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Open Source Dance


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I gave this presentation (well, a slightly modified version) at the New Forms Festival ArtCamp in September 2007.

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Open Source Dance

  1. 1. Open Source Dance: Background (1 of 3) • Young choreographers want to see and learn from choreographic work around the world… but airfare is expensive, planes are environmentally-unsound, and travel/study grants are hard to come by. Also, airline food sucks. • Increasingly small world, global cultures, etc… • Dance is art, choreography is intellectual property. I dare you to say otherwise. • There’s a site where you can download free music you can legally use and remix ( There are sites for downloading royalty-free images and textures. Why not for dance?
  2. 2. Open Source Dance: Background (2 of 3) Creative Commons (“CC”) “provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from All Rights Reserved to Some Rights Reserved.”
  3. 3. Open Source Dance: Background (3 of 3) • Open Source Dance is a site-in-progress where you can license your choreography under a Creative Commons license. The site hopes to provide tools to help you discover existing dance works that you can legally use, reuse, and sample. • Open Source Dance envisions a world where dance authors actively invite others to build upon their work. Through this framework, the use of artistic material is explicitly and conveniently attributed.
  4. 4. How It Works (1 of 5) Choreographer Ramya Wong creates a dance piece, Solo X, on her friend and has it performed in public.
  5. 5. How It Works (2 of 5) Ramya announces through a public statement (on her website/in the program notes/right before the piece, etc.) that she is inviting other dance artists to build upon Solo X, and gives them a link that will explain to people how they can do so.
  6. 6. How It Works (3 of 5) Ramya posts Solo X on by uploading files related to the choreography (such as her choreographic notes and a video of the piece)and information about herself and the piece. She chooses a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 License for her work.
  7. 7. How It Works (4 of 5) Tadahiko McDonald is a dance-for-video artist looking for new movement vocabulary for his upcoming dance film, Dances With Godzilla. A few days after Ramya posts her work on, Tadahiko comes across Solo X while browsing through choreographies registered on the site. He really likes what Ramya has done with the movement. Because of the type of license Ramya has used, he is able to use entire sections of choreography from Solo X in Dances with Godzilla.
  8. 8. How It Works (5 of 5) After finishing the production of Dances With Godzilla, Tadahiko has the option of registering his video with When he does, he can indicate he used Solo X for his film. By doing so, he helps build a genealogy of dances, a historical trail that maps the influences of eachwork registered on
  9. 9. Next Steps • Improving the interface and getting help from other programmers (we need help!) • Need to add: user management, searchability. • There was an alpha version online where people registered movement sequences but I let the domain name ( expire! • Currently working with students from UP Los Banos' computer science program to help with the programming. thank you!