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Research

As a dancer and choreographer, I embrace a modern tradition (having studied with modern dance pioneers Hanya Holm, Alwin Nikolais, Merce Cunningham, Eric Hawkins and Bella Lewitsky) and a postmodern tradition (having been influenced by Lar Lubovitch, Doug Varone, and Viola Farber among others). My dance research explores the convergence of choreography with new media technologies and how this convergence is a practice also influenced by cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration.

My work is summarized into two main areas: Performance and Research. The area of Performance refers to my role as choreographer utilizing motion capture, video, animation and telematics, and as a dancer with a practice in improvisation and use of interactive technology. In the area of Research I explore three overlapping themes of media practice: motion capture, telematics, and interactive performance.

My main focus is to understand the needs of the dancer and choreographer in technology-mediated environments, and how creative work itself is influenced by new media technology. In particular I have an ongoing collaboration with video artist John Crawford where in we develop dancer/technology work for Active Space environments. From desktop to wearable devices to telecommunication tools, I find that dancers want to experience how technology enhances performance skills, creative process and theatrical production. Most dancers do not have access to practical experiences with advanced technologies or frequent opportunities to participate in long-term project-based work that allows a deep exploration of their expressive potential with technology. Therefore, my research serves to explore and provide situations wherein models for how dance with digital technologies might be applied to choreography, dance training, performance, and collaborative approaches to digital art practice.

My research to date has resulted in a thematic index of dance and digital studies, in three main areas: motion capture choreography, telematics, and interactivity through Active Space Research. I feel a responsibility to to develop approahces to the practice of dance and technology. In this regard, I follow Jerome Bruner’s premise that "creativity emanates from "combinatorial activity and explore how creative-thinking and processes may be consistent with concepts and structure of hypermedia. Within the discipline of dance, "combinatorial activity" suggests the integration of dance activities in a computer-mediated performance environment that can provide feedback and increased awareness of the body in space and time.

As a choreographer I recognize that, in the 21st century, we have new ways to collaborate and share creative work over the internet. The web and internet are of tremendous importance in dialog, putting together different aspects of art making (See Ph.D dissertation A Study of On-Line collaboratinve Choreography...), therefore, my investigations also focus on dance studio-based work of improvisation and choreography with performers at a distance and reaching across global boundaries.

I believe there are educational and aesthetic needs for developing dance with technology performance techniques, such as when live video capture shares the stage with dancers, videoconferencing, motion tracking. These are areas I have worked on with colleagues at on a national and international level: NYU, University of Arizona, University of Wisconsin Madison, University of Utah, Ohio State, University of Southern California, the Internet 2 Consortium, electricFX, as well as artists and scholars in Western and Eastern Europe, Europe and China.