Scottish Ballet is Scotland’s national dance company and one of five national performing companies in Scotland. It is a registered charity, employing 36 professional dancers, a dedicated support staff, and a freelance orchestra of up to 70 musicians.
The mission of Scottish Ballet is to produce world-class dance and learning opportunities designed to engage and excite diverse audiences in Scotland, the UK and internationally. This is achieved by presenting modern work and unique interpretations of the classics, making them relevant to audiences today.
Widening access to the arts is both a national priority and a challenge. Scottish Ballet decided to address this challenge head on by embarking upon a collaboration to evaluate the potential of using augmented reality in a dance context. The innovative project combined dance with novel technological approaches to choreograph, produce and capture in 3D a “movie” of bespoke dance sequences to widen public dissemination and participation in the arts.
A pilot project with the renowned Digital Design Studio (DDS) at Glasgow School of Art was brokered which sought to demonstrate that the use of visualisation and presentation technologies can enthuse existing and new audiences to engage with the arts. The core aim of the collaborative project is to create a high definition film which will show dancers in a short choreography, mixed in with the motion capture data “vapour trail”.
The production of the unique HD film has allowed dance to be viewed in a novel way, creating a new method through which wider audiences can engage with the arts. The impact for DDS is that it now has a potential new market within which to develop new techniques and products, for example, to use its expertise to promote the visual and acoustic arts. For Scottish Ballet, the collaboration led to the development of a novel way to showcase their performances, reach new audiences and explore further new ways to use interactive digital technologies to supplement traditional promotional methods.
Hear more from Scottish Ballet about the collaboration at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards on 21 February in Edinburgh.