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Capturing Dance, a project at Deakin University which is using motion capture technology to ‘map’ the choreographic process, will be in the spotlight this week during a visit by leading arts and technology researcher, writer and consultant Scott deLahunta.
Mr deLahunta, whose visit to Australia is being supported by the British Council, is the director of R-Research, the research arm of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, the company founded by multi-award winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor. Mr McGregor is currently in Australia creating a work for The Australian Ballet titled Dyad 1929 for the Concord season.
Capturing Dance project leader and director of the Deakin Motion.Lab Dr Kim Vincs believes Mr deLahunta’s visit is an important step in developing the project’s international connections.
“Scott and I met at the World Dance Alliance Global Dance Summit last year. To have someone of Scott’s stature and experience visit Deakin to discuss the Capturing Dance project will help us to benchmark the work we are doing here, as well as find out about the most advanced work that is currently happening internationally and to position ourselves with that.
“I hope it may also lead to the opportunity to collaborate on international projects,” Dr Vincs said.
Dr Vincs believes motion capture technology, similar to that used to help create lifelike animated characters in films and videogames, has a great deal to offer choreographers and dancers.
“Motion capture offers dance something it can’t currently get any other way and that is three dimensional imaging of a dancer’s movements. In the Deakin Motion.Lab we can put a dancer into a special suit with reflective ‘markers’ and then capture their movement in three dimensions using an array of cameras.
“When a dancer or a choreographer looks at the data they are able to see the pure movement, without muscle, without facial expression, and examine it again and again,” she said. “We are at the very beginning of this technology from a dance point of view and the possibilities are startling.”
Dr Vincs will give a presentation on Mr deLahunta’s visit and the work being done at Deakin prior to the R-Research Public Seminar being presented by Wayne McGregor and Mr deLahunta on Friday, 31 July at 7.30pm at Dancehouse in North Carlton, Melbourne. Entry to the seminar is free but bookings are essential as seating is limited. To book contact Dancehouse on 03 9347 2860 or email@example.com .
Capturing Dance is a three-year project which is being supported by Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects funding scheme. Dr Vincs is collaborating with mathematician and Deakin senior lecturer Dr Vicky Mak and biomechanist Associate Professor Richard Smith from the University of Sydney on the project.
The Deakin Motion.Lab was excited to have Scott deLahunta and Wayne McGregor from Wayne McGregor I Random Dance visit in late July 2009.
Scott deLahunta is the director of R-Research, the research arm of Wayne McGregor|Random Dance based in London. McGregor is a multi-award winning, world renowned contemporary dance choreographer, and along with directing his own company, is also resident choreographer at The Royal Ballet in London.
Together with Deakin Motion.Lab's Kim Vincs, deLahunta and McGregor gave a public presentation of their research, their philosophies, and the future of dance and technology, focussing specifically on the use of motion capture. These discussions are available for view online here on the Deakin Motion.Lab web site.
The evenings presentations have been broken into four videos:
1. Kim Vincs discussing her research, including The Silk Road Project and Capturing Dance;
2. Kim Vincs in discussion with Scott deLahunta about the use of motion capture in dance research;
3 & 4. Scott deLahunta and Wayne McGregor discussing the research conducted by McGregor|Random Dance and the purpose of dance/technology research.
Scott deLahunta's visit was supported by the British Council, the Australian Research Council Discovery Program (DP0987101). Thanks also to Random Dance, to R-Research Seminar co-presenter Dancehouse and to the Australian Ballet who supported Wayne McGregor's visit to Australia.