Creative Research

X-OSC, MYO, motors, Max,


  • Tychonas Michailidis

In dance performances, extrinsic feedback effectively enhances motor learning. Haptics, and in particular vibrotactile feedback can provide dancers with an additional extrinsic feedback that can stimulate control and projection of movements [1].

This project presents the use of vibrotactile feedback technology as a learning and communicative tool for artistic co-creation in dance performance. In recent years, contemporary dance performances has used technology to enhance performance experience. Customarily, digital enhanced performances focus in exploring relationships between an individual or a group of performers with the present technology. This research examines ways with which vibrotactile feedback enables and supports the interaction between performers themselves through the use of technology.

Vibrotactile feedback suggests a corporeal link for non-verbal interaction between performers. For example, when dancer (A) makes a left hand gesture, extending the hand from the chest outwards, dancer (B) feels that gesture on her body as vibrations. There is no claim that the vibrating experience of movement provides the same kinaesthetic experience. However, through the systematic experience of vibrotactile rhythmic patterns relative to the movement, dancer (B) establishes an abstract association between the movement and the felt vibrations.

The poster presents the design, methodology and initial data of the research. It involves the use of bespoke wireless wearable systems that tracks muscle movements and gestures of one dancer, process the information and transmits the vibrating signal to the other dancers to experience. Data suggest that dancers can identify movements as well as the ability to navigate in space and interact from different locations over a network. The experience of vibrating feedback on the body creates an intimate way of communicating, suggesting a creative interplay in the wider performing arts community.

By radically transforming the way communication links are established within performing arts, vibrotactile feedback can provide new creative possibilities to artists and researchers through the way we interact with the technology.

[1] Sigrist, R. et al., 2012. Augmented visual, auditory, haptic, and multimodal feedback in motor learning: A review. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 20(1), pp.21–53.

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