Embodiment in Virtual Reality Performance

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 367)


In this publication, we present artistic and technical developments in creating and presenting dance performances in media art, where embodiment is crucial in the artistic process. We study and compare three distinct performances with dancers and one choreographer in the same dance company between 2009 and 2020. The degree of immersion in performance is then compared between the three pieces, created at Balleteatro, in Porto, addressing the transition from the real to the virtual in the performance perspective, with practical cases and direct observations in the way the audience learns different states of body representation through technological means. We initially present the NUVE performance (2010), interpreted by Né Barros, Co:Lateral (2016–2019), a performance that crosses different realities, and, finally, the transition to the UNA work (2020) that takes place in total virtuality. This publication focuses on the developments, the public experience, and the results obtained in more than 20 exhibitions in different locations, either in theater or auditorium and in conference venues.


Embodiment Performance Virtual reality 



We are grateful to the entire Balleteatro technical and producing team that has supported the three projects described in this paper over the past ten years. To the research center CITAR (Research Center in Science and Technology of the Arts), School of Arts, Universidade Católica Portuguesa. To Casa Rolão in Braga for the space for some rehearsals. To the UNESCO Braga Media Arts organization, for the support in part of some equipment. To the EAI ArtsIT 2018 conference organization, in Braga. We would also like to thank the University of Minho’s engageLab laboratory for all the NUVE performance support in 2010. We also acknowledge the Openframeworks, OpenCV and Unity communities always very supportive in the on-line forums. Co:Lateral had the support of Direção Geral das Artes (


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ArtsUniversidade Católica PortuguesaPortoPortugal
  2. 2.BalleteatroPortoPortugal
  3. 3.University of Applied Sciences Mainz - IMGMainzGermany

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