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CyberBallet is a dance performance in cyberspace: What does it mean to have a body, to exist and move in physical space? Can an Artificial Intelligence truly grasp the basics of the human experience if it lacks a body?

The collaboration of German Virtual Reality and Theatre collective CyberRäuber with dancers of Badisches Staatsballet, the dance company of the statetheatre in Karlsruhe, Germany, Israeli composer Micha Kaplan and German-Brazilian choreographer Ronni Maciel underwent two drastic transformations: at first Covid-19 forced the team to shift the project - originally planned as a live VR-installation on a theatre stage - to Cyberspace. CyberBallet became a performance in front of a

live audience, sharing the virtual space with their avatars and the performers on a social VR- platform, without anybody physically leaving their homes.

This version was staged in a series of public rehearsals (one of them as part of the VRHAM Festival 2020 in Hamburg, Germany), followed by its premiere at Ars Electronica Festival 2020.

In a second step, 2021 CyberBallet transitioned to an installation on stand-alone VR-headsets, enabling the audience to experience the piece in the medium it was made for, encountering dancing avatars of a curious machine, moving and dancing with them.

Motion capture dance data and extensive video recordings are the basis for machine learning / neural networks to isolate, analyze, contextualize and visualize dance. The visitor, by exploring a stage, gains a fragmented new perspective on something humans take for granted, while being nearly incomprehensible for a machine: having a body and the joy of movement.

Concept, Direction: CyberRäuber (Marcel Karnapke, Björn Lengers)
Music: Micha Kaplan
Choreography, Dance, Concept: Ronni Maciel
Stage: Angelika Katzinger
Production: Eva-Karen Tittmann
Choreography, Dance: Badisches Staatsballett (Désirée Ballantyne, Anastasiya Didenko, Carolina Martins, Louiz Rodrigues, Emiel Vandenberghe)
Voice: Jessica Gadani

A collaboration with Badisches Staatstheater, Karlsruhe and Landestheater Linz
Funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Fonds Doppelpass



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