research projects

kinesthetic interactivity

The mv lab provides an environment for play and kinesthetic mindfulness, allowing participants a better understanding of their own movement patterns and the theoretical infrastructures shaping this exploratory playground. The mv tool has pedagogical, as well as research, value. You learn a lot about your own movement baseline in this environment, and this expanded self-awareness ties in with one of the core ideas driving Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies: that we cannot adequately observe the movement patterns of others until we better understand our own. The accessibility and portability of our Kinect-driven motion capture space makes it easy to demonstrate the interactive mode of the mv tool through workshops and conference installations.

The interactivity of the mv tool allows for real-time feedback from LMA and cinematographic frameworks, giving participants a better understanding of their own patterns and the theoretical infrastructures shaping this exploratory space. Visual overlays allow the mover to see how their movement pathways align with and deviate from Laban’s conception of Space, as the body expands and contracts. This tool also creates the impression of the moving frame based on the moving agent's physicality or permits a second participant to digitally manipulate the rendering of the captured movement.

applied stylistics

We seek to deepen our understanding of the craft practices developed by choreographers, cinematographers, and directors in making figure movement a key element in cinematic storytelling. By collecting and studying movement data with the mv tool, we are building a database of movement phrases driven by patterns found in Laban Movement Analysis, dance forms, and figure movement in cinema.

research output

Mike Junokas created an evening-long concert piece for the McLean Counter Arts Center (Bloomington, IL) on February 9th, 2019, and collaborated with Jenny Oyallon-Koloski for the middle movement. the sun will always shine addresses the organization of sound as a consequence of space, blurring the influences of linear time. Through the use of computer algorithms, analog circuitry, and signal processing, new methods of form emerge, subverting the inescapable march of traditional music composition form.

Jenny Oyallon-Koloski, in virtual collaboration with Mike Junokas, presented a demo of our mv tool at the 2019 Association for Computers and the Humanities conference in Pittsburgh, PA.

Robbie Sieczkowski adapted the framework and goals of the mv tool to an immersive VR environment by building an app that allows participants to experience features of the mv tool in a more immersive environment. The app allows control of the camera’s agency in a 360˚ space to observe pre-recorded motion capture data and also to interact with visualizations of platonic solids (octahedron, icosahedron, and cube), key shapes that correspond to LBMS’ theories about the link between crystalline shapes and levels of directional complexity in the human body.

The mv lab's performative research methodology is published in Digital Humanities Quarterly (2021, issue forthcoming). In Moving Cinematic History: Filmic Analysis through Performative Research we argue for the value of motion capture-driven research that moves audiovisual analysis in a performative direction to integrate the dancer/researcher into the cinematic space. We use the mv tool and videographic methods to recreate and disseminate two cases: movement scales from Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies and dance sequences from narrative cinema. Rather than working from existing audiovisual content, we posit that the act of recreating the movement phrases leads to a deeper understanding of the choreography and, in the case of the filmic examples, of the formal practices that led to their creation. The article is co-authored by Jenny Oyallon-Koloski, Mike Junokas, Dora Valkanova, Kayt MacMaster, and Sarah Marks Mininsohn.