Interview: Christine Devaney – 'I think anyone who likes to play and discover would have fun with Dance About, even if you’re unfamiliar with digital toys'
Choreographer Christine Devaney of Curious Seed dance company discusses the new Dance About app
How would you sum up with the Dance About app can do?
Dance About is a creative and fun digital toy. Your actions affect the movement and the music, allowing you to play and interact with the two dancers. It enables you to play movement sequences, to chalk around the dancers and to capture your pictures using the camera (perhaps a starting point for your own choreographic ideas!). Fun dance moves lead you through the dance world in three phases: Journeys, Postures and Duet.
Most of it is seen from an overhead point of view, as if you're looking down on the dancers on a big chalk board, so there’s much fun to be had playing with the perspective.
Although aimed primarily at children, would anybody with an interest in dance enjoy playing with the Dance About app?
I think anyone who likes to play and discover would have fun with Dance About, even if you’re unfamiliar with digital toys (as I was before this!). It’s not competitive, although you still have to work a few things out, so unlike many game-type apps it’s actually quite calming.
Although playing with the app isn't dancing, we have seen some children get up and try some of the moves while playing with it!
You’ve been touring Chalk About, a dance show for children, for the past few years. Did the success of that encourage you to explore other ways to engage children and young people in contemporary dance?
The creation of Chalk About came about because I was an associate artist with Imaginate children’s festival , which has taken me more specifically to creating work for and with young people.
I always work across art forms in the creative research period of any work, and since one of the first creative tasks with Chalk About was drawing huge self-portraits, which were then used in the show, it made a lot of sense to take the drawing and moving aspect to the app as soon as we started talking about it.
How did the Dance About project develop, in terms of your input and that of app designers, Hippotrix – was it a very collaborative process?
Jonathan from Hippotrix created the beautiful projections we used in our shows found and PUSH, and we recently made a short film with him. So, although the process of creating the app was very different for me it was an easy continuation of our collaborations together. As usual we collaborated with a composer, on this occasion Kim Moore.
How can people find out more and download the app?
Watch this video to see how it works, then visit appstore.com/danceabout to download the app.