Using tools for assisting the composition of choreography has always been an important part of the creative process for dance. Terms like space, body, time, and geometry have been used and abused consecutively by choreographers, dancers and artists in order to trigger new ways of thinking, moving and composing especially in improvisation techniques. From Rudolf Laban and his "devices" (e.g. isolation, contact, kinespheric space etc.) to the newest digital choreographic interfaces (by Trisha Brown, William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor etc.), it has always been an exciting task for choreographers and their teams to discover new tools which can offer assistance and an extension for thinking within the field of choreography.
The above mentioned terms (space, body, time, and geometry) have been used by architects in previous attempts of describing architecture as a non-static, flexible, kinetic subject matter. One of our research fields in the IALab aims to explore new ways of thinking and designing in architecture through the help of tools used in dance and choreography. Last month in Watershed, I had the pleasure to participate in a 2 days’ workshop with Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) and a diverse set of creatives (dancers, choreographers, coders) in an attempt to discover the potentials of the Reaction for Awareness in Motion (RAM) toolkit for the first time in UK.
Reactor for Awareness in Motion (RAM) Dance Toolkit is a creative coding application for dancers and choreographers developed by Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media and Yoko Ando, a dancer from The Forsythe Company. It contains a graphic user interface (GUI) that helps in accessing several digital environments for dancers. Using motion sensors, it re-creates abstract ideas of a tracked body in different digital environmental conditions (scenes). It enables, affects or comments on choreography and dance movement by giving realtime feedback using code in an easy way (C++ Open Frameworks).