An interactive public art project sponsored by San Francisco Ballet, one of the nation’s premier dance companies.

A live video booth exhibit based on John Crawford’s Active Space intermedia performance system. Entering an opened-sided kiosk, visitors can dance along with expert performers by touching a screen to interact with with Afro-Cuban, Japanese, Kathak, Mexican Folkloric, Tahitian, West African, modern, ballet and hip-hop styles. The system allows participants to record their dances, which become a permanent part of the exhibit as their performance is replayed on screens outside the kiosk in a continous montage. Visitors can watch previous performances for inspiration before taking their own turns. Presented in 2008 at the San Francisco Public Library, the Orange County Performing Arts Center, and UC Irvine’s Calit2, Dance-IT has drawn enthusiastic audiences of all ages, including long-time dance lovers and neophytes alike.

Watch online
See also

UC Irvine feature article on Dance-IT
San Francisco Ballet’s Dance-IT study guide (PDF)

Interacting with Dance-IT

People immediately jump right in, lose their inhibitions and get active with the system. They become captivated by the videos and love the opportunity to dance along. Some people imitate the on-screen performers, while others improvise their own spontaneous responses to the music. The purpose of Dance-IT is to help people connect with dance by becoming active participants. Children and adults alike can experience a variety of dance styles while learning about different cultures from around the world.


San Francisco Public Library. April 2008.

California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. November 2008.

Orange County Performing Arts Center. November 2008.


Director & media designer: John Crawford

Co-creators: Charles McNeal & Stacey Blakeman, San Francisco Ballet

Production date: April 2008