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      Ghost in the Virtual Reality: Translating the human essence with motion captured dance

      Proceedings of EVA London 2019 (EVA 2019)

      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

      8 - 11 July 2019

      Dance, Motion capture, Virtual reality, Emotions, Somatic movement

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          Abstract

          In the world of dance and its related disciplines, the ability of a performer to successfully ߢmoveߣ audience members enough to elicit an emotional reaction is vital. Certain factors such as the proximity of audience to performer and viewing a performance in real-time affect how this effect is achieved. When dance movement is digitised through moving image or animation, there is potential for loss in translation of the emotional feeling experienced during a live performance versus recorded live performance or animated performance. Conversely, a heightened sensation might occur through the use of cinematography, editing and special effects. This translation issue may be encountered when creating a virtual reality animation dance using motion capture since the technologies involved can both interfere or enhance the presentation of movement. Assuming that human essence needs to be captured along with physical motion in order to generate an emotional reaction, then the choreography and motion capture data become the ߢghostߣ that is transplanted from human into a new digital body. This separation then raises the question of how to maintain the subtleties required for communication that lead to generating empathy in viewers for a virtual performerߣs narrative. To address these issues, I engaged in a series of dance motion capture sessions for a virtual narrative about mental health as the basis for examining how a choreographer and motion capture dancer can work with the limitations of technology, rather than be limited, to produce useful data. Specific limitations included use of contemporary and somatic dance, a relatively low number of cameras and dots, no facial or hand data and the use of abstract humanoid figures. Although a universally applicable solution was not discovered, I was able to identify a set of strategies that would be useful to contemporary dance choreographers using motion capture technology for the first time. Furthermore, the strategies are intended for movement narratives rooted in portraying emotion rather than physical spectacle dependent on virtuosity and visual effects.

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          Most cited references 8

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          A Virtual Reality Dance Training System Using Motion Capture Technology

           J Chan,  T Komura,  J K T Tang (2011)
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            When Does Virtual Embodiment Change Our Minds

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              Medical performance and the ‘inaccessible’ experience of illness: an exploratory study

              We report a survey of audience members' responses (147 questionnaires collected at seven performances) and 10 in-depth interviews (five former patients and two family members, three medical practitioners) to bloodlines, a medical performance exploring the experience of haematopoietic stem-cell transplant as treatment for acute leukaemia. Performances took place in 2014 and 2015. The article argues that performances that are created through interdisciplinary collaboration can convey otherwise ‘inaccessible’ illness experiences in ways that audience members with personal experience recognise as familiar, and find emotionally affecting. In particular such performances are adept at interweaving ‘objectivist’ (objective, medical) and ‘subjectivist’ (subjective, emotional) perspectives of the illness experience, and indeed, at challenging such distinctions. We suggest that reflecting familiar yet hard-to-articulate experiences may be beneficial for the ongoing emotional recovery of people who have survived serious disease, particularly in relation to the isolation that they experience during and as a consequence of their treatment.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                School of Creative Media

                City University of Hong Kong
                Contributors
                Conference
                July 2019
                July 2019
                : 250-255
                10.14236/ewic/EVA2019.48
                © Kim. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of EVA London 2019, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Proceedings of EVA London 2019
                EVA 2019
                London, UK
                8 - 11 July 2019
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Electronic Visualisation and the Arts
                Product
                Product Information: 1477-9358 BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Categories
                Electronic Workshops in Computing

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