Celestial Motion II
a shared virtual reality experience
Earth and everything it contains, including your human body, is made from material born in the heart of a star.
Celestial Motion II transports you and a friend to an alternate universe where you are joined by a virtual cast of world-class dancers on a thrilling journey through the stars to the sun. Using HTC Vive motion tracking technology to playfully recreate your body, this thrilling experience immerses you in a stunning visual environment inspired by the dynamic world of solar physics.
“Celestial Motion II is a big step forward in my exploration of the movement capabilities of virtual reality. As a choreographer I’m fascinated by tools that are becoming available through VR to visualize human movement in previously unimagined ways. HTC Vive’s technology has enabled us to draw users closer in to the world of dance than ever before, providing a richly embodied experience and showing how this powerful platform is opening up fascinating possibilities for the art form. I’m also really excited about this being a social experience where two people can explore the virtual world together, which I hope will provoke more conversation about how we navigate experiences and relate to one another through movement.” Alexander Whitley
Preview at Watermans Arts Centre, London >
FUTURE INSTALLATION DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED. COMING SOON TO HTC VIVE ARTS >
Artistic Director and Choreographer: Alexander Whitley
Creative technologist / Lead developer: Luca Biada, F E N Y C E
Producer for AWDC: Donna Meierdiercks
Advisory Director: Shehani Fernando (The Guardian)
Music: Daniel Wohl
Dancers: Tia Hockey, Caitlin Taylor, Victoria Roberts, Hannah Ekholm, David Ledger, Michael Marquez, Leon Poulton
Introduction: Jim Al-Khalili
Produced by The Guardian and adapted for Vive by Alexander Whitley Dance Company and Fenyce, with support from HTC Vive and Arts Council England. Based on 8 Minutes by Alexander Whitley Dance Company, an original commission by Sadler's Wells.
This new VR installation is born out of an original stage production, 8 Minutes, commissioned by Sadler’s Wells, which premiered in June 2017. Alexander collaborated with physicists from STFC RAL Space, taking inspiration from images and data of solar science research to explore the spectacular forces at work in the universe. A specially composed score by Daniel Wohl and visuals by BAFTA-winning artist Tal Rosner brought the production to life and it has continued to tour throughout 2017, 2018 and again this Spring.
Celestial Motion - a virtual reality experience for Daydream
Following the success of the stage production, Alexander reinterpreted the choreography to create Celestial Motion: a virtual dance experience for Daydream with The Guardian’s award-winning virtual reality department. Launched in Spring 2018, players use the controller to switch between watching dancers in their human form and experiencing a parallel cosmic world where ethereal digital figures perform the same choreography.
For this cosmic world, the dancers were recorded performing while wearing motion capture suits. The data captured from each dancer was then manipulated by lead creative developer Luca Biada to add dynamic effects to the digital bodies. The Daydream version of Celestial Motion launched in December 2017 and had its UK premiere at Sadler’s Wells and international premiere at HotDocs in Toronto.
“Solar-powered beauty” Evening Standard, on 8 Minutes
“Alexander Whitley’s poetic and playful creation captures the alien unknowableness of the universe, as well as its visual magic. A stunning cosmic voyage.” The Guardian, on 8 Minutes
“A spell-binding display of sound and colour from images of the sun which gives our planet life” The Metro, on 8 Minutes