Research

This page concerns my current research as a PhD student in Middlesex University

DANCE PERFORMANCE IN CYBERSPACE  / transfer and transformation

My PhD project focuses on new media dance artworks that are instantiated in intangible ‘places’. I take advantage of the broad spectrum of practices the term cyberspace can accommodate, considering this to be a navigable space enabled by computers (portable or desktop) where the audience can choose a path to steer through content. The artworks can configure as web-based, smartphone or tablet apps, and installations of networked spaces; I intentionally exclude stage performance and dance films, in order to concentrate on a marginal, and yet emergent area of artistic practice, which I find to be underdeveloped, considering the ubiquitous power of computer technology in our culture. As dance practitioners or theorists, we must be involved and further study about issues, restrictions and potential is much needed.

The thesis includes a discussion that gathers new media, dance and performance studies, in order to define a body of related theory and set criteria for critical analysis of current practice; secondly the potential, appropriateness, cost and availability of digital technologies will be assessed through hands-on apprenticeship. This study follows the work of some key artist-researchers as case studies that have been developing dance projects with digital technology such as Cie Mulleras and n+n corsino in France or the research collective Body-Data-Space and Joseph Hyde based in the UK.

I can see the artworks appearing in this context as the result of a migration process of performance from real space into digital media, which challenges the principles of theatrical dance and their persistence or mutation in newer forms that are delivered through computer screens and use interactive features. Such approach will lead to understand what characterizes the identity of these new dance artworks in relation to its perceived origins in stage performance and whether this is a matter of transfer to another medium, or the foundation of new canons to the field.

I am now at the final stage of this research and expect to hand in my thesis by the end of 2014. Meanwhile I have been presenting papers in several international conferences in Portugal and England.

 


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