Stewart Maclennan

VR

A perfect medium for dance?

An issue plaguing a lot of creators working in VR today: how do we make VR content compelling once the initial novelty wears off? (There are a lot of things we see in VR which we don't need to see in VR. Or which aren’t really taking advantage of the medium.) What can we film in 360 video which couldn’t be done just as effectively with a well-shot traditional film?

The answer is dance. VR gives us a totally new way to experience dance that goes beyond novelty. It might be the perfect medium for it. It might radically change the way that we create / choreograph dance, and experience it. Impacts both the artist / performer and audience. 

 Champion 360 "Best Friends" featuring the Temecula Dance Company.

the promise of VR

Why? Well, let’s step back for a moment and look at what makes VR fundamentally different.

One of the challenges of directing in VR is that you give up control. You give up ability to direct the viewer’s gaze with the normal set of tools at your disposal. Shot selection. Camera movement. Editing. 

But VR gives you something in return. Which is the ability to put your viewer inside an experience. And this is huge. Chris Milk:  VR storytelling is more than being able to look behind us. It’s presence. For most forms of storytelling, you’re not watching a representation of something, or a translation of something, you get to experience it first-hand. But for dance this is a little different. How does this apply to dance? 

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