An intermedia dance, music and video telepresence performance staged simultaneously in Los Angeles and Irvine, California.

Cultivating Communities: Dance in the Digital Age was a telepresence performance event connecting ten sites nation-wide. An Active Space system at the Bing Theatre in Los Angeles generated video imagery in response to the movements of dancers located at University of California, Irvine. The two locations, 40 miles apart, were connected by Internet2, a high-bandwidth research network. The motion tracking system continually measured various characteristics of the dancers' movement, then performed real-time analysis of these measurements to detect “visual timbre” and “motion envelope” information, creating visuals that presented a mediated view of the dancer’s performance, continually changing and evolving. The system also displayed video clips from a library of pre-processed dance animations, also in response to the dancers' movement. The dancers were accompanied by a musician at the Irvine site who responded to their movement and to the video imagery. Gesture and movement always have the potential of reaching or expanding into new expression. Reverse Patterns relates to identifying aspects of gesture and body movement that expand beyond the physical body and metamorphose from one artistic form to another — body -> music -> imagery -> back to the body — appearing, disappearing, returning.

Project images
 Animation  Performance

The dance animations in Reverse Patterns originated with movement sequences recorded from dancers in the UCI Motion Capture Studio. These motion-captured sequences have a variety of physical qualities and characteristics, ranging from pedestrian actions to stylized dance phrases. We used the resulting 3D motion data to create computer animations: combining, manipulating, and compositing the captured motion into a series of video clips with a range of visual treatments and themes. The name refers to the concept of recycling, rethinking the current state, and how the physical positioning in space and time serves as a point of departure for communication and the reversing of patterns. The piece is intended to embody an ongoing rebirth of visual perception, action and sound, distributed through space and time. Commissioned by the Internet 2 Consortium.


Bing Theatre, Los Angeles, California.

University of California, Irvine.


Interaction, media & projection designer: John Crawford

Choreographer: Lisa Naugle

Composer: Alan Terricciano

Dancers & media assistants: UC Irvine students

Production date: October 2002