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date: 08 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The central project of contemporary dance has been to create a spatiotemporal poetics of the body based on its relationship to gravity. Virtual reality technologies enable a much more radical deconstruction of the conventional dancing body; in three-dimensional computer-generated space, the laws of physics can literally be coded into being, and Susanne Langer’s notion of “virtual force” becomes negotiable by dancers on an entirely new scale. Dancers can float free of gravity or change their physical morphology seemingly at will. Game-engine technology enables “virtual choreography” in digitally generated worlds; motion capture technology is central to transferring dance movement into CG interactive environments. Drawing on work by dance technology artists and research centers around the world, this chapter argues that the poetic affordances of motion capture provide a fundamental shift in conceptualizing dance movement that expands dance’s ability to critically and artistically engage with virtual environments, and therefore with an increasingly virtualized cultural imagination.

Keywords: spatiotemporal, Susanne Langer, virtual force, game-engine technology, motion capture, interactive, CG environment

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