April 25, 2005
UCSC, NYU join in cutting-edge dance/theater
By Scott Rappaport
Lubricious Transfer--an ambitious dance experiment in
live, transcontinental collaboration using the Internetwas
broadcast simultaneously earlier this month to audiences at
UCSCs Experimental Theater and New York Universitys
Frederick Loewe Theater.
Students, staff, and faculty at
both universities worked together on the project.
Photos: Jim MacKenzie
The April 15 and 16 performances were the culmination of a
distance arts education project undertaken by an interdisciplinary
mix of students, staff, and faculty at both universities. The
result was an interactive, real-time performance where UCSC
dancers performed in front of three liquid screens,
upon which live images of the New York University dancers were
The project was conceived by new UCSC assistant theater arts
professor Ted Warburton and carried out in his movement research
class last quarter. UCSCs technical staff provided the
expertise and instruction that eventually enabled students to
run all of the technical aspects of the performances.
I believe this is the first course in the U.S. to offer
students both the opportunity to perform and to acquire the
technical knowledge necessary to produce this type of event,
noted Warburton. We had both groups of performers on opposite
sides of the country working togetherinterconnected and
interdependentusing advanced telecommunications for artistic
Warburton has danced professionally with American Ballet Theatre
and holds a doctoral degree in psychology from Harvard, as well
as a masters in technology.
He came to UCSC last summer from New York University, where
he served as the director of its dance program. As a result,
he invited Ben Munisteri, an award-winning choreographer who
recently decided to attend graduate school at NYU, to collaborate
from New York. Together, they set up a series of videoconferencing
sessions to help create the event.
There is a strong research component to this project,
added Warburton. Were interested in how students
perceptions of technology change and whether the technology
is inhibiting or enabling creativity.
There is not much research on distance education and
zero research on arts distance education, he noted. This
is a new genre of art, and we are doing creative research pushing
the boundaries of the dance discipline.
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