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.

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“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