MAN A Collection (2014-2020)

Ruth Gibson (Artist), Bruno Martelli (Artist)

Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchArtefact


MANA is a multi-dimensional practice-as-research project opening up new spaces, places and stages for immersive dance performance through Augmented and Virtual Reality.

The project comprises eleven solo motion-captured dance performances, an AR and VR app, 36 different physical prints, four sculptures, three murals, 100 sets of physical prompt card combinations and iterations, or stagings, for triggering virtual sequences of the dances.

The dance composition is suited for the project’s purpose and choreographed and coded as palindrome loops of improvised dance. The dramaturgy is created for a three-dimensional stage, while the sculpture, prints and objects are site-specific.

The MAN A app enables audiences to access the performances in different settings using a digital device, such as a smartphone with a camera, to activate playback of animated dances. Viewing through a computer tablet the dancer avatars emerge from prints and sculptures as superimpositions. Through bodily engagement with the act of viewing audiences are able to watch, move with and experience dance in novel ways.

Research aims

MAN A uncovers new ways of encountering and perceiving the human body in motion, through virtual and physical artefacts. The research integrates significant historical design principles (Dazzle)1 with mixed reality technology, requiring the viewer to determine their mode of interaction as active co-creators in the experience.

MAN A demonstrates convergence between recorded, virtual and live experience.

MAN A brings digital dance content into the real world around the viewer in AR and transports the viewer into a fully immersive dance performance environment to explore, with six degrees of freedom in VR. MAN A offers experiences in the round, sensations of being amongst dancers, being inside the experience achieving alternate viewpoints and dynamic variations extending audience agency.

1 Dazzle Camouflage
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • AR
  • VR
  • Dance
  • Avatar
  • choreography
  • print
  • sculpture
  • mural
  • computer science
  • computer programming
  • Skinner Releasing Technique
  • Improvisation
  • Mixed Reality
  • extended reality

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  • Lumen Prize Gold Winner

    Gibson, Ruth (Recipient) & Bruno Martelli (Recipient), 24 Sep 2015

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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