Creating live visuals for a dance performance

Tools: TouchDesigner, LivePose

Mosaico is an ongoing project with choreographer Audrey Gaussiran and percussionist/composer Joannie Labelle. It is a dance performance centered on themes of personal and collective identity, and how it is shaped by our geographical, cultural and digital environment. The show is still a work-in-progress and is set to premiere in 2023.

Photo: Andrée-Anne Laroche/Petit Théâtre du Vieux-Noranda

For this project, my role is to create and design visuals that will be displayed on stage and will interact with the dancers’ bodies and movements. Movements are mostly captured using infrared cameras, but also by using skeleton-tracking software.

My creative approach here is inspired from paint and paintings. My goal is to try and mimick behaviors and patterns typical to paint as a medium: the way oil-based paint mixes and coalesces with other liquids, how different brushstrokes will create different visual results, etc. I am also making a conscious effort to try and avoid black entirely, and instead rely on a more varied and creative color palette to convey depth and tension in the visuals. This is my second project ever as a visual artist, Fish Eye (2020) being my first foray into the world of digital live visuals.

Photo: Andrée-Anne Laroche/Petit Théâtre du Vieux-Noranda

From March 5th to March 11th, Audrey and I completed an initial creative residency at the Petit Théâtre du Vieux-Noranda in Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. We used the opportunity to flesh out some initial visual ideas and start sketching the initial structure of the show.

The residency was also a great moment for us to try out a new skeleton-tracking software called LivePose, developed by the Metalab. Spook is a free and open-source tool based on OpenCV that allows artist to easily leverage skeleton-tracking data through OSC communication.

Photo: Andrée-Anne Laroche/Petit Théâtre du Vieux-Noranda