Colby T&D Alum, Gabby Foster, pictured with the VR headset, performs as part of a virtual dance project with Machol Shalem Dance House in Jerusalem.
     Of the work, she writes, “Virtual Reality Dance. It’s not my personal cup of tea, but it’s been quite the technical adventure.”
VR that will put you in the center of the dance
     Machol Shalem Dance House experiments with virtual reality to give audiences a fresh perspective on dance and make it accessible in a Covid world.
     “Covid screwed us,” admits Ruby Edelman. “And the question arose as to what we could do to keep moving forward.”
     A dancer, choreographer and CEO of Machol Shalem Dance House in Jerusalem, Edelman is used to hosting an array of dancers, festivals and dance works throughout the year, something that at first glance seemed completely at odds with the social distancing that Covid has brought upon us.
     And yet, the dance center was determined to keep up its work, giving independent dancers a platform for their creations, connecting them with influencers around the world and promoting dance culture in the city.
     “We examined what innovative fields and interfaces could work with dance, for example the whole field of screenings and combining interdisciplinary video work,” he explains. “It wasn’t what we were looking for. And then at some point the idea of virtual reality came up, because we understood the potential of creating an immersive experience.”
     Before long, they realized that VR could even surpass the real-life experience of a dance show.
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