> Motivation
> Example Movie
> Comment
> Conclusion
> Related Experiments
> Setup

Performance Photo


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Dancing a duet without a partner makes a solo out of it. Forcing the dancer to be in sync with the same duet happening in parallel makes him concentrate on the missing partner, makes him focus on the accuracy of the imaginative interplay. Even though the physicality of the resulting movements is different, will the missing partner still seem to be present on stage ?


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Example Movie

Stage View
Computer Image
As in two video images are mixed. But in this set-up the previously videotaped duet is played back while at the same time one of the dancers moves through the duet choreography by himself. Only within the sphere marked by the sensor the original duet with both dancers is visible.


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Similar to , this was an experiment looking at accuracy of spatial positioning and timing. Nik danced the duet by himself, going through the material of the duet in his memory. To stay more or less in sync with the original duet he had the help of a TV monitor and of Thomas who vocally indicated some timings.

For some reason Nik had the tendency to be slower when dancing the duet alone. We were wondering if trying to stay with ones memory demands a certain care and state of mind that slows you down. For some movements the momentum or the partners' counterweight was missing and it felt and looked like an entirely different step.

As in we agreed that the most interesting moments are the ones during the second half of the video excerpt, when the two levels come together in a complex winding of arms and torsos. There is another aspect evident in this experiment: the theme of appearance and disappearance, and of the past time and its effect on the current time.


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Let us look at this setup from the viewpoints of two different types of observers. The first one does not know anything about the setup and just sees the dancer on stage. The second observer additionally does see the images generated by the computer.

The first one can hardly recognize that Nik is dancing with an imagined partner. Even if he does know that Nik is dancing one part of a duet, it is hard to imagine what the motivation for his current movement could be.

The second observer has a clear understanding of why Nik is doing a certain movement in time. Even though he does not have the feeling that there is an invisible partner on stage (simply the mass, force and resistance of the partner is obviously missing), the real time image gives the motivation for Nik's current movements and does make them plausible.

The impression becomes stronger the better you can visually correlate the action on stage with the image generated by the computer. We did not care for projection techniques and just projected the image on a screen in the background. Another projection technique which layers the stage with the projection might be worthwhile to evaluate.


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Related Experiments


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  • Graphics PC with 2 Video Capture Cards
  • Projector
  • Polhemus tracking system: 1 Sensor
  • Video Camera
  • Video Tape Recorder


  • The Video Camera is facing the dancers. It transmits a live video image to the graphics computer. The graphics computer displays this image on the projection screen.
  • The Video Tape Recorder plays a recording of the performance, captured in advance by the front camera, and transmits the signal to the graphics computer. The graphics computer overlays the live image from the camera with the recorded image from the tape recorder. The recorded image appears within a round spot, as illustrated by the Technical Screenshot below. Both images are superimposed within the area between an inner and an outer circle. The spot behaves like a smooth mask that shows the live video image in the outside and the recorded video image in the inside.
  • The Sensor controls the position of the spot on screen. This is how the dancer is in control of where on screen the recorded image appears. In the movie above, we attached the sensor to the dancer's right hand and used a recording of the front camera from


Technical Setup

Spatial Setup

Technical Screenshot

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