Transference of dance knowledge through interface design

Natalie Ebenreuter
2006 CHI '06 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems - CHI EA '06  
This thesis is concerned with the careful arrangement and organization of technical content. I argue that subject matter in the context of observation or ideation acts in concert with the abilities of the designer and available materials to shape the form of a product with its functional purpose and relevance. To assist the inquiry into the treatment of form and matter, a poetic strategy has been adopted which includes elements of dialectic, rhetoric, and grammar to better understand the
more » ... ments of design and to formulate a solution. Within this framework, a prototype application, "LabanAssist," has been designed to provide dancers, choreographers, artistic directors, choreologists, students, and educators with a tool designed to enhance dance literacy through greater provision and accessibility of the dance notation system "Labanotation." The ephemeral nature of dance and the absence of a widely acknowledged system to provide an objective record of dance movement have contributed to the scarce historical references to dance material (Calvert, Coyle, and Maranan, 2002). An increasing awareness of the drivers surrounding the preservation of movement highlights the necessity to effectively preserve dance works that risk being contaminated or lost (Wang, 2004). The integration of technology into the arts motivated the development of complex computer applications that supply artists with a greater means of creative expression (Assey, 2005). Movement can be effectively documented by the use of dance notation. Languages such as Labanotation provide a precise system of recording movement; analogous to the techniques musicians employ to notate music (Calvert et al., 2002). Current literature emphasises that existing dance notation applications are not equipped to detect or prevent errors made during the composition of Labanotation scores. These dance notation applications require an expert knowledge of Labanotation to operate effectively (T. Calvert, I. Fox, R. Ryman, and L. Wilke, 2005), fuelling the risk of further contamination as dance knowledge is transferred to a digital environment. This research proceeds on the basis that the integration of an operational structure for the documentation of movement within the prototype application LabanAssist can ensure that the correct syntax of dance notation is established. Coupled with the visual iii interpretation of notated movement in an immediate environment, LabanAssist functions as a diagnostic tool in which novice users of Labanotation may evaluate their notation and more easily interpret errors in their notation. LabanAssist has been tested in the dance community to assess levels of user response, understanding, accessibility, and capability. iv
doi:10.1145/1125451.1125777 dblp:conf/chi/Ebenreuter06 fatcat:2ghx2ft6urfmjkw2gwylqoor4m