featured in the exhibition Thinking with the Body, Wellcome Collection

photo courtesy of Wayne McGregor|Random Dance


OpenEnded Group in collaboration with Wayne McGregor|Random Dance

The Choreographic Language Agent project is a small software environment for exploring variations in choreographic instruction which was co-commisioned by Portland Green Cultural Projects.

The Choreographic Language Agent enables the creation of grammars that point two ways — towards simple versions of human language and towards choreographic grammars of dance that are particular to a given choreographer (in the initial case, Wayne McGregor|Random Dance). This tool posits a new form of dance notation — one which aids the choreographer in generating dance movements rather than in recording existing movements.

The core of the idea is that you can start creating choreography by writing sentences in a formal language (in this case, inspired by a reading of words that Wayne MacGregor has used to choreograph a dance). The agent then automatically translates that sentence into animation — specifically, it animates the points constituting the dancer’s body, the points corresponding to the room space, and the points of the dancer’s kinesphere (actually a cube).

The promise of formal languages for computers is that, once established, the computer can generate variations of sentences by mutation, selection, and parameterization. In this sense, the Choreography Language Agent can become an active participant in the creative exchange between choreographer and dancer.

Text courtesy of The OpenEnded Group.

Further information available from The OpenEnded Group’s website.