Unison and the Technology of Busby Berkeley's Dancing Girls

by MVLab (Jenny Oyallon-Koloski, Mike Junokas, Sarah Mininsohn, and Kayt MacMaster)

Our project is an initial exploration in using movement visualization technology to better understand the components and aesthetics of unison dance. Looking back on Berkeley's approach to dance making from a 21st century, post-modern perspective, we are asking: What is the value of (deliberate and unintentional) human error to artistic practices? How can the pursuit of Berkeley-esque unison give us insight into new choreographic and pedagogical methods? Given the machine-like precision of Berkeley's dances, could movement visualization technology be a useful present-day approach to this investigation?

As next steps in this project, we seek to better understand the value of individual variance in unison-driven choreography—an aesthetic of mess—through close analysis and a comparison to computerized unison, in which the performance of a single dancer can be duplicated into an entire corps.

Project Hero Cover

Dames (1934), "Beautiful Girls"

Recent Activity

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    Kinect Version 1

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    Unison Phrase with Intervention #5, Coaching/Direction

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    Unison Phrase with Fifth Intervention

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    Unison Phrase, Iteration 1

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    "By a Waterfall"


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