ABSTRACT

This chapter presents an overview of existing practices that employ motion capture in various strands of dance research and practice. It maps the main issues and concerns of the field of motion capture and dance. First of all, some basic questions are addressed: What is motion capture? What is it used for? And, more specifically, how is it applied in the dance field? Subsequently, several important questions generated by these practices are discussed, first by looking at dancers’ experiences in motion capture settings, and then through a performance analysis of Emergence (2014), which features the interaction between a motion-captured dancer and a ‘digital performance agent’. This discussion draws attention to the fundamental entanglement of the multiple meaning-making agents in the motion capture setting, which includes human and non-human actors. As such, it problematizes the positivist-empiricist approach that is present in much analytic dance capture practices, but which is often overlooked.