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The combination of holograms and dance creates a high-tech, first-of-its-kind performance

The university’s Interactive Commons uses Microsoft HoloLens in groundbreaking ways, such as a full mixed- reality anatomy curriculum; an interactive, overseas art museum experience; and a never-before-seen dance performance, shown here.

Ideas can come in a flash.

I was walking in Brooklyn Bridge Park when a sculpture there sparked my imagination: a tornado consuming two journeymen at the end of a quest.

Years later, this vision became the finale of Imagined Odyssey, which merged real dancers with holograms for a performance unlike anything audiences had ever seen.

Dance is an ancient art form—communication through movement, images and ideas. Dance is also alive and changes with us.

I love testing the limits of new technology in performance. So when the university began piloting the use of Microsoft HoloLens, a mixed-reality headset, the possibilities seemed endless.

During Imagined Odyssey, each audience member wears a HoloLens, allowing them to see dancers performing with and in holographic landscapes—virtual forests, orbs, sparks and, yes, a swirling vortex.

Blazing a new path is never easy, but it’s better (and more fun) with collaboration. Artists, programmers and network engineers from Microsoft and the university’s Interactive Commons—we all navigated complexities and challenges together.

What started as a simple vision in a park became a journey—an odyssey—leading the performing arts into new territory.

Gary Galbraith, Professor of Dance

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