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Archiving and annotation Tools

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

Blog N°09

Dance Interactive Learning Systems

As a first step, I conducted a research on current interactive and digital dance archiving, dissemination and education systems.

Many scientists have devoted themselves to the subject, especially since the beginning of the new millennium. Technology fits very well with the art of dance, as the two complement and enrich each other.

The analysis of a body performing complex movements in space, such as the dancer's, is a source of great inspiration for any engineer or neurologist who wants to better understand the functioning of the human body and reproduce its characteristics in intelligent machines (so-called A.I. artificial intelligence).

On the other hand, that of the dance artist, the possibility of pushing the limits of the body by amplifying movement beyond the body is a great challenge.

According to current scientific literature and documentation of various research efforts, digital environments and motion capture technologies have been used in the field of dance over the last decade across various platforms, such as artistic creation and experimentation, research, education and others. In particular, in the field of dance education, recent technological advances have led to the design and development of tools that support dance teaching and learning through various technologies, such as full-body interactive experiences, motion capture, and virtual and augmented reality, as we have also highlighted in our previous work. These tools seek to enhance and support the learning and teaching of dance, and in some cases, renew the analysis and reflection on movement itself.


One of the most interesting is certainly WhoLoDance Interaction Educational Systems. This system is based on DANCE INTERACTIVE LEARNING SYSTEMS (DILS). A system that uses movement capture technology and whole body interaction to create avatars for movement analysis in addition to video images of the real body. (Fig.1, 2)

About the Project

THREE-YEAR (JAN 2016 - DEC 2018) Research and Innovation Action funded under the EU Horizon 2020 Programme.


  • Investigate bodily knoledge

  • Preserve the Cultural Heritage

  • Innovate the Teaching of Dance

  • Enrich Choreography

  • Widen the access and practise of Dance

(Fig.1 WhoLoDancE educational Platform )

"The educational platform is a web-based application which showcases the various WhoLoDancE tools and scenarios from a pedagogic perspective. It complements the Movement Library by combining specific scenarios to design learning courses and activities for a particular dance genre (contemporary, ballet, flamenco, Greek folk), objective (movement principle, quality, actions), context (creativity, learning steps and forms, improvisation, etc.), and tool (Sonification, Choreomorphy, Annotator, Movement Sketching, Kinect based activities etc.). The learning activities described in the platform require specific hardware depending on the tool. As a proof of concept, specific examples of paedagogic scenarios were built for low-end devices, like e.g., Kinect, for interactive exercises relating to alignment and directionality."

(Fig.2 WhoLoDancE movement library and annotator)

Further information on WhoLoDance can be found on the project website.

Due to the specificity of the hardware components required for use, WholoDance, like other educational projects of its kind, does not yet represent the optimal solution for every user who wants to benefit from a dance lesson, but it does represent the future, at least a possible future.

There is still a lot of room for research and experimentation.

As for videoconferencing today, for now the approach has to be adaptive, as we have highlighted in our previous blogs.

That is, the challenge is not to find tools that meet the needs of dance, but how dance can be expressed through other channels not aimed at it.

This imaginative and creative endeavour, I believe, may also help technologies more dedicated to movement in the future. It is not out of the question that in the next few years there will be no video conferencing software dedicated to teaching dance online or simply to any form of physical training, from yoga to fitness.

Indeed, perhaps it will be precisely these disciplines, more suitable for home use, that will push the market in this direction.

It should be remembered that the intrinsic characteristics of the structure of the flats, such as tiled or carpeted floors, low lamps, etc., constitute almost insuperable limits for the execution of dance classes.

Texts and pages, which were consulted for the research.

You, Yuhui. (2020). Online technologies in dance education (China and worldwide experience). Research in Dance Education. 1-17. 10.1080/14647893.2020.1832979. Schmid, Dale & McGreevy-Nichols, Susan. (2021). Building the dance community virtually during COVID 19. Arts Education Policy Review. 1-8. 10.1080/10632913.2021.1931598.

Heyang, Tuomeiciren & Martin, Rosemary. (2020). A reimagined world: international tertiary dance education in light of COVID-19. Research in Dance Education. 1-15. 10.1080/14647893.2020.1780206.

Katerina El Raheb, Marina Stergiou, Akrivi Katifori, and Yannis Ioannidis. 2019. Dance Interactive Learning Systems: A Study on Interaction Workflow and Teaching Approaches. ACM Comput. Surv. 52, 3, Article 50 (July 2019), 37 pages. DOI:

L. Molina-Tanco, C. Garc a-Berdon s, and A. Reyes-Lecuona. 2017. The Delay mirror: A technological innovation

specific to the dance studio. In Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Movement Computing. ACM, 9.

Cisneros, R.M., Stamp, K., Whatley, S. & Wood, K. WhoLoDancE: digital tools and the dance learning environment. in Research in Dance Education (2019).

In the last one and a half years, numerous new platforms with digital diensten have emerged, influencing entertainment and fun.

In an article of 20.03.21 with the title "DER TANZ LEBT WEITER - TROTZ CORONA -Die digitale Tanzwelt erblüht-", which appeared in Tanznetz, one of the most important dance magazines in Germany, various digital proposals were presented to make dance in all its forms even more digital.

Der Tanz lebt weiter - trotz Corona Die digitale Tanzwelt erblüht Veröffentlicht am 20.03.2020, von Deike Wilhelm

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