Visual Studio (2017)

I was selected as a developer in the RAM Dance Toolkit workshop, which was a program of the Japanese Performance Art Festival called KYOTO EXPERIMENT 2017.

The program was a five-day workshop where contemporary dancers and developers from South Korea, Japan and China gathered to experiment how computer programming could stimulate the dancers' imagination.

In the workshop, we used the c++ framework called RAM Dance Toolkit based on Openframeworks developed by YCAM and The Ando Yoko who were one of the dancers from The Forsythe Company and a body suit for motion capture called Perception Neuron.

I became a group with the Japanese developer, Naoya Iwamoto and a Korean modern dancer, Jinhan Kim and created a scene called Visual studio.

(Scene is an unit with one expression theme, consisting of several motion rules in the RAM Dance Toolkit.)

When I created Visual Studio, I focused on two things. The first was how to augment spatial quality of dancer’s movement. I found that it was not easy to fill a given space when a dancer improvised alone. I realized this when i was watching dancers from other teams practiced since each other team had at least two dancers compared to our team. The second was how to capture the subtle movements of the body parts of a dancer. Since our team dancer, Jinhan was good at using arms, legs and joints of the head in delicately, I wanted to find ways to maximize the delicacy of his movements.

As a result, Visual Studio's movement (or programming) rules are set as follows. First, I placed virtual walls around the dancer that could move in response to the movement of the dancer. The empty space of the virtual walls was change, depending on how far the dancer was from the center of stage to express the expansion and reduction of the space. In addition, to divide the space, the dancer 's limbs were projected like shadows on the floor, and the distance and angle between the hands and hands, feet and feet were used to construct the narrow side of the box.

the angle and length of the narrow sides of walls were the result of projection of the dancer's limbs, like direct shadows on the floor.

The movements of narrow sides of walls effectively showed dancer’s subtle movement around a single joint and divide the stage virtually. After our team dancer, Jinhan improvised with the Visual Studio scene, he reported that he had defined his own rules - to move to the unknown space by opening doors(refer to the narrow sides of walls) that were constantly changing position. In reality, it is difficult to place multiple doors at various angles in a narrow space, so it seems that the scene was helpful in stimulating the dancer's imagination and finding new movements as the purpose of RAM.


Nahee Kim, Based in Seoul and New York,