Premiere work to give dance audiences new perspective

11 November 2010

People are being encouraged to book their seats for Choreotopography, a world premiere work integrating motion capture and 3D and being staged by the Melbourne Ballet Company, Deakin University and Autodesk.

The ground-breaking collaboration will literally change dance as audiences know it and will be staged at the Arts Centre Playhouse in Melbourne on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 December.

Three contemporary and highly acclaimed works from the Melbourne Ballet Company’s repertoire, in One Day, Dark Before Daylight and Infinite Space will also be performed.

Choreotopography choreographer and director of the Deakin Motion.Lab, Dr Kim Vincs said the performance was a fantastic way to bring Deakin’s collaboration with the Melbourne Ballet Company and research into motion capture techniques and interactive performance to Melbourne audiences.

“We have all seen characters created using motion capture and 3D animation doing incredible things in movies, but this live performance takes that concept further,” she explained.

“Each dancer will be dressed in a motion capture suit and their movements will be motion captured by the Deakin Motion.Lab and used to create motion graphics using Autodesk software.

“Wearing 3D glasses the audience will see 3D graphical images projected around the dancers; expanding their presence on stage.

“The dancers will dance in an imaginary world whose images are inspired by an environmental design concept based on the Darwin waterfront tidal zones, through a collaboration with well-known author, artist and interdisciplinary scholar, Paul Carter and architectural designer Edmund Carter.

“In this interactive world and through dance and real-time 3D animation their characters will be brought into being.

“The use of the motion capture technology means the audience’s experience is not constrained by the stage and their environment; our dancers will appear to dance in computer generated landscapes, and we can create whole computer generated corps de ballet that will dance in mid air.”

Melbourne Ballet Company Artistic Director, Ms Alisa Finney said the works performed at The Playhouse whilst experimental, manage to engage new and existing audiences in new ways of viewing interpretative choreography.

“Contemporary ballet is about breaking down barriers and the performance works will do that,” she said.

“Connecting with people is imperative and we know people leave our performances touched by they emotional journey they have just undertaken.

"For Melbourne Ballet Company, the collaboration, the methodology, and the resulting immersive experience for audiences is an evolution in performance production."

"As an independent performing arts company, collaborations such as that with Deakin provide further opportunities for dancers, choreographers and creative artists with whom we regularly work, and support towards the growth of the industry.

"This is the first opportunity that Melbourne Ballet Company has committed to a performance season at The Arts Centre, and our own works will be in shown in the fullness alongside the collaborative work with Deakin University's Motion.Lab.

"We are pleased to have this association, and look to working with other professional artists in the future."

Paul Hellyer, Media and Entertainment Business Manager at Autodesk said Autodesk is a leader in digital entertainment creation and is the technology behind many of the latest 3D blockbusters, including Avatar and the recently released Australian made Legends of the Guardian.

“We are excited that our technology is being used to bring a new dimension to live dance performances for the first time in Australia,” he said.

Click here to view rehearsal footage of the performance

Click here for additional information about the performance and collaborators

News facts
  • Choreotopography, a world premiere work integrating motion capture and 3D
  • Performance brings Deakinís collaboration with the Melbourne Ballet Company and research into motion capture techniques and interactive performance to Melbourne audiences
  • Ground-breaking collaboration will change dance as audiences know it

Media contact

Sandra Kingston
Deakin University
0422 005 485

Gary Chan
Melbourne Ballet Company
0417 161 368

Shiva Kumar
0413 081 070

Motioncapture photo

Performance will meld motion capture, ballet and 3D.
Photograph by James Lauritz

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15th July 2011