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Dancers move this interactive light show

The timeless beauty of a dance performance collides with 21st century body tracking and projection technology.

A new way to look at the performing arts.
Klaus Obermaier and Ars Electronica Futurelab

A dancer takes the stage, melts to the ground, and then rises as a silhouette bathed in a downpour of digital light. This isn't a hallucination, but rather Apparition, an interactive light show by Austrian media artist Klaus Obermaier.

Built in collaboration with the Ars Electronica Futurelab, the Apparition project turns a dancer and his or her stage into a kinetic dance experience that overloads the senses. As the dancer flourishes, a camera-based motion tracking system monitors the subject's speed, direction, and intensity of movement.

From there, the camera feed ties into a specialized computer program, which runs an algorithm capable of creating visuals based on the captured movement data. These visuals project onto the dancer and the background, and as the dancer continues to move, more light-driven contractions, distortions, and ripples happen.

Observe a performer dancing in a digital domain in the video below.