A Multimedia Information Repository for Cross Cultural Dance Studies
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Multimedia technologies provide effective means for studying the evolution of dance across time and space. The study may be at the micro level which analyzes the development of an individual's performance and the movements of the dancer(s) in 3D space and over the length of the dance. However, at the macro level, diffusion of dance throughout the world over a span of time may be investigated in order to trace particular dance repertoires that may have traveled across various cultures and traditions. Although clearly different with respect to the expected objectives, both micro level analysis and macro level analysis require detailed comparison of patterns on the basis of certain characteristics that are deemed significant for a given dance. These characteristics are diverse in nature and may include such parameters as design formations, use of space (including level, direction, etc.), dynamics, paraphernalia (e.g., swords, sticks, etc.), sound, and color.
We present the design of a multimedia information system with two complimentary aims. The first is to automate, to the greatest degree possible, the process of comparison and analysis of dance and human movement. Much of the information about dance exists in the form of video, images, audio and written commentaries, all collected into a digital library. As dance related materials are added, a wide variety of routines are needed to extract the necessary low level features from the multimedia objects. These low level features are then interpreted to human understandable features and patterns, which will be used for analysis by specialists. The second aim is to bring artists and technologists closer in a meaningful way.
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