International Conference 
"Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"
Theatre - Dance - Music - Visual & Multimedia Art - Arts Administration - Performing Arts Training - Theatre Design & Technology

December 17 - 21, 2015


Creating a Choreodrama Using Motion Capture Technology

Lecture/video presentation and discussion on the collaboration experience in creating a choreodrama (story based choreography) using motion capture technology - by Professor Eric Brandt Nielsen - Director of Dance at Valdosta State University, Georgia (USA)

Eric Brandt Nielsen is a full professor and dance program director at Valdosta State University, Georgia, USA.  Professor Nielsen holds a B.F.A. in theatre and an M.F.A. in modern dance choreography from the University of Utah. He created the dance emphasis program at VSU in 1986 and was the founding director of the VSU Repertory Dancers, which celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. 

Besides teaching on the college level for 39 years, Professor Nielsen is also a professional dancer, choreographer and director. His performance experiences ranged from classical ballet companies throughout the U.S.A., to show dancing at the M.G.M. Grand Hotel in Reno, Nevada.  

As an author, he had numerous articles published and wrote the award winning book DANCE AUDITIONS: Preparation, Presentation and Career Planning. As an ethnochoreologist (one who studies dance through a country’s culture), he has traveled extensively all over the world. 

In 2008 he was honored with the VSU College of Arts Excellence in Service Award and in 2003 he received the Dance Educator of the Year Award from Georgia's Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.


This presentation documents the collaboration efforts in creating a choreodrama (story based choreography) using motion capture technology. The presentation will be a lecture/video presentation which will culminate in a discussion with participants attending.

The purpose of this presentation is to help educators and students understand the availability of this technology, site problems and discoveries in working with this technology, and reveal the accomplishments that were achieved through a collaborative team project. Attic Antics, the title of the choreodrama, premiered October 3, 2013 in Sawyer Theatre at Valdosta State University.  

The creation of this unique animation required the use of three software programs. Motion capture was achieved with “Motive” software by NationalPoint Inc.  The mixing of the captured motion onto these characters was accomplished through “Motionbuilder” by Autodesk. The building, manipulation and animation of the characters were completed with LightWave 3D modeling and animation software by Newtek, Inc. 

The collaborative team consisted of an art professor, who teaches motion capture technology, a dance professor/choreographer, who conceived the choreodrama, two dance faculty performers, who created the motion capture segments, and five student dancers, who performed live on stage and interacted with the projected motion capture animations.
A video presentation showing the creative process that took place will be supported with dialogue by the presenter on problems and discoveries as well as providing photo shots that will enable the audience members to see the details of the animation that progressed during the short timeline that was given in producing this choreodrama.   

Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse"