What happens when a dancer in a duet cannot be present for a performance? This was a problem faced by my classmates and I in the Spring 2018 section of Mimi Yin’s Choreographic Interventions class when one of our dancers got a gig that conflicted with our final showing.
This problem became an opportunity: using video capture and creative coding, we were able to turn our absent dancer into a live interactive projection.
Before he left, we recorded our absent dancer’s part of the duet separately using a development platform called Kinectron connected to a Microsoft Kinect v2 for Windows. These tools allowed us to convert the dancer’s body into discreet points in space that could be measured in order to find position and speed. Using the p5.js code library, we could draw on top of those points and furthermore apply rules based the live body data of the second dancer. A copy of the code can be found here.
Thus, we transformed the body of one dancer into a cloud of twinkling stars that responded live to the movements of the second dancer. The faster she moved, the more human the cloud would appear.