Theo Papatheodorou, Professor of Practice at CMA presented his art paper "Lights! Camera! Freeze!" at SIGGRAPH 2023 in Los Angeles California.

Since the inception of the first movie musical in 1927, iconic dance scenes have captivated audiences and left indelible marks on our collective memory. Think Liza Minelli's unforgettable cabaret performance with a chair, Gene Kelly's ecstatic dance in the rain, or the heart-stopping lift from Dirty Dancing. These moments, once confined to our screens, are now within our reach, thanks to a groundbreaking interactive artwork.

The innovative installation uses cutting-edge machine learning technology combined with camera systems. Participants are tracked in real-time, and their movements are compared to thousands of classic dance scenes from musicals. Remarkably, when a participant's pose matches that of a particular scene, the installation plays the corresponding musical clip, plunging the participant into a melodic dance memory.

Traditional film viewing is a passive affair, with audiences merely observing the action. But Papatheodorou and Wolpert's creation bridges the gap between the audience and the screen. By harnessing the power of tracking technologies, machine learning, and intricate matching algorithms, the installation transforms the viewing experience into a dynamic dance duet between the participant and their favorite movie stars.

This art form effortlessly blends the realms of digital art, cinema, music, dance, and computer science. The once-clear line between the viewer and their cherished movie moments is now wonderfully blurred. Both the action and the magic unfold simultaneously on the screen and in the space in front of it, allowing participants to physically and emotionally interact with their cultural icons.

The installation itself was presented at DRHA 2023 in Turin, Italy and at VINCI 2023 in Guangzhou, China.

Full SIGGRAPH paper can be downloaded from here:
Lights! Dance! Freeze! — Random Quark. creative technology studio
Theo Papatheodorou
Professor of Practice