[中][ENG] 絲、光、舞──有關舞蹈科技、香港足跡及其他 Light, Silk, Dance – on dance-tech, Hong Kong footprint & others

絲、光、舞──有關舞蹈科技、香港足跡及其他


原文:葉彩鳳


《繼承之物》(照片由黃心健提供)


電燈被發明之初,大概無人能想像到,這簡單的照明裝置將啟發像洛伊.富勒的《蛇舞》這麼一部藝術作品。段段絲綢與彩色燈光效果在這部作品中的運用叫人目不暇給,絲與光亦成為這種全新舞蹈藝術形式中,不可或缺的元素──這也就是今天我們口中的「科技」。欣賞舞蹈表演時,我們會為舞者和編舞的美而感動。與此同時,舞蹈如何受其他藝術元素「啟蒙」,亦是這種藝術形式如何能發揮最大影響力的關鍵。舞蹈建基於身體動作,自人類歷史以來便是如此;然而,惟有與其他元素互動,它才得以不斷自我進化。


本文旨在介紹幾種可能成為舞蹈台上新的「絲與光」的新近科技發明。為照顧更多讀者,本文的藝術科技部份將附上網絡連結,以便讀者觀看相關例子。當中部份例子為完整作品,其他則是選段。因此,本文亦以瀏覽網頁支持舞蹈科技研究。文中提及的項目,旨在連結近年的舞蹈作品,包括一些值得留意的香港項目。


在舞蹈中應用的現代科技可分為兩大類。第一類是媒體應用,它旨在重新創造舞台表演,或為它重新注入活力。這個類別通常會將舞蹈影片或錄像,以及多媒體設計融入現場表演中。另一類別則是將舞蹈這個概念融入數碼環境當中,創造出創新的藝術形式。眾多概念中,本文將集中討論延展實境(Extended Reality,簡稱XR)。


在第一個類別裡,舞蹈影片和錄像常被視作現實舞台表演的延伸。今天,不論在專業界別還是消費市場,影像製作和熒幕裝置均正在高速發展,持續為影像製作帶來新刺激。舞蹈表演與影片錄像語言的相互交流,長久以來便是編舞家和影片導演豐沛的創作之源。在香港,舞蹈影像已經發展10年有多。城市當代舞蹈團每年舉辦的跳格國際舞蹈影像節一直以來都是其中一個主要貢獻者。「跳格」以外,亦有大量舞蹈媒體作品通行流傳,例如以下幾個例子:


光雕投影(Projection Mapping),又名「空間擴增實境[1]是一種投影技術,可以將圖片和錄像投射到二維表面或三維物體上,例如建築物、舞台或任何形狀不規則的物件。


2014年台灣新媒體藝術家黃心健創作了一部媒體舞蹈作品名為《繼承之物》[2]。這部開創性的舞蹈作品結合了複雜的光雕投影、三維立體打印、實時動作捕捉、立體投影、三維互動影像和歷史建築物,成為一場緊湊的演出。


《繼承之物》(10分鐘版本)連結:

https://bit.ly/3fIcESi


中國大陸近來使用了實時特效的影像廣播,令觀眾對觀賞舞蹈的興趣有所提高。2020年,享負盛名的舞者及編舞家楊麗萍在湖南衛視的《2020新年夜春節聯歡晚會》上演出她的作品《霸王別姬》。在該次現場廣播中,為突顯部份舞步,特別安裝了一套精密的追蹤攝錄系統,以多部攝影機,營造出被稱為「子彈時間特效」的凌空定鏡效果,將表演者的舞姿定格並以環迴移動的視角展示。這些視覺效果只有電視或電腦熒光幕前的觀眾能夠觀賞,現場觀眾卻無法看到。如何讓編舞在現場表演和數碼傳播中達到同樣效果,成為了編舞家的挑戰。


《霸王別姬》連結:

https://bit.ly/34E5FUi

現在,使用手機也能夠拍攝8K錄像,而且有各式免費媒體平台便利短片發佈。與製作經費高昂的影片製作比較,不少獨立藝術家以有限資源製作舞蹈錄像,出品仍然保持水準。這在年輕一代中尤為真確,事關出生於數碼世代的他們,應用媒體幾乎就像本能一樣。


《Fantasy - An Acro Duo》由Nikki Cheung和Jimmy Wong於2017年編舞和演出,當時二人仍是大學生。這支雙人舞將大型錄像投射於地上,而舞蹈錄像就以無人機拍攝,為觀眾帶來像飛鳥一樣流暢靈動的視角。二人以零製作預算,靠著他們的社交網絡動員招募,組成了一個小團隊,在非常短的時間內完成製作。尚有不少相似例子,反映藝術科技如何啟發年輕一代強大的創意能量。對他們來說,在任何藝術形式中置入科技都是自然不過的事。


《Fantasy - An Acro Duo》連結:

https://bit.ly/3uQmFkB


另一主要類別,同樣是舞蹈科技中比較前衛的領域──延展實境。延展實境最常用於電子遊戲、沉浸式娛樂和訓練之中。延展實境其實是比較概括的名稱,它包括虛擬世界的大部份應用,也就是任何以數碼形式去構築,反映現實世界的空間或環境。作為人工產物,延展實境與觀眾(使用者)互動時,可容許更自由的想像空間和更大程度的控制。延展實境分為三個主要類型:


1. 擴增實境

擴增實境會在(熒幕所顯示的)現實環境中增添虛擬產生的物件。最顯著的例子是手機遊戲Pokémon GO。擴增實境可在任何呎吋的電子屏幕上觀看到。使用者主要的親身體驗仍在現實世界中,而擴增實境的主要目的是增潤真實世界的體驗,而非完全浸沉在虛擬世界中。擴增實境可以結合定位資訊和虛擬物件。因此,我們可以創造虛擬的舞蹈(可以是真實的錄像、影像或是虛擬舞者),用於表演場地、特定的地方、甚至是像畫廊一類比較傳統的藝術空間中。


2018年,倫敦沙德勒之井劇院委託英國舞團AΦE製作一部擴增實境的舞蹈作品,以紀念劇院20週年誌慶。編舞家Esteban Fourmi與 Aoi Nakamura以五個連結的擴增實境顯示裝置,創作了數個舞蹈短篇作品。觀眾可在該空間裡移動,與一眾虛擬舞者(以動態捕捉數據生成的3D 模型)互動。觀眾的動作會影響作品的呈現。這個集體的劇場體驗,叫人重新想像舞蹈可以如何演給觀眾。


AΦE的擴增實境舞蹈作品《0AR》預告片:

https://bit.ly/34F0kfk


2. 虛擬實境

「虛擬實境」一詞,是1938年由法國劇作家安東尼.亞陶(Antonin Artaud)提出的概念。在他的著作《戲劇及其複像》中,亞陶將劇場形容為「虛擬的現實」,一個幻象的、全然虛構的現實。虛擬的現實指「當中一切角色、物件及影像,皆是夢中幻境之力的化身,這股力量來自影像化的內心劇情所產生的化學作用」表演空間的本質,便是一連串由幻象與舞台佈景建構的空間。在藝術角度而言,虛擬實境作為一個表演空間,具有可聯繫觀賞者、表演者和創作者的動力。


從技術層面來看,虛擬實境需配備特別的頭戴式裝置和觸感裝置,讓用家與數碼影像和聲效互動。虛擬實境目標是營造現實感,在一個完全人工的環境中模仿現實世界的體驗,營造具有真實感的官能體驗。


其中一個例子是,由台灣導演陳芯宜執導,編舞家暨舞者周書毅擔演的虛擬實境舞蹈長片《留給未來的殘影》。城市當代舞蹈團曾在2019年於自由空間的「自由駐」內,把此作帶到香港。


《留給未來的殘影》片段:

https://bit.ly/3fKXMTh


《Tanzmaschine》是個全面的虛擬實境舞蹈裝置,它是德國為慶祝包浩斯100週年而製作。此虛擬實境裝置由理察.斯寇編舞,它繼承了奧斯卡.史萊莫(Oskar Schlemmer)和華特格羅佩斯(Walter Gropius)的實驗精神,同時在現代語境中更新了「Das Totale Tanz Theater」(完全劇場)的概念,以虛擬實境舞蹈體驗,探索人類在數碼時代的角色。此大型裝置中,設計了數個體驗「完全劇場」的不同形式:多使用者裝置模式、單一使用者體驗及360度虛擬實境音樂錄像模式。


《Tanzmaschine》宣傳片:

https://bit.ly/2Tsni71


《SWIM 0.5》/攝:Maximillian Cheng(照片由徐奕婕提供)


「跳格2019」中,香港編舞家徐奕婕呈獻了她的虛擬實境獨舞作品《SWIM 0.5》,展現她在虛擬空間裡對動作的探索。有趣的是,這個短篇以藝術家身穿泳裝在泳池邊,準備跳入水中的瞬間,表達出以空間作為敘述的思考。在虛擬內容中,表演者的現身與消失,點出了一個相當有趣的問題:在虛擬表演空間裡,我們看得見甚麼,又會失去了甚麼呢?


《SWIM 0.5》宣傳片:

https://bit.ly/2SVAHnN


3. 混合實境

混合實境是一種相當尖端的延伸實境技術,將擴增實境推向另一層次。參與者將能夠在現實世界/環境中控制數碼內容。這通常是以配戴全息鏡頭裝置進行,裝置會透過疊加三維物件及影像,使參與者能同時看見虛擬和現實的世界。在擴增實境中,使用者只是觀測者,無法控制元素;在混合實境中,使用者則是行動的一部份。


以爭議性見稱的「行為藝術之祖母」瑪莉娜阿布拉莫維奇(Marina Abramović),在2019年初創作了混合實境(使用可穿戴的擴增實境裝置)的表演《生命》。它被視為世上首個混合實境的行為藝術作品。


「不同於虛擬實境,混合實境容讓使用者能完全看見藝廊和其他遊客,讓它們成為體驗的一部份。以繩圈劃出的5米大圓形空間,會被放在藝廊中央,參觀者在戴上混合現實裝置Magic Leap One後,便可見到以數碼影像形式呈現的阿布拉莫維奇。參觀者可自由探索藝術家的動作,彷彿藝術家本人正身處房間之中。[3]


《生命》參考錄像片段:

https://bit.ly/2RXCg4R


香港無疑有一群藝術科技人材,但本港產出的舞蹈科技項目或舞蹈媒體項目卻遠少於其他已發展城市。像香港芭蕾舞團一類的大型舞蹈機構有過一些成功例子。不過,獨立舞蹈藝術家和小型舞蹈藝團通常會更多靈活,在他們的表演項目裡實行創新的想法。這些舞者和編舞家有志於推動新型的表演,尋找新的觀眾。問題是,這些藝術家是否能在蘊釀階段就得到足夠支援?這不只是長線規劃的考慮,而是需要更多「行動迅速」與「具前瞻性」的策略。科技改變我們今天的生活,而藝術則與我們的生活經驗共鳴。對舞蹈來說,在保存既有傳統與創造新的文化實踐之間,要取得微妙的平衡。


[1] Raskar, Ramesh (1998). Spatially Augmented Reality. IWAR: https://web.media.mit.edu/~raskar/UNC/Office/0~IWAR_SAR.pdf (僅提供英文版本)

[2] 故事巢Storynest: https://www.storynest.com/pix/_4proj/per_interitance/p0.php?lang=ch

[3] Mark Westall, FAD Magazine, 6 February 2019, Marina Abramovic Presents A World First For Her Latest Performance: ‘The Life’ In Mixed Reality: https://fadmagazine.com/2019/02/06/marina-abramovic-a-world-first-for-her-latest-performance-the-life-in-mixed-reality (僅提供英文版本)



==

葉彩鳳

專業訓練出身的舞蹈藝術家,後涉足新媒體藝術 、學術及教育範疇,對藝術科技( 軀體學及醫學影像) 的實踐研究特別有興趣 。最近獲頒香港城市大學創意媒體學院傑出教學獎及香港演藝學院協作創意藝術獎。



 

Light, Silk, Dance

– on dance-tech, Hong Kong footprint & others


Text: Koala Yip

Translator: Raven Ching



When electrical lighting was first invented, no one could have imagined that this simple lighting device would inspire an artistic work like Loïe Fuller’s Serpentine Dance. In this piece with its spectacular use of swathes of fabric and coloured lighting effects, light and silk formed two inseparable artistic components in a newly devised form of dance art – today we would refer to this as “technology”. When we enjoy dance performances, we are moved by the beauty of dancers and choreography. At the same time, the way the dance is “illuminated” by the other artistic components is also key to the art form achieving its full impact. Dance is based on body movement, which has existed throughout human history, yet it is the interface with other elements that enables it to continually renew itself.


This article attempts to introduce recent technological inventions which may be considered as the new “light and silk” in dance art. In order to engage a wider range of readers, the art-tech topics will be accompanied by web links with samples of video sources available online. Some are complete dance pieces while others are excerpts. Therefore, this article can also serve to facilitate dance-tech study via web-surfing. Projects mentioned are organized so as to relate to certain dance projects of recent times, including some Hong Kong projects worthy of our attention.


The utilization of contemporary technologies in dance can be divided broadly into two main groups. One is applied media, which aims to rejuvenate or reinvent the essence of stage performance. This type is mostly represented by dance film/video and multimedia design incorporated into live performance. The other type involves integrating the concept of dance with a digital environment to create inventive art forms. Among various concepts, in this article we will focus on the notion of extended reality (XR).


In the first group, dance film/video is frequently considered as an extension of physical stage performance. Nowadays, the high speed advances in video production and display devices at both professional and consumer level continues to stimulate on-screen creation. Interfacing dance performance with the language of film/video has already long been a fertile creative channel for choreographers and film directors. In Hong Kong, dance video has established itself for over a decade. One of the major contributors in past years was the Jumping Frames International Dance Video Festival presented annually by City Contemporary Dance Company. Besides Jumping Frames, there are a large number of dance media works around. To mention just a few:


Projection mapping, also known as “Spatial Augmented Reality” [1] is a technological treatment to overlay video images onto 2-dimensional surfaces or 3-dimensional (3D) objects such as architectural buildings, theatre stages or any objects with irregular shapes.


In 2014, Taiwanese new media artist Huang Hsin-Chien created a media dance performance called The Inheritance [2]. The ground-breaking dance performance combined sophisticated video projection mapping, 3D printing, real-time motion capture, stereographic projection, 3D interactive imaging and historical architecture into an intense performance.


The Inheritance (10-minute version) video link:

https://bit.ly/3fIcESi


Recent screen media broadcasts with live special effects in Mainland China have resulted in an escalation of interest in dance viewing. In 2020, renowned dancer and choreographer Yang Lipingpresented her work Farewell My Concubine in the Hunan Satellite TV 2020 New Year's Eve Spring Festival Gala. In this live broadcast, a sophisticated multi-camera tracking system installed on the stage highlighted certain dance moments, creating a “bullet time effect” which froze the performer’s dance posture in time while the viewing angle flowed in a circular path. Such visual effects were available to audiences watching on a TV or computer screen but not to the audience watching live in the venue. It became a challenge for the choreographer to make the performance work for both digitally distributed screen dance and physical live performance.


Farewell My Concubine video link:

https://bit.ly/34E5FUi

These days it has become possible to shoot 8K video with a mobile phone and a wide range of free media platforms now encourage the distribution of short videos. In contrast with high budget video production, many independent artists are making dance videos with limited resources, yet still achieving quality outcomes. This is particularly true of the younger generation - born during the digital era, media application is almost an instinct for them.



Fantasy - An Acro Duo (Photo provided by Koala Yip)


Fantasy - An Acro Duo was choreographed and performed by Nikki Cheung and Jimmy Wong in 2017, when they were still university students. The duet was performed with a large video projection mapped at ground level. The video was shot from a drone which offered the audience a dynamic viewpoint as fluid as a flying bird. With zero budget, the young duo utilized their social network to form a small team and completed the film in a very short time. Many such cases reflect the powerful creative force art-tech inspires in the new generation. It comes naturally to them to embed technology into any art form.


Fantasy - An Acro Duo video link:

https://bit.ly/3uQmFkB


The next main group, which is also a more frontier area in dance-tech in our time, is XR. The most common use of this is in video games, immersive entertainment and training. In fact, the concept of XR is a generic term which refers to most applications in the virtual world, i.e. any digitally fabricated space or environment mirroring the real world. With its artificial nature, XR offers more freedom of imagination and manipulation when audiences (users) interact with it. XR falls into three major categories:


1. Augmented Reality (AR)

AR overlays virtual objects onto the real-world environment (on the screen). The most recognizable example is Pokémon GO. AR experience can be viewed on a digital screen of any size. Most of the user’s physical experience is still in the real world, and AR aims to enhance the real-world experience instead of requiring total immersion in the virtual world. AR can combine location information with virtual objects. Therefore, we can create virtual dance (either with real video images or virtual dancers) in a live performance venue, a specific site, or even in an art gallery similar to a conventional art space.


In 2018, Sadler’s Wells in London commissioned an AR dance work from UK dance company AΦE to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Choreographers Esteban Fourmi and Aoi Nakamura created a few short dance works via five connected AR viewing devices. The audience could move around the space and interact with virtual dancers (3D models generated from motion capture data). The audience's actions influenced how the piece was presented. This collective theatrical experience offered a reimagining of how dance might be performed to an audience.


Trailer of AΦE’s AR dance work, 0AR:

https://bit.ly/34F0kfk


2. Virtual Reality (VR)

The term “virtual reality” was coined by French playwright Antonin Artaud in 1938. In his book Le théâtre et son double (The Theatre and Its Double), Artaud referred to theatre as “la réalite virtuelle”, a reality that is both illusory and purely fictitious. Virtual reality “in which characters, objects, and images take on the phantasmagoric force of alchemy's visionary internal dramas”. Performing space, by its nature, is a series of spaces constructed with illusions and stage settings. Artistically, VR is a performing space where the dynamics of such a performative environment bring spectators, performers and creators together.


Technically, VR is achieved by using special headsets and haptics devices to initialize interaction with digital images and sound. VR systems aim to generate a physical presence, initializing comparatively realistic sensations mimicking real world experience by interacting in a completely artificial environment.


One example is the full-length VR dance film Afterimage for Tomorrow, directed by Taiwanese filmmaker Singing Chen (陳芯宜) and featuring choreographer and performer Chou Shu-Yi (周書毅). It was presented in Hong Kong as part of CCDC’s In Residence programme 2019 at Freespace.


Excerpt of Afterimage for Tomorrow:

https://bit.ly/3fKXMTh


Tanzmaschine is an extensive VR dance installation produced for the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus in Germany. Choreographed by Richard Siegal, the VR installation inherited the experimental spirit of Oskar Schlemmer and Walter Gropius and updated the concept of “Das Totale Tanz Theater” (Total Theatre) into the contemporary context, exploring the question of the role of people in the digital age in the form of a virtual reality dance experience. This large-scale installation is designed to offer different ways of experiencing the idea of “Total Theatre”: multi-user installation mode, single-user experience, and 360º VR music video mode.


Promotional Clip of Tanzmaschine:

https://bit.ly/2Tsni71


In Jumping Frames 2019, Hong Kong choreographer Ivy Tsui presented her VR solo piece SWIM 0.5, illustrating the exploration of movement in virtual space. Interestingly, this short piece expressed the notion of spatial narration by showing the artist in a swimsuit, by a pool, at the moment of preparing to dive into the water. The appearance and disappearance of the performer in the VR content sparked an intriguing question: what will be seen and what will be lost in VR performing space?


Promotional Clip ofSWIM 0.5:

https://bit.ly/2SVAHnN


3. Mixed Reality (MR)

A cutting edge XR technology, mixed reality is a technological system which takes AR to another level. Participants are able to manipulate the digital content in the real world/environment. This is often achieved by wearing a HoloLens device, which enables the participant to see both the virtual and real world by superimposing 3D objects and images. In AR, it is not possible to manipulate elements, so users are spectators; in MR, users are part of the action.


Marina Abramović, the provocative “grandmother of performance art”, created her performance The Life in mixed reality (a wearable augmented experience) in early 2019. The performance piece is considered the world’s first work of mixed reality performance art.


“Unlike virtual reality, mixed reality will allow the gallery and other visitors to be completely visible as part of the experience. A roped, five-metre circle will be at the centre of the gallery where the digital representation of Abramović, will be visible through the Magic Leap One device. Visitors will be free to explore the movements of the artist as if she were actually in the room”[3].


The Life video reference:

https://bit.ly/2RXCg4R


There is no doubt Hong Kong has a handful of art-tech talents, but the number of dance-tech or dance media projects is far below that in many other developed cities. Larger dance organizations like Hong Kong Ballet have achieved some success. However, independent dance artists and small dance groups are usually more flexible in implementing innovative ideas in their performance projects. This group of dancers and choreographers is driven to demonstrate new kinds of performance and look for new types of audience. The question is, do these artists get enough support in the nurturing process? This is not just a long-term consideration, but requires more of an “act-fast” and “forward-thinking” strategy. Technology affects the way we live today and art echoes our life experience. For dance, it is a delicate balance between preserving established traditions and creating new cultural practices.


[1] Raskar, Ramesh (1998). Spatially Augmented Reality. IWAR: https://web.media.mit.edu/~raskar/UNC/Office/0~IWAR_SAR.pdf

[2] Storynest: https://www.storynest.com/pix/_4proj/per_interitance/p0.php?lang=en

[3] Mark Westall, FAD Magazine, 6 February 2019, Marina Abramovic Presents A World First For Her Latest Performance: ‘The Life’ In Mixed Reality: https://fadmagazine.com/2019/02/06/marina-abramovic-a-world-first-for-her-latest-performance-the-life-in-mixed-reality



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Koala Yip

Formally trained as a dance artist, has extended her work into new media art and education, with practice-based research interests on Art-Tech (somatics and medical imagery). Recent recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, as well as the HKAPA Creative Collaborative Arts Award.