Dance Tonite

Collaborative dancing in VR

Dance Tonite is an ever-changing VR collaboration by LCD Soundsystem and their fans. By contributing personal, expressive or abstract moves everyone with a room based VR device can participate in this video.

Dance Tonite is a collaboration between Studio Puckey, Moniker and Google's Data Arts Team.

The making of Dance Tonite

Making of

The creative process

Often VR is used to create powerful, emerging, experiences, but the wow-factor quickly decays after being in VR a bit longer. Since the team was not specialised in 3D and somewhat skeptical towards VR as a consumer platform we wondered if we were able to make something interesting in that field. This changed the moment Jonathan built a prototype that allowed using VR as a motion capture device. After a few iterations we were became experts in single handedly performing group dances.

It's remarkable how three abstract shapes can turn into something human the moment they start moving. This principle is nicely illustrated in this video demonstrating the work of the Swedish Psychologist Gunnar Johansson. Another reference we used during the development of this project is the film Canon by Norman McLaren. It shows a visual version of what in music is known as a canon. By layering multiple instances of the same melody on top of each other with an off-set in time we can create an harmonious piece.

Sketch book

Web VR

Using a new open web standard called WebVR, the experience is accessible from a single URL and works across platforms, giving the user a different role in the experience depending on their device.

With Daydream View or other handheld VR headsets, you are on stage watching the experience unfold around you. With room-scale VR such as the HTC VIVE or Oculus Rift (which enable your physical movements to be reflected in VR), you are a performer. Without VR, you are in the audience getting a bird’s eye view perspective.

Want to know more? Jonathan wrote a technical deep dive.

Selected Coverage

Credits

  • Directors
    Jonathan Puckey
    Moniker
    Google's Data Arts Team
  • Developers
    Jonathan Puckey
    Jeff Nusz
    David van Gelder de Neufville
    Michael Chang
    Stewart Smith
    Gianluca Martini
  • Concept
    Studio Puckey
     Moniker
  • Music
    LCD Sound System
  • Production
    Sabah Kosoy
    Alisha Jaeger
  • Typography
    Marius Schwartz
  • Typeface
  • Dance Assistents
    Reineke Jonker
    Severin Bunse
    Marius Schwartz
    Niklaus Mettler
    Melissa Siegrist