Dancing the Music: Interactive Dance and Music

Wayne Siegel

in The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199792030
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Dancing the Music: Interactive Dance and Music


This article focuses on the use of motion-tracking technology to allow dancers to interact with music, a topic called interactive dance. Dance and music are commonly considered independent art forms. Yet, the relationship between them is as intimate as it is intricate. In many cultures, the two are so intertwined that they are inseparable. In contemporary Western culture, the most common dance performance situation involves dancers performing live to music played back from a fixed medium such as a CD or hard disk. Dancers follow the music, taking their cues from a predetermined, fixed sound world. Dancing and playing music as a single integrated process is not new; it is something human beings have done since time immemorial. Today, technology offers new forms of interaction between dance and other art forms. Motion-tracking technology can endow dancers with the ability to control sound, lighting, graphics, robotics, and other aspects of a live performance.

Keywords: motion-tracking technology; dance; music; Western culture; hard disk

Article.  10249 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Applied Music

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