Roehampton Dance researchers awarded grant to explore how AI and dance can shape the future

  • Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Ambitious, international project will attempt to create a ‘world builder’s guide to dance and AI'.

Image - Roehampton Dance researchers awarded grant to explore how AI and dance can shape the future

Dr. Anna Pakes and Dr. Heike Salzer, Honorary Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer of Dance at the University of Roehampton, have won a €10,000 grant from the Stiftung Niedersachsen and VolkswagenStiftung (LINK-Masters) to embark on an international, cross-institutional research project combining perspectives from AI, choreography, anthropology and philosophy.

Working with colleagues in Coventry, Germany and Malta, Dr. Pakes and Dr. Salzer will investigate how worlds are constructed and altered by moving agents, human and non-human, through diverse applications of AI.  

As part of the LINK-Masters programme exploring the relationship between AI and culture, they are collaborating with colleauges in Europe to develop a multidimensional platform that provides artists, educators, students and future researchers with insights and resources to help them construct and explore their own worlds using AI, a ‘World Builder’s Guide to Dance and AI.’

Over the next six months, the team’s work will focus on four sub-projects engaging different kinds of worlds and involving dancers’ embodied agency in various ways: (1) mapping the conceptual worlds of choreography through data-driven workflows; (2) simulating worlds computationally from biological and physical principles; (3) creating speculative fictional choreography to enhance worlds generated in video game design; and (4) exploring the algorithmic and rhythmic parameters of folkloric worlds.

Dr. Anna Pakes and Dr. Heike Salzer said:

"We're delighted to continue this interdisciplinary research with our European colleagues in choreography, AI and games design. By exploring different ways for dance and AI to build virtual, fictional and social worlds, the project puts embodied knowledge at the heart of cutting-edge technology and design processes. And we're fascinated by the creative, anthropological and philosophical questions this work raises."