All dancers have their own "motion signature" that reveals their unique qualities as artists (expressive component) and athletes (kinesthetic component). Using movement capture technology, it is now possible to record and preserve these signatures in digital form.
This collection constitutes a precious archive of a unique choreographic heritage in and of itself.
Martine Époque and Denis Poulin, associate professors in the Department of Dance at UQAM and directors of LARTech (www.lartech.uqam.ca), worked with 13 Québec dancers to build a collection of dancers' motion signatures, the first of its kind in the world. Once recorded, the signatures are executed by four computerized bodiless performers; in the absence of any formal reference to the dancers, the pure dance movements are revealed.
This collection constitutes a precious archive of a unique choreographic heritage in and of itself. It is also a bank of scientific data that could form the basis of research aimed at developing new understanding and knowledge of dance movement through observation and analysis.
LARTech has already been approached by UQAM dance professor Nicole Harbonnier with a request for access to the data for her study on the complementarity of Laban Movement Analysis and the Functional Analysis of the Body in Dance Movement, which could lead to new directions for qualitative and functional research into dance and human movement.
The collection could just as well serve as a database for researchers in fields as diverse as chiropractic, ergonomics, occupational therapy, kinanthropology, kinesiology, orthopaedics, physical medicine and physiotherapy. Finally, student and seasoned dancers alike could benefit from this tool as an aid to developing their visual perception and their ability to identify dance movement.