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“There are people making beautiful art through code” - Where dance and technology meet

Image of two men dancing.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - 9:00pm

“There are people making beautiful art through code,” says Luke Garwood, a student entering his second year in OCAD U’s Digital Futures program. He’s also an accomplished dancer.

Luke moved to Toronto from Montreal when he was 16 to study at the National Ballet School.  After graduating, he worked in Europe and spent five years working at the Toronto Dance Theatre.  He’s been freelancing since then doing modern dance, music videos and theatre. 

Luke also competed in last weekend’s Street versus Stage dance battle at the SummerWorks Festival. 

“I’ve always been interested in technology,” says Luke.  “The dance world and its ephemeral quality has its limitations – it only exists while it’s being performed. With digital tech becoming more immersive, this can change.”

Digital Futures is a unique program where students can blend their interests in art, computer programming, design and business.  The program is already feeding his dancing, says Luke.  He’s created augmented reality dance app that’s available in iTunes by searching “Ephemeral App”.  

Luke’s three reasons how digital media can help dancers:

  1. Digital is our current environment. Dance can either choose to be a time capsule of what it used to be or run with the current times and push ahead.
  2. Digital media is a great creative tool. For example, 3D mapping with camera can do amazing things with body movement. It can also create immersive experience such as Beck’s recent 3D video concert.
  3. Digital media is a way for the dance art form to last beyond a live performance.  Right now, digital tech is seen as a marketing tool for live dance performances – but, in the future, the digital platform could host or be part of the performance, not just promoting it.