies): Film Maker, Dance Installation. He worked for the theme; “Body and Society” for years. He learned theater, dance, ballet, yoga, and many types of expression in fields. Now, he releases his work, which is on “Body” as dancer/performer/choreographer/film artist director/Producer. 2003 MONACO dance forum (MONACO) 2009 Exhibition, Studying Contemporary Art (Lyon Castro): Installation, 2010 Choreographic Installation, “Ukiyo Moveable World” Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadlers Wells, London, 26th Nov 2010 (This research project is funded by Japan Foundation, PMI2 Connect/British Council Grant and RDF Grant by Brunel University)

Isabel Valverde is a transdisciplinary performer, choreographer and scholar from Portugal. Develops experimental solo and collaborative work since 1986. Graduated in Dance Theory and History (UCR), Interdisciplinary Arts (SFSU), New Dance (SNDD/AHK) and Dance (FMH/UTL), Isabel’s doctoral thesis, Interfacing Dance and Technology: a theoretical framework for performance in the digital domain, was translated into Portuguese (FCG/FCT, 2010). Present postdoctoral research in Dances and Technologies (BPD/FCT) at the Institute of Humane Studies and Intelligent Sciences, and VIMMI/INESC-ID, includes performance practice-theory, collaborating in cross-realities and cultures participatory performance environments, working in somatic based choreography.

Yukihiko Yoshida is a dance critic and researcher. He has written numerous reviews and articles for dance magazines and newspapers. Additionally, he works for network divisions of some academic organizations and constructing research grid on dance. He studies dance and technology and has worked for the International Advisory Boards of the Digital Community Division, Prix Ars Electronica (2005-2009) and as assistant of Prof. Ted Nelson and Project Xanadu, the original Hypertext project. He is a Visiting Senior Researcher at Keio Research Institute at SFC Keio University, and a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University. He is also committee member of Dance Critics Society of Japan.

Hidenori Watanave (technologies) Mapping Technologies with Google Earth, Second Life. Hidenori Watanave, Makiko Suzuki Harada and Shuuichi Endou: “Tuvalu Visualization Project” Net Art on Digital Globe That Tells The Realities of Remote Place; Transactions of the Virtual Reality Society of Japan Vol.15 No.3, page 307-314, 2010. Hidenori Watanave/ Shuuichi Endou, “Tuvalu Visualization Project”, nominated as a finalist of Yahoo!Japan Internet Creative Award 2010.

Wellington Institute of Technology, NZ
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, PT
Digital Hollywood University, JP
DRHA 2011 Conference Committee, UK/China

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