New Creative Partnership Explores the Future of Live Entertainment through Motion Capture Technology

Joni RhodesEnterprise and InnovationLeave a Comment

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The University of Portsmouth has joined forces with New Theatre Royal and The Old Market in Brighton to explore the future of live entertainment.

A first of its kind, this partnership allowed artists to combine new and old entertainment to tell stories using multimedia technologies and discover how the digital age will change the way we consume and imbibe stories.

“As technology advances at ever increasing rate, we are keen to explore what the future of live entertainment will be in the coming years.  Our partnership with New Theatre Royal and the excellent team at the University of Portsmouth enables us to bring some of the UK’s leading artists to play and explore,” comments James Turnbull, The Old Market

This unique new venture saw two dynamic theatre companies take part in a weeklong residency from 11-15 September to explore the creative implications of real-time Motion Capture technology.

Laura Doye, Artistic Director at New Theatre Royal comments, “This project marks the start of our Creative Technology Gateway, an exciting artistic vision that will bring artists and technologists together to find a common language for future theatre makers. We are so pleased to working in partnership to realise this vision and to open opportunities for artists to learn and develop future skills.”

Following an open artist call, Limbik Theatre and Spymonkey were selected to participate in the residency. The successful theatre companies’ innovative approach to performing arts reflects the project’s aspiring vision to challenge the future of theatre.

The residency allowed the professional artists to undertake five days of research and development in the University’s Motion Capture Suite as well as a space to rehearse at New Theatre Royal.

The School of Creative Technologies provided a team of technologists and digital artists to help the performers realise their ideas. Alex Counsell, Mo-Cap expert and Lecturer at University of Portsmouth, is excited to be merging the technical capabilities of motion-capture and virtual reality with the creativity of the theatre.

“This work is totally experimental and will open up a whole new level of immersion. We’re doing real-time motion capture so we are creating things and seeing them happen immediately.”

The aim of this creative project was to engage with the technology without the stress of production cycles, with work involving anything from animating non-humanoid characters to exploring the relationship between a live actor and one performing through an avatar.

This residency and the TOMtech programme was funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and presented in partnership with New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth, University of Portsmouth, CiRCA69 and Digital Catapult Centre Brighton.

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