Monday, March 10, 2008

Virtual lessons in virtual dance choreography - A historical first

Mixed reality history was made late last week when DanCoyote Antonelli (aka DC Spensley) held the first Real Life "SkyDancer Seminar" for University of Calfornia San Diego (UCSD) undergraduate students. At the invitation of Ars Virtua curator Rubaiyat Shatner who is also Virtual Environments instructor at UCSD, DanCoyote trained over a dozen students to fly in a basic choreographic pattern inside the first ZeroG SkyDancer stage that had its debut two years ago.

The current ZeroG SkyDancers stage

Rubaiyat teaches the class virtually from San Jose, California. The class is in San Diego, California and DanCoyote is in San Francisco, California. Assisting DanCoyote were assistant director Anhinga Chaika and training director Buffy Beale. The students were skeptical at first about this new art form but soon gained a healthy respect for the challenges SkyDancers face at every performance.

That original SkyDancer stage - in addition to a significant collection of DC Spensley/DanCoyote's Second Life art work - are on display at an exibit curated by Michael Van Horn at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, as a result of the museum's sponsorship of a virtual arts exhibition at Seattle's Bumbershoots Festival 2006 where a ZeroG SkyDancers performance was projected to a huge crowd of Real Life audience members.

The first ZeroG Skydancers stage

Photography courtesy of DanCoyote Antonelli