Experiencing Dance Through Emerging Technologies

The works of Dance Repertory Theatre’s Fall For Dance explore embodiment, community, diversity and introductions. Dorothy O’Shea Overbey’s new work, Invention in Three Parts, features the work of faculty and students from the Department of Theatre and Dance and Radio-Television-Film in a collaborative performance blending virtual reality, motion capture technology and contemporary ballet.

Under the direction of Charles O. Anderson, Dorothy O’Shea Overbey and Gesel Mason, The University of Texas at Austin’s award-winning dance company Dance Repertory Theatre returns to the stage in Fall For DanceAn examination of embodiment and innovation through contemporary ballet, featuring works by renowned artists Gregory Dolbashian, Gesel Mason, Sidra Bell and Dorothy O’Shea Overbey.

lift in dance

Much of Overbey’s recent work has dealt with combining innovative technology with dance performance to create truly unique, artistic experiences that span multiple disciplines. Last Fall, she presented Crone (Fall For Dance, 2017) which was a cross-media project featuring dance, orchestral music and avant-garde costume design that was also adapted for film. This season, she further explores the use of media, virtual and augmented reality and film to explore new ways of experiencing dance and performance in Invention in Three Parts.

This new collaborative work is part film, part performance filmed in the Motion Capture Studio at the Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin. “In the creation of Invention in Three Parts, I am thrilled to be collaborating with Deepak Chetty and the UT3D program in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at The University of Texas at Austin. The Motion Capture studio uses the same equipment used to create characters in films such as The Avengers and The Lord of the Rings,” explains Overbey. “We are excited by the aesthetic potential of blending this high level of technology with the rigor of concert dance.” Invention in Three Parts is presented first as a live performance, followed by two films created from the dancers’ movements through motion capture technology. These motion capture films can also be animated in 360 degrees to create virtual reality and augmented reality content.  In addition to the work being presented on stage, there will be an installation in the lobby of the B. Iden Payne Theatre before and after the performance that will feature virtual reality headsets to offer the audience a fully-immersive experience of the work.  

It is my intention to plant a flag for the performing arts in the emerging technologies of virtual reality and augmented reality.  In this way I hope to expand opportunities for performing artists and serve the community by making these artworks available to those who might not experience it otherwise.  Invention in Three Parts is one step towards this goal.” 


Fall For Dance
November 6-11, 2018
B. Iden Payne Theatre

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