We create each workshop content according to the context and to the needs of the group.

We have ran workshops for:

  • Zodiak – Center for New Dance
  • Medialab, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
  • Dance department, University of the Arts Helsinki
  • Lighting and sound design department, University of the Arts Helsinki

Workshop description

Have you ever thought what dance sounds like?

What would the duet of a dancer and a musician sound like?

The method is based on new sensory and sound technologies that are used to produce sound out of movement and turn the dancer into an instrument that can also perform as an active kinetic composer.

The course examines simultaneous performance by a ‘sound dancer’ and a musician using a method where the dancer engages in a dialogue of music and motion with the musician. Participants may register for the course as dancers or musicians. No further experience of playing a musical instrument is required from dancers. The course approaches motion through the practical history of each individual body; all forms of dance and physical performance are potential angles of approach. Previous experience of musical improvisation is required from musicians, who are invited to participate with their own instruments, starting from their own cultural and musical histories.

Both dancers and musicians are invited to participate on the course. The course is open for dance and music professionals and advanced hobbyists.


A Workshop for MediaLab sound designers

Sounding Motion Tangible audible technologies  was one week workshop offering sound designers the chance to work with physical performers wearing sensor technology. The course was designed and presented by choreographer Hanna Pajala-Assefa and sound designer Guy Dowsett. During the week sound students developed their own sensors and sounds specifically collaborating with a physical performers who are familiar with sensor technology.

Working with physical performers brings many new challenges, which a new media artist may not have considered. Human bodies move and bend in particular ways, sensor systems need to be calibrated and fine tuned for individual performers, they need to be robust and dependable. The focus in this workshop was to focus and limit the technology, optimizing and streamlining it for the performance experience, rather than unlimited experimentation with the range of available technologies. Participants were encouraged to choose one method and to see where they can take it over the course of the week, focusing on the relationship between movement and sound manipulation.

On the first day, participants were shown some of the existing technologies developed by the SoMo group, and presented improvisations by dancers wearing the sensors. During the second day sound designers built their own system, selecting the sensors they want to research and experiment with, and built their own ‘pack’ which the dancer can wear during performance. This involves space optimization, protecting and reinforcing the circuits, minimizing potential for damage, and establishing wireless communication between performers sensors and sound designer’s sound instruments.

Dancers creating soundscape with the wearable sensors

Over the last three days sound designers worked with performers in developing meaningful expression in sound by moving human bodies. This involved experimentation and fine tuning as well as daily presentations to everyone for feedback from the other performers and other sound designers. The dancers will have very different perspectives to sound designers and their opinions can be most poignant. Participants were highly encouraged to carefully consider the opinions of others and use them as a launch pad for further thought and development. The experience of dancers is generally more tactile and visual and their movements and form are generally crafted to express sound that is already present. In our new setting the dancers create the sound themselves out of their movement -become sonic dancers. In this regard it was anticipated and recognised that the performers can in turn learn a lot from the sound designers.