Contemporary choreographers often interact directly with dancers when exploring their ideas, but lack adequate tools for capturing and documenting their work. Although our first study of choreographers and dancers revealed diverse strategies for recording choreographic fragments, we found that they all worked in terms of constraints, which they represented via spatial diagrams, as movement qualities or with their own personal notation system. This led to the design of Knotation, a mobile pen-based tool that lets choreographers sketch their own representations of choreographic ideas and render them interactive. In study two, Knotation served as a technology probe to support the contrasting practices of three professional choreographers. We revised Knotation based on their input, and ran a third structured observation study with six professional choreographers. Knotation easily supported both dance-then-record and record-then-dance strategies. Participants used and appropriated Knotation’s advanced features, including the combination of interactive timelines and floorplan diagrams, to represent and explore complex choreographic structures.
Knotation lets choreographers sketch their own representations of choreographic ideas and render them interactive.
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