What is VICKI?

Choreobot, or VICKI, is a simulated artificial intelligence that generates choreography for or during a performance. To quote VICKI:

“Choreobot is designed to challenge a dancer’s movement skills, and asks the dancer to draw upon advanced improvisational interpretation. I am programmed to make dances using theme and variation as prescribed by my creator. I use textbook dance methods, but – I am unpredictable. The dancer will demonstrate as I begin my next new dance.”

Choreobot creates a new performance mode for the dancer and demonstrates choreographic methods to the audience. Too often, audiences report that they did not understand the dance, while the choreographer had an intentional purpose and logic. Choreobot simultaneously unveils choreographic methods, vocabulary, and pedagogy as it creates choreography, and gives the dancer varying levels of artistic control. For the dancer, the bot may be used to train improvisational skills, advance technique, and broaden the dancer’s movement palette. For the viewer, Choreobot engages the audience on multiple levels, asking such questions as, “how is the performer handling the commands?” “what kinds of commands are given?” and “how does the piece evolve?”

There are three sections to VICKI’s program. In the first section, VICKI commands the movement, and the dancer decides how to perform it. In the second section, the dancer improvises the movement, and VICKI commands how it develops, creating movement phrases. In the final section, VICKI commands the dancer to perform the phrases in a random order to match the sound, equally random in tempo variance, ending the performance in a climactic, yet comical culmination.

In relating choreographic tools to automated creativity, I hope to revive intrigue in all audiences, whether familiar with dance or not, and provoke questions on dance methods by which “intelligent” choreography is modeled.

*VICKI is a flexible program that may be altered. This site is the archive of the process, and is updated to include new research as it occurs.

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