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This will be shown using the possibilities that are offered by the virtual world Second Life.
To enter a virtual world like Second Life one needs to create an account and choose an avatar. This avatar can pose and move by sets of character animations. Sets of default character animations are available to each avatar. In addition, bvh-animations of all kinds are created manually or by means of Motion capture by residents of Second Life. Most of these can override the built-in standard animations. In this way an avatar can use individualized sets of animations (standing, walking, running, swimming, flying etc.) to express certain characters or styles.
Dance animations move avatars. A dance animation lasts usually between 20 and 60 seconds. Animations can be looped—restarting automatically again and again until manually stopped. Different dances can also be sequenced by putting them into a HUD that can play a recorded macro along a timeline. With the available animations virtual dancers can recreate a lot of dances known in real life like waltz, tango, salsa, funk, bebop and even classical routines like solos of Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Synchronization may or may not be present in virtual dance. Synchronization of dancers in a group can be either automated, for example by all of them using the same HUD, or done by individual dancers on their own improvisation.
Photo by Zap Zhong taken on Nov. 8th 2009 at ballet-theatre of La Performance during live performance of show 'beautiful' in Second Life, showing scene of the dance 'Friends', Queen: Friends Will Be Friends. The different scenes of the same dance, danced by 5 artists, show the individual live character of moving in free synchronization.
Photo taken by Leko Littlebird January 8, 2012 of Ballet Pixelle performing the original ballet "Archidance" (2011). This photo shows all dancers performing on their own with no artificial synchronization devices. Note the two dancers in synchrony while the other dancer, choreographically, is doing another movement. Choreography by Inarra Saarinen.
Photo by Tik Merlin, taken on May 10, 2009 at the sky-stage of La Performance, during the live performance of the show 'TELL HIM', in Second Life, showing a scene of dance 'Tell Him', song: Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand - 'Tell Him'. To interpret this sensuous song choreography demands six artists to dance in the air, to dance flying, in free synchronization.
In addition, animations can be created that move avatars beyond human normal joint limits. This allows an extension of physical dance into a new kind of aesthetic for virtual dance. An example is shown in Ballet Pixelle's version of The Nutcracker, called "The Nut" (2007). Photo by Leko Littlebird. Choreography by Inarra Saarinen.
This photo was taken by Zap Zhong on April 11, 2010 at the dance-theatre of La Performance, during the live performance of the show 'BACK TO BLACK' in Second Life. There are different scenes of interpretation of 'Liebestod'/Tristan by Richard Wagner; Jessye Norman, Herbert von Karajan, Vienna Philharmonic. The swim-dance movings of this dance were executed in a big black-box so the audience received a realistic impression of moving in fluid.
Ballet Pixelle's "Olmannen" (2006) shows examples of dragons flying in air. Ballet Pixelle also has examples of spirits moving in "Shuzenji" (2008) and metal aliens dancing in "Avatara" (2010). This photo by Maa Giha shows one of the silver metal aliens dancing in "Avatara". Choreography by Inarra Saarinen.
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