[dance-tech] Re: history of dance & technology

  • From: Simon Biggs <simon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 17:33:13 +0000

Terry's Digital Dancing was certainly important within the UK scene. It also
involved some international people.

I was involved in 1997. Collaborating with Sarah Rubidge and Stuart Jones.
Bruno and Ruth (Igloo) were there doing their first digital collaboration.
Terry did another in 1998 and in 1999 he also did something under the same
banner, but it was not so much a workshop as some sort of educational
outreach program. I think the funding had pretty well dried up at that

Digital Dancing was part of the Dance Umbrella festival and I think it was
funded out of Arts 4 Everyone money (Arts Council funds targeted at arts
projects with strong outreach components). I might be wrong on this last
detail though.

It was well resourced the year I was involved. Lot's of kit and everyone was
paid for their time. Most of the projects involved (six or so) managed to
put together enough material during the week long intensive to mount a
performance on the weekend.

Terry deserves recognition for setting this up. Within the UK it was



On 19.01.06 13:28, "Kirk Woolford" <phred@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>> For example, i recently tried to remember when I first encountered
>> a workshop that explicitly introduced digital dance or dance-making
>> with software and computer tools (beyond multimedia work with
>> cameras, monitors, film projections)?  In my case it was around
>> 1994 or 1995, which is only just about 10 years ago. When did
>> LifeForms come out (1989?), when did we first work with BigEye (I
>> can't remember, I think it was 1995) - and mind you, these are some
>> interactive softwares we now consider ancient and perhaps, to a
>> certain extent, obsolete.  What were the artistic milestones, dance
>> works, films, installations, etc, which we remember along these
>> trajectories.......
> In any history of "Digital Dance", you really should include Terry
> Braun's "Digital Dancing" workshops which I believe ran from
> 1995-1998. It started while Terry was working with Illuminations as
> Illumination Interactive, then Terry took it with him when he formed
> Braunarts. I know he was working on a DVD back in 2003, but I have
> never seen a copy of it.
> In 1996, Terry was invited to run a version of Digital Dancing in
> Rotterdam together with DEAF98 (V2) and Lantaren Venster. Terry was
> too sick to participate, so the event evolved into "Future Moves" run
> initially by Dick Hollander of Lantaren Venster together with
> Klazien Brummel and Tanja den Broeder. Further versions of Future
> Moves have appeared sporadically in Rotterdam.
> The greatest difficulty you will have drawing up a history of
> "Digital Dance" is in deciding what technologies count as digital.
> Yacov and Diane Gromala's "Dancing with the Virtual Dervish" in 1993
> was definitely digital, but was was Benoît Maubrey's Audio Ballerinas
> in 1990? Were Kit Galloway's and Sherrie Rabinowitz's Satellite Arts
> performances in 1977 digital? There is a much older and stronger
> history of Dance and Technology of which "Digital Dancing" forms a
> relatively new chapter.
> As far as digital dance entering the main stream and crossing over
> into other festivals, two milestones come to my mind. Dumb Type
> performing *OR* at Ars Electronica in 1997 and Cunningham and
> Riverbed's "Hand Drawn Spaces" at SIGGRAPH in 1998.
> -k
> ------------------------------------------------------
> Kirk Woolford
> Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
> Lancaster University  LA1 4YW
> +44 (0)1524 593172
> k.woolford@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Simon Biggs

Professor, Art and Design Research Centre
Sheffield Hallam University, UK

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