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  • Photo: Tomoya Takeshita

Excellence Award

discrete figures


Dance installation [Japan]

Dance performance generating bodily expression through mathematical / collective intelligence-based method- ology. With AI and machine learning offering new insights into the body schema and movement, numeric data and analytical results derived from it inform the choreography. A neighbor- hood search system matches pose data from stage footage and movies with dancer pose data, for instance, to project imagery of poses closest to theirs into a rectangular on-stage frame. Analysis of lobby-shot day-of- show audience footage and dancers’ motion data is used to project audi- ence members on-screen as dancers themselves, while on-stage imple- ments from microdrones to the frame respond to dancers’ movements based on various rules and algo- rithms to generate new bodily expres- sions. Presented since 2018 in cities around the world including Montréal (Canada), San Francisco (U.S.A.), To- kyo and Barcelona (Spain).

© Rhizomatiks / ELEVENPLAY




Born in 1976 in Tokyo. Media artist, Artist, interaction designer, software engineer, DJ, composer. Representative of Rhizomatiks Research.

( 2017 )



Engineer, artist. Representative of Rhizomatiks Research. Active in device and hardware production and other fields.

( 2017 )



Choreographer. Director of ELEVENPLAY dance company.

( 2017 )



Established in 2009 as a dance company made up only of female dancers, led by MIKIKO.

( 2019 )

Award Reason

A new form of expression may have just appeared in the world of dance, with its history of hundreds of years, thanks to new technology involving deep neural networks (DNN), multi- layered systems of artificial neurons. Adding various algorithms has en- abled image recognition / genera- tion with an unprecedented degree of precision. This work taps the full potential of DNN to innovate forms of expression beyond human capabil- ity. ELEVENPLAY is a female dance unit, yet their stage partners are not dancers in the flesh. They are, rather, “virtual dancers” developed by study- ing the movements of ordinary people with DNN, and undoubtedly the most advanced such partners existing technology could produce. Where William Forsythe eschewed emotion and Pina Bausch took the opposite tack, this work can be appraised as offering glimpses of a new third cat- egory of dance expression distinct from both. (IKEGAMI Takashi)

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