Héléne Bernier: From visitor to dancer: using digital media and immersive technology to curate the performing arts

This paper explores the potential of digital and immersive technology as a means of creating more meaningful shared experiences in the museum.

It presents the travelling exhibition Rebel Bodies which was inaugurated in March 2015 at the Musée de la civilisation in Quebec City, Canada, and created in partnership with members of the national and international communities of artists. A project exclusively dedicated to contemporary dance, the exhibition transcends the conventional museum-going experience, becoming a participatory onsite work-in-progress and a catalyst for inquiry on matters of performance and intangible cultural heritage. The exhibition includes a full scale dancer’s studio (Danser Joe) progressively transforming the museum experience from that of a passive information-gathering event into a more interactive, empowering and inspiring opportunity for artists and visitors alike. Through the use of digital media and immersive technology, the museum-goer learns to become part of Joe, a group piece created in 1983 by Quebec dancer and choreographer Jean-Pierre Perreault. In the Studio, both contributing artists and visitors become active participants who contribute in a collective effort to reinterpret and, by extension, help preserve the memory of the play through re-enactment.


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