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Exploring audience behaviour during contemporary dance performances

  1. Theodorou, P. G. T. Healey and F. Smeraldi, , in Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Movement and Computing (MOCO), doi:10.1145/2948910.2948928, June 2016


How can performers detect and potentially respond to the reactions of a live audience? Audience members' physical movements provide one possible source of information about their engagement with a performance. Using a case study of the dance performance "Frames" that took place in Theatre Royal in Glasgow during March 2015, we examine patterns of audience movement during contemporary dance performances and explore how they relate to the dancer's movements. Video recordings of performers and audience were analysed using computer vision and data analysis techniques extracting facial expression, hand gestural and body movement data. We found that during the performance audiences move very little and have predominantly expressionless faces while hand gestures seem to play a significant role in the way audiences respond. This suggests that stillness i.e. the absence of motion may be an indicator of engagement.

(Full text) (ACM website)

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