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Paula Varanda

Paula Varanda

Research Student

Research title: Migrations - dance performance in cyberspace.

Paula is in the second year of part time study. Her research focuses on contemporary dance pieces originally conceived for presentation in web page format, which are accessed by personal computers, and relate interactively with the user-spectator. It is contextualized by her professional practice as a choreographer and aims to draw a theoretical framework that can inform the development of dance artefacts in cyberspace.

She is looking at such artefacts as the result of a migration process of performance from real space into digital media, which challenges the principles of theatrical dance and their persistence or mutation in newer forms that are delivered through computer screens and use interactive features. Such approach will lead to understand what characterizes the identity of web-based dance in relation to its perceived origins in stage performance and whether this is a matter of transfer to another medium, or the foundation of new canons to the field.

The thesis will include a discussion that gathers cultural, new media and performance studies, in order to define a body of related theory and set criteria for critical analysis of current practice; secondly the potential, appropriateness, cost and availability of digital technologies will be assessed through hands-on apprenticeship. This study will follow the work of some key artist-researchers that have been developing dance projects with digital technology such as Igloo in the UK Cie Mulleras and n+n corsino in France.

Paula’s research is supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal.