#MetaAcademy @ Bates Dance Festival

#MetaAcademy @ Bates Dance Festival


#MetaAcademy is an online lab exploring embodiment and co-creation on the internet using movement and other improvisational ideas.

How can embodied knowledge be shared and deepened through the internet? What unique forms of collaborative learning and creative activity might the internet offer?

Minded Motion was #MetaAcademy’s 3-week pilot program and collaborative learning lab which ran in partnership with Bates Dance Festival in July-August 2013. Lab participants used free, internet-based tools to creatively explore questions about embodiment, training and memory, composition, and politics of the body, as well as how to translate embodied practices onto the internet. The lab was structured around Nancy Stark Smith’s Underscore, an approach for improvisational dance/movement that she has been developing for over 30 years, which she taught at Bates Dance Festival 2013. #MetaAcademy @ Bates was facilitated by Marlon Barrios Solano, Rachel Boggia and Josephine Dorado.

My specific role involved building the foundation for the embodied online collaborations (advising on technological platforms and the nuances of blending physical+digital presence), generating curricula and overall subject matter expertise. What initially began as a Networked Collaboration Consultant role subsequently morphed into a Co-Founder role.


1. Example of curricula which adapts Nancy Stark Smith’s Glyphs to online space via collaborative whiteboarding and movement in Google Hangout: Duet and Trio Google Hangouts/Collaborative Glyphs

2. Example of two participants, Lisa Parra and Daniel Pinheiro, doing an embodied investigation, facilitated by our instructions which adapt Nancy Stark Smith’s Underscore to a duet in online space:

Daniel later wrote Mediated Space | A short writing on the interstitial space of virtuality on re-defining and exploring the language in this space: “Following on Josephine Dorado’s words, at one point in the video of the Wrap-Up session of this year’s MetaAcademy edition at Bates College following Nancy Stark’s Underscore, this experience …asked for a re-definition of concepts used to describe sensations within the same shared physical space, an authenticity that exists even though ‘Touch’ and ‘Space’ don’t represent a direct action or feeling of presence in the same time and space…”

My top 5 takeaways for embodied online collaboration (see it full size here):

Overview: http://about.me/MetaAcademy

#MetaAcademy @ Bates syllabus: http://www.dance-tech.net/group/meta-academy-bates-2013

Rachel Boggia’s blog post on the pilot program: The First Pilot for Meta-Academy Brings the Jam Online

July-August 2013