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Creative Arts: Coding the dance

Digital Arts and Humanities

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 from 10:00 to 16:00 (IST)

Creative Arts: Coding the dance

Ticket Information

Type Remaining End Quantity
Admission for DAH Students ONLY 6 Tickets Ended Free  

Event Details

 Performance based artistic expressions can experiment and intuitively interact with physical as well as abstract forms and mediums in ways that extend, and question, our understanding of, and relationship with, our physical surroundings as well as the virtual spaces in which we and others exist. Experimentation with technology and performance augment and enhance the experience of both the performer and the audience in ways that challenge the notion and expectations of that performance.

This one day workshop, facilitated by members of MIDASpaces, Cindy Cummins, Derek Cosgrave, Alan Jacob and Mark Hearne, and organised by the Digital Arts and Humanities structured PhD programme, will explore the relationship between the physical performance and the software development, or coding, that drives, augments and plays with the physical space it exists in and the virtual space it creates respectively. It will provide participants with a practical introduction to the complexities involved in working within an environment that is created through a choreographed performance and the technology that maps, supports and enhances it. 

The workshop is split into seminar session in the morning and a practical session in the afternoon, where there will be showcase with two dancers involved with MIDASpaces, Roisin Laffan and Lorcan O'Neill. 
Workshop outline:

10.00 - 10.10 Introduction and Welcome
10.10 - 11.00 What is MIDASpaces and CODES 2.0?  (Cindy Cummings & Derek Cosgrave)
11.00 - 11.30 Break
11.30 - 12.30 Coding the performance:Technical Workflow; Tracking
Technology; Generative Visuals; Pre-rendered Visuals; Projection Mapping (Derek Cosgrave, Alan Jacob, Mark Hearne)
12.30 - 13.00 The Performance - lessons learnt (Artistic collaborations with interactive technology)
13.00 - 14.00 Lunch
14.00 - 16.00 Coding the dance - practical session (Showcase and experimentation with workshop participants)

Contents of the workshop:

The MIDASpaces team will give a practical overview of CODES 2.0 from a technical and creative perspective, giving a rundown of the workflow behind the performance as well as the processes involved in taking the show from concept to stage including: The creative workflow from ideas to storyboards to digital elements; The creation of choreography and the development of language between performer and technology; A practical overview for the creation of an environment for computer vision using infrared technologies - lighting set up, camera considerations, utilisation of suitable materials to optimise image processing; The tracking of performers in realtime using infrared cameras and the transformation of this information into meaningful interaction with custom software; The creation of realtime generative visuals through creative coding using OpenFrameworks; The creation of pre-rendered visuals using Cinema 4D and After Effects and the techniques of projection mapping using Madmapper in order to map visuals to a real life three dimensional performance space; The sequencing of events, control of parameters and playback of audio and video using VDMX and Ableton Live.

MIDASpaces Biography:

MIDASpaces is a collective striving to explore innovative technologies within the arts – specifically we are interested in mapped, interactive, digitally augmented spaces - hence the collective’s name. MIDASpaces seek to explore and extend the range of possibilities for artistic performance, augmenting the experience for both performer and audience. By combining technology with traditional dance choreography, MIDASpaces create a new vocabulary for performers through their interactions with live generated visuals that are based on their movements as sensed and tracked by computer hardware and software. In addition to working with dancers, MIDASpaces have adapted the technology for use in installations in public spaces, and worked with other artists such as aerialists and musicians. MIDASpaces' novel approach to using technology as a creative tool allows them to reimagine everyday, regular spaces as digital playgrounds. (Video Links: 

Information on CODES 2.0:

CODES 2.0 - a digital fusion of movement, music and light.

Technology is so present in everyday life - often going unnoticed, merely viewed as a tool to aid us in our daily lives. But how does it affect our own relationships with one another? Does it bring us closer together or does it create a divide between us? How do we mediate who is really in control? Do we control how we use technology or do the parameters of technology end up controlling how we behave?

We at MIDASpaces have always been fascinated by the question of the human experience in the digital age. We are fascinated by how we can transform technology and how technology can transform us. CODES 2.0 is a performance that explores these ideas through music, movement and light.

Premiering in Hong Kong in July 2014, CODES 2.0 follows man's evolving relationship with technology – our addiction, dependence and struggle to adapt in an ever chaotic world.

This piece comes as an evolution of MIDASpaces’ prior work, further exploring our complex relationship with ever growing and emerging technologies. This began with the group’s prototype performance, MIDAS #1 when the group worked with a dancer whose choreography for the piece was influenced by the tracking technology. This was further developed into the first iteration of CODES which took place during the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2012. With CODES 2.0, MIDASpaces joined forces with a group of dancers and choreographers to create a dazzling spectacle that explores the balance between the natural and the synthetic world.

In addition to the core members of MIDASpaces - Derek Cosgrave, Alan Jacob and Ian Finnerty, CODES 2.0 was made possible with the talents of choreographer Cindy Cummings, dancers Roisin Laffan and Lorcan O'Neill, animators Mark Mulligan and Mark Hearne, programmers Cárthach Ó Nuanáin and Dessie Keegan, and production manager/lighting designer Marcus Costello.

Biographies of the workshop presenters:

Derek Cosgrave has an M.Sc. in Multimedia from Dublin City University. Prior to this, his background was as a musician/composer having studied Sound Recording and Music Technology at BIFE before going on to study Music and Media Technologies at Trinity College Dublin. In recent times he has toured internationally and recorded and produced music for film and theatre. He has always been interested in the utilisation of computers and technology in performance arts, seeking to move beyond traditional forms of expression and exploring multifaceted audio visual performance. While studying in DCU, he co-founded the MIDASpaces collective to work in these areas.

Alan Jacob received an M.Sc. in Computer Science and a BAI in Computer Engineering from TCD, with interests including computer vision and robotics, 3D graphics/CAD, sensors and context aware systems, and system simulation. He has years of programming experience with a variety of programming languages, most recently working with the openFrameworks C++ toolkit for generating visuals with sensor integration. Since graduating he has worked as an IT and Audio/Visual specialist in the Royal Irish Academy. He has worked on theatre performances in a variety of roles, including lighting technician, operator, assistant technical director with the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, producer with Looking Through Windows Theatre Company, and also co-founded the MIDASpaces collective.

Cindy Cummings is a dance artist (choreographer/performer/tutor) based in Dublin Ireland. She is co-director of Fumbally Court Studio, artist in residence in the school of science at University College Dublin and has worked with interactive technologies since 1998, most notably with composer and media artist Todd Winkler (US).

Mark Hearne studied classical and digital animation in the university of wolverhampton and Colaiste Dhulaigh Dublin. He then moved into motion graphics, user interface/experience design and visual art installations.In the last 12 months he worked on building projections for various city festivals around Ireland including Corks Glow Christmas festival. He worked on graphics for the Irish entry into the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. He also works as a VJ creating live visuals for the Red Bull Music Academy at Life festival, Samhain festival, the Electric Picnic and Slane 2013.

Roisin Laffan is a performer and dance artist. In 2014 she toured the UK with the Jasmin Vardimon apprentice company, she worked with the electronic group Le Galaxie and performed at the Dublin Dance festival with the dance comedy company, Ponydance. She is delighted to be working with Midaspaces on Codes 2.0.

Lorcan O’ Neill began his professional training in 2005 at Colaiste Stiophan Naiofe, Cork and later he trained at London Contemporary Dance School. Since then Lorcan has gone on to work with Choreographers and Company’s such as, (Cork City Ballet) – “Nutcracker” 2005, 2009. - "Swan Lake" 2010 and "Giselle" 2011. (cruX Dance Theatre). His personal choreography includes "Stop Playing, Just Get On With It" - Theatre Royal, Waterford City. Collaborative choreography include "Bla bla" (LML) premiered at - 3CL, Luxembourg & The PLACE, London. (Cork City Ballet) - 2012 where he played one of the leading roles in (Shauneen Keough) "The Playboy Of the Western World". (Youth Ballet West) - 2012 Guest Artist, "Alice in the Underground" - Galway. "Ballet Spectacular" (Cork City Ballet) 2013. "Giselle" Wexford (Edel Quinlan School) Guest artist, 2014.

Do you have questions about Creative Arts: Coding the dance? Contact Digital Arts and Humanities

When & Where

1 Foley St
Dublin 1

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 from 10:00 to 16:00 (IST)

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Digital Arts and Humanities

DAH is a structured PhD programme and research consortium comprised of five academic partners (Maynooth University, National University of Ireland Galway, the Royal Irish Academy, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork) and one devolved partner, Queen’s University Belfast. We currently have 70 students, at various stages of their PhD research, who are undertaking either a digital humanities or digital arts PhD – there is a list of their research statements on the DAH website (   


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