animation in dance performance




Standalone video version (anaglyph stereo version also available on vimeo)

Landing Place from vita berezina-blackburn on Vimeo.

Video documentation excerpt:

Landing/Place from Maya Ciarrocchi on Vimeo.


Using 3d animation for projection design testing

Tour Schedule

About the Team

Choreographer and director: Bebe Miller
Performers: Angie Hauser, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Kathleen Fisher, Daveid Thompson, Darrell Jones
Video art:  Maya Ciarrocchi
Dramaturgy: Talvin Wilks
Music:  Albert Mathias
Lighting Design: Michael Mazzola
Animation art: Vita Berezina-Blackburn

The Landing Place team was awarded the 2005-2006 New York Dance and Performance Award BESSIE for "seamlessly melding a dynamic score, digital effects, lighting, sets and powerful choreography done with maximum commitment into an evocative performance affirming the power of community"

The Idea

The theme of Landing/Place is based on the experience of travelling to a different place, and encountering the contrast of familiar self and unfamiliar surroundings. It is the search of place or landing from which one can observe and start to transition into the setting.

The Process

Read the SIGGRAPH Sketch

The Animation

Unknown territory starts from the very definition of what we call "animation" in the context of this project. Stricktly speaking it is Motion Capture Art, because movement comes primarily from the captured performances of the dancers. It is only occasionally augmented by computer animation. Since dancers' movement is not representational, the animation visuals are not linked with the movement by a real object they represent together. In other words, the dance only happens to be performed through bodies, because on the physical level that is the only way that is possible for dancers to express an idea. Once movement is captured, an animation artist is dealing with it as a source of motion but not imagery. It becomes the most important visual reference along the traditional visual references relevant to the Idea.

It was discussed and decided that the actual imagery would represent Place in archetypal terms - as a house on a hill, a tree in the field under a sky, a simple child's drawing or a window to look out from.


Approaching animation from the improvisational angle is something that I find essential in keeping this art alive and real. I am very interested in developing the use of improvisation in animation, and seeing how it can fit in the traditional production pipeline, or perhaps create an alternative pipeline.


  Experimental Mocap Page
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