[ team ] Shankho Chaudhuri shankho.chaudhuri@network.rca.ac.uk 9172622722

Madeline Blount Freelance Artist + Programmer madeline.blount@gmail.com 503.504.2205 slack: m.a.b.

Sindhu Majeti sindhu.majeti@gmail.com 4087590956

Cathy Zhou Mechanical Engineer catxzhou@alum.mit.edu 3478569532

Shriya Srinivas shriya.srinivas5@gmail.com 5088474482

Kelly Wang Software Engineer kawang876@gmail.com 978-394-1691

dahVEED aloka Research Associate, Cognitive and Immersive Systems Lab @ EMPAC, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute d@prefrom.io 917.549.7654

link to Github code: https://github.com/preformIOstudios/regesture.git

link to Google drive w/assets: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1lnO5eWmUUmmRoR5fvTI6EpSFWXUgukWD?usp=sharing (data, images, and presentation keynote doc)

Whenever we make creative work and we put it out in the the world, we are always faced with really powerful questions about power, intention, authenticity, history and identity. When the pillars of multiculturalism and diversity are at risk, we as designers are really concerned with the erosure of history and the hegemony of deficient narratives. So, in recognising that the arts are a vector for cultural communication, we wanted to see how one paradigm that has had a lot of success in shaping the discourse could be applied in another field.

With this in mind, our starting pitch for this idea was asking the question: what innovation can we achieve when we apply the paradigm of looping, remixing and sampling that is found in music to the world of gesture and dance in both creative self expression and cross cultural exchange. Most of us will be familiar with these concepts of manipulating these shorts bursts of sound to create a rich tapestry that we call music. It doesn’t seem too great a stretch to apply this to the creation of dance.

Whilst recognising that there many parameters that contribute to our idea of dance (weight, balance, intention, emotion), on a very simplistic level, we chose gesture as the basic unit of dance that can be manipulated, repeated or sampled.In breaking apart iconic movements of dances from five different cultures, we began the process of creating a very rudimentary “language” of dance. This was very simply “up, down, left, right, spin”.

We took motion captures of these units of gesture, up/down/left/right/spin, for 5 styles of dance based on the skills of our group: classical Indian dance, contemporary, hip hop, salsa, and West African. From just watching each motion capture, we could see where a contemporary phrase looked like elements of a traditional Indian move, or where a hip hop groove picked up on West African styles, in essence, that there may be these shared archetypes of movement. We were sensitive to the fact that this could be a superficial recognition, so we wanted to see a deep dive of this motion in data as well. . .

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