Generative dance images

I am a super fun of dance and I’m always fascinated by the limits of body expression and how creative choreographers are when I happen to see a good piece. One of the reasons why I love dance so much is that the story that comes through the entire body,  from the beginning to the end. I think dance is so unique that most of the current main media won’t be able to show its meaning/characteristics. So I started to dig through some dance pieces and want to bring them into another art forms. And my experiments with some different methods of media integration into dance went quite interesting.

The journey began with a happy accident. Last year I went to Kate Ware’s performance “Unstruck”. “Unstruck”explores in movement and sound a process of live formation. Like stones in a river, or sound through a tunnel. And it is about energy, physical exchange.  It was shown in conjunction with another exhibition Clifford Ross: “Water | Waves | Wood”.  I felt like there was another force of power when these two things happen together: the picture and the movement.   


Therefore I started thinking about generative new media for dance that can show the feature of dance itself.

  1. Style transfer based on deep learning:

These works are implementations of “A Neural Algorithm of Artistic Style” by L. Gatys, A. Ecker, and M. Bethge in August 2015. Style transfer is a method for transferring the artistic style of one input image onto another using convolutional neural network. I experimented this method with some pieces of dance I like.

  • Unstruck by Kate Weare: (keyword: wave, energy)


Original content image from the screenshot of  “Unstruck” ‘s documentation video:


The style image from the exhibition Clifford Ross: Water | Waves | Wood: 

A more dynamic gif version to better represent the dance:



Other style transfers:

  • Folding by Shenwei dance arts: (keyword: fold)

sample_4sample_1 sample_2 sample_3 sample_5

Original content image and style image:



  • Folding by Shenwei dance arts: (keyword: fold)


Original content image and style image:



  • Folding by Shenwei dance arts: (keyword: fold)

folding_2_green folding_2_red

Original content image and style image:



  • Folding by Shenwei dance arts: (keyword: fold)


Original content image and style image:



2. Photo Mosaic based on keywords image search 

In the field of photographic imaging, a photographic mosaic, also known under the term Photomosaic, a portmanteau of photo and mosaic, is a picture (usually a photograph) that has been divided into (usually equal sized) tiled sections, each of which is replaced with another photograph that matches the target photo.When viewed at low magnifications, the individual pixels appear as the primary image, while close examination reveals that the image is in fact made up of many hundreds or thousands of smaller images. Most of the time they are a computer-created type of montage.(from Wikipedia)


I integrated the mosaic algorithm here with google image custom search.  The keywords are crawled from the different websites about each piece, currently I’m not able to tell the accuracy about these keywords(if they truly reflect the feature of the dance).

  • Folding by Shenwei dance arts: (keywords: flesh, fold, shenwei, fabric, paper etc.)

folding_1 folding_3folding_0


Keyword: Cultural specificity, deviously beautiful, giggly young women, jagged path, drug addiction, intervention

Number of division: 21

Original :

  • Gif version of Tool is Loot, playing with different resolution and keywords:


Keywords: unnecessarily heavy eye, disingenuously anti-classical way, problematic new works, special guest stars

Number of devides: 47

47__The Bright Stream__0__ unnecessarily heavy eye__disingenuously anti-classical way__problematic new works__special guest stars

Original :

Keywords:male Season fairies,tense dramatic action,sublime ballerina type

Number of devides: 42


There are many more mosaics you can see here:  They are made collectively by the users of my thesis restage.

My thesis is about meta data/meta media crawling for dance and generation of the photo mosaic. You are definitely welcome to see this post:    and Try the demo here:


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