from MoCap


In looking for new movement, I would look for something I didn’t know about rather than something I did know about.
Merce Cunningham.[1]

Merce Cunningham was undoubtedly one of the first choreographers to explore the innumerous possibilities of the interaction between new technologies and arts, and his sentence sumarizes well his passion for innovation. In 1968, he already had imagined a computer technology that could display three-dimensional figures on a computer screen.[2] About twenty years later, Lifeforms was born : a pioneer software tool that enabled him to enlarge possibilities in movement creation in many ways. According to him, one could easily choreograph with such a device.[3]

Since then, we understood that "computer technology can enrich the creative experience of choreographers by providing new methods to explore movement compositionally and recommends further directions for choreographic research."[4] The software tool developed here is to fit into this framework : a real dancer generates, through his movements and in real time, the creation of a virtual dancer with which he can interact.

Hand-drawn Spaces by Merce Cunningham, Paul Kaiser and 
Shelley Eshkar, 1998

— Hand-drawn Spaces by Merce Cunningham, Paul Kaiser and Shelley Eshkar, 1998


[1] Merce Cunningham, The Dancer and the Dance/conversations with Jacqueline Lesschaeve, New York and London, Marion Boyars, 1985.

[2] Merce Cunningham, Changes : Notes on Choreography, edited by Frances Starr, New York, Something Else Press, 1968.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Thecla Schiphorst, A Case Study of Merce Cunningham’s use of the LifeForm Computer Choreographic System in the Making of Trackers, B.G.S Simon Fraser University, 1986.