Social eMotions Stoassa 24. ja 25. helmikuuta!

To dancers and a cello

Kaksivuotinen tutkimusmatkamme sosiaalisten tunteiden maailmaan on tulossa päätökseen. Projektin huipentumaksi luotu tanssiteos esitettiin viime syksynä Oulussa, ja tällä viikolla se esitetään kaksi kertaa Helsingissä, kulttuurikeskus Stoassa.

Tämä on ensimmäinen kerta, kun esitämme teoksen kunnon teatteritilassa–Oulun esityksemmehän oli Rotuaarilla ulkoilmanäyttämöllä. Stoan black box antaa nyt teokselle kunnolliset puitteet: Jarkon ja Johannan tanssi saa näyttämöllä selkeät kehykset, Ullan ja Iidan musiikki soi tilassa ja ympäröi katsojat, ja iltapäivän aurinko ei tällä kertaa pese Roberton projisointeja näkymättömiin.

Teos on siis duetto kahdelle tanssijalle, kahdelle sellistille ja yhdelle tutkijalle. Teoksessa yleisö pääsee äänestämään koreografian ja musiikin tunteellisen sisällön mobiilisovelluksen kautta. Näin yleisö voi halutessaan asettautua tunnetutkijan rooliin ja nähdä, miten tunteita ilmaistaan ja miten ne tarttuvat ja muuttuvat. Esityksen jälkeisessä yleisökeskustelussa voimme keskustella taiteellista ja tieteellistä otetta yhdistäneestä tutkimuksestamme enemmänkin.

Social eMotions -tanssiteoksen esitykset siis pe 24.2. ja la 25.2. klo 19:00 Kulttuurikeskus Stoassa. Kahden teoksen illassa nähdään myös Johanna Nuutisen hieno sooloteos Hatched.

Esityksiin saa lippuja ovelta sekä Lippupisteestä.

Social eMotions – the performance

social emotions in Planet SuvilahtiOur Social eMotions project combines science and art, also in that the outcomes are both scientific and artistic. The science part is taking shape, we are writing up a paper on the kinematic analysis, as well as the perceptual experiments. At the same time, the artistic oven has been red hot, as the dance performance has been taking shape.

Our amazing dancers and musicians worked very hard during the first weeks of June to put together this ambitious and novel performance. There is choreographed movement and composed musical material, but the performance is improvised in the sense that the emotional dynamics and emotional contagion will change and mutate the materials. There is a very interesting set of interactions going on, as both dancers influence each other, as do both cellists, and of course the dancers are influenced by the music, and vice versa.

To keep things even more open, the audience will get to vote for the emotions that the performers work on. The audience gets this chance a few times during the performance, and as the full cycle will be performed twice, they can make different choices and thus experiment on emotional processes, using live dancers and musicians!

We already trialled this in an open rehearsal during the Helsinki Day, as a part of “Planet Suvilahti“. As the pic shows, there were a lot of people attending, and we got really nice feedback! Communicating the results of the online vote to performers was done in an old-fashioned way by showing the emotions on pieces of paper. By the actual performance, we’ll figure out a smoother way of doing it, hopefully integrating them to the interactive projections.

There is now also a trailer of the performance, it can be viewed below. The next public showcase of the work will be presented in Duesseldorf during the Tanzmesse on 2nd September, and the premiere will take place in Oulu on the final day of the OuDance Festival (Sunday 18th September). That performance will (weather permitting) be outdoors on the Rotuaari promenade. See you there?

Social eMotions trailer from Jarkko Lehmus on Vimeo.



Social eMotions @OuDance

Kävimme esittelemässä Koneen säätiön rahoittamaa Social eMotions -projektiamme Oulussa, OuDance-festivaalilla. Kerroimme Jarkko Lehmuksen kanssa projektin tavoitteista ja siitä, mitä olemme tähän mennessä tehneet. Tiivistetysti: tutkimme tunteita kehollisina, sosiaalisina ja dynaamisina ilmiöinä. Videolla Jarkko ja Johanna Nuutinen demonstroivat tutkimusta varten luotua liikemateriaalia, lisäksi näytämme pari liikedata-animaatiota ja kerromme muutenkin projektin etenemisestä. Esittelimme tutkimusta Oulun kulttuuritalo Valven aulassa juuri ennen illan tanssiesityksiä.

Social eMotions @ OuDance from Tommi Himberg on Vimeo.

Rhythm Perception and Production Workshop RPPW2015

Royal Tropical Institute

After 10-year hiatus, I attended the Rhythm Perception and Production Workshop (RPPW), that this time was organised in Amsterdam. Since the last time, this conference series has changed a lot: the range of topics and approaches was huge, spanning from animal rhythmic abilities to gait, from Parkinson’s to language, from music and dance to rowing, with lots of neuroscience papers presented. Continue reading

Movement data – what to do with it?



Now that we have recorded the approximately 450MB of movement data, it’s time to start processing and analysing it, and getting it ready for the next stages of the project. This, and probably the next couple of posts are about movement data: in this post I’ll explain briefly how optical motion capture works, and in the next ones what we can do with the data.   Continue reading

Communication in a string quartet

Casa Paganini, Uni of Genoa

As I mentioned in the earlier post from the International Symposium on Performance Science, string quartets seem to be fashionable in music psychology, and for good reasons. They are perhaps the prototype of a chamber music ensemble, with lots of great pieces written for them, they are of an optimal size for such studies, and of course there are many professional quartets that have worked together for years, making them extremely interesting topics for research on coordination and interaction. A new study from Genoa looks at communication in a string quartet, using a cool setup.

Continue reading

World Science Festival 2009: Snowball, the dancing cockatoo

Here’s Snowball, the sulphur-crested cockatoo that can dance to a beat.Prior to this, I had only seen the video of Snowball that’s on YouTube, and shorter snippets recorded by Ani Patel and his team who studied Snowball’s movements and measuring synchronisation with music. Previously, we thought that only humans could synchronise their movements with auditory beats, but Snowball and anecdotal evidence from other birds suggests that the club of synchronisers could be larger – and possibly include those animals that are so-called vocal learners, such as parrots.

There are more open questions than definite answers so far. One of the questions is of course, what can we say based on one specimen. Of course one black swan is enough to falsify the theory that all swans are white, and in that sense having one non-human animal able to synchronise movements with an auditory pulse is enough to at least put that “theory” or statement under threat. There is no clear consensus about what constitutes “synchronisation” and whether Snowball’s dance fulfills those criteria. It only synchronises for brief periods at a time, in bouts, but seems to be able to lock in those bouts for longer than one would expect if the beats of movement and music were non-related. And, it is able to do that in various tempi.

Another question is, is it really the auditory-motor connection, and also we need to establish what special training Snowball has had, and what the whole context of the dancing is. This video provides new insight about that, to me at least. Look at the owner’s instructions and movements – it seems that visual information and imitation (or just following the hand with eyes and the body will follow?) are crucial too. In the experiments reported by Patel et al in Current Biology, there supposedly was nobody there to dance with the bird, but after seeing this video, I’m less sure now about how impressive this bird’s capabilities are, and whether the suggested explanations of why it is able to do this are accurate. Fascinating case, nevertheless, and good work by Patel and others for picking this viral phenomenon up for systematic study.

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