‘Splitting Centre’: directing attention in trans-media dance performance


Session Title:

  • Expanding Performance

Presentation Title:

  • ‘Splitting Centre’: directing attention in trans-media dance performance



  • (Short paper)

    Keywords: Dance, trans-media performance, digital and virtual environments, mobile devices, interactive apps, tweet seats.

    In theatrical vernacular, the term ‘splitting centre’ refers to two performers staged at an equal distance from a centre point and sharing the focus of the audience. This term encapsulates the notion that two people (or, in the case of trans-media dance, two or more performance entities) are dividing the attention of the audience, operating as equal collaborators in a performance context. The augmentation of live performance with 3D projected scenography and mobile devices offers a starting point for discussions on the potential for dramaturgy, choreographic process, and changing expectations for audience behaviour in the theatre. In 2014, Deakin Motion.Lab premiered The Crack Up, a trans-media dance work that incorporated live performance, 3D digital scenography, and The Crack Up App, an app for mobile devices that audience members were invited to interact with during the performance. This investigation into the potential of trans-media dance performance, (defined here as a live performance in which both the digital and biological elements are choreographed as artistic equals within the theatrical context) with the addition of a mobile device raises questions about how the makers of trans-media dance might direct the attention of their audiences when the work is performed simultaneously across multiple platforms.

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