Christopher Dolder received an undergraduate degree in Dramatic Art and Dance from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from Mills College. A former soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company, he has spent the last twenty years on a multi-disciplinary journey that has taken him to projects in theatre, dance, music, videography, and kinesiology. Mr. Dolder is an associate professor of dance at Southern Methodist University where he is currently designing an interactive software program for teaching dance kinesiology as well as developing a new form of physical data capture. Christopher also conducts research in contemporary dance cultures and will premiere his documentary,The ecstatic dance of burning man: permission to transcend, in 2016.
The evolution of dance education over the last 100 years can be clearly contextualised by examining the developing technological lineage from Gray’s Anatomy to Dance Forms 2.0, highlighting the transformation of how we record and represent the human body and the physical act of dance. Column symbols and two-dimensional line drawings have metamorphosed into interactive anatomy software, and tele-immersion has created an entirely new way of being ‘present’. This paper summarises the capability and subsequent benefits of a new tool for recording human movement, the Physical Data Capture Lab. Movement is captured via infra-red depth mapping and gravitational pressure sensing, providing the physical data necessary for the creation of a personalised musculo-skeletal avatar. This personalisation is accomplished by digitally embedding the avatar with the measured physical properties of the subject dancer. Movement recorded in this manner may then be studied in detail, allowing for a more comprehensive examination of the internal geometry, architecture and physics that coalesce to become the external art of dance.