6 awesome videos of drones in dance

Enjoy these 6 awesome videos of drones in dance. Here are beautiful choreographed dances that have cleverly integrated the use of drone technology to bring them to a new high. {Pun intended! :D}


Shadow (Elevenplay & Rhizomatiks)

Elevenplay, led by director and choreographer Mikiko, is a dance company that creates amazing dance installations integrating drones into their choreography. They have been around since 2009.

In Shadow, their video below, the dancers create a sense of hope, a new representation of the world, mixing the charm of the virtual and the realistic. The concept aims to open up the world of drones as an artist medium, to expand ways of expression.

The dancer is Kaori Yasukawa and the artistic direction and drone lighting programming was done by Daito Manabe of Rhizomatiks.

Fun fact: Lady Gaga’s world tour had Elevenplay as the opening act along with Hatsune Miku, an extremely popular singing holographic persona with long turquoise pigtails, voiced by a singing synthesizer application developed in Japan.

3 dancers and 24 drones (Elevenplay & Rhizomatiks)

Another video from Elevenplay in collaboration with Rhizomatiks, this time using 24 drones and 3 dancers:

Elevenplay Dance Performance with Drones

The beautiful show below explores the relationship and interaction between body and technology.

In the show, the 3 dancers Aya Koumen, Erisa Wakisaka and Kaori Yasukawa interact with a variety of hardware and devices (such as robot arms and motor-controlled floating balls).

Bringing these drones into the dance opens us to a new understanding of the idea of space on the dance floor. To find new bodily expression, dancers perform as objects are arranged around them in real space. These drones are extending the boundaries of expression.

Thanks to tracking technologies and drone control systems, the possibilities of dance and stage entertainment have been hugely expanded.

In this show, drones move following both the movement of the dancers, tracked by a device, and the variations artificially induced in the tracking software.

Sparked (ETH Zurich, Verity Studios, Cirque Du Soleil)

Scientists at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control of the University of Zurich (ETH Zurich) have worked with Verity Studios and Cirque du Soleil to choreograph ten lampshades fitted with small drones in an aerial dance.

The result: a hit video on the internet, which reached over 860,000 views on Youtube alone and won the New York City Drone Film Festival in the Featuring Drones category.

Shot in 3 days at the Flying Machine Arena, a portable space in ETH Zurich devoted to the research of autonomous flight, Sparked is a short film that combines human dramatic performance with a group of computer controlled flying machines.

While I was watching it, I was reminded of the 1940’s Disney animation Fantasia. It is truly amazing that we can now use real life objects to create these fantastical live shows.

Sparked‘s visual textures are real – no CGI or wires, slow-mo or fast-forwards were used to enhance what you see in the video. If you want to read more about its behind-the-scenes, watch the really interesting video Sparked: Behind the Technology.

Dancing with Drones (Nina Kov, COLLMOT Robotic Research Group)

Dancing with Drones is the result of a collaboration between the London-based choreographer Nina Kov, and COLLMOT Robotic Research Group, belonging to the Department of Biological Physics, Eötvös University (Budapest).

COLLMOT researches complex structure and dynamics of collective motion, including the collective motion of autonomous drones.

This project was funded by the European ICT & ART Connect initiative, which aims at bringing together European artists and technologists to explore new ways of working and collaborating.

The goal of Dancing with Drones is to create a common ground for the study and understanding of movement and the organized succession of movement (choreography) for both humans and UAVs.

There are no pilots and no pre-programmed routes in Dancing with Drones, only dance and movement interactions between the drones and the dancer.

A Kind Drone (Dentsu, Buyma)

This ironic and graceful dance video, which drew more than a whopping 1,000,000 views on YouTube, was created by the Japanese advertising agency Dentsu as an advertising tool for the online fashion & shopping marketplace Buyma.

The use of drones to strategically ‘Bleep’ out the sensitive areas is quite fun. It’s not clear whether in this video drones are computer animated or hand-controlled, but the control of the drones is very precise and clever:


Did you enjoy these drones & dance videos? “Welcome to art in the 21st century, where technology is a natural part of the stagecraft”, as Mashable writes.

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