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Dance festival is blazing a trail with smart phone app
A MOBILE phone app is leading dance fans to four sites so they can see performances specially recorded for the Dancin’ Oxford festival.
The festival, featuring more than 30 events at venues across the city, started on Saturday and runs until Wednesday, March 28.
Last year, festival organiser Claire Thompson attracted attention when French dance company Retouramont projected their performance onto a wall at Oxford Castle.
This year, Ms Thompson has once again linked dance and new technology by creating a digital dance trail which has its very own app.
Ms Thompson said: “We want to engage audiences in a new way and commissioned the creation of the app for mobile phones.
“We worked with digital media artist Martin Franklin and the Oxford-based choreo-graphers commissioned to create work for it.
“Everyone with an iPhone or an Android phone can take part, with people downloading an app called 4step from the iTunes app store or the Android market.”
Using GPS, the app guides them to four specific spots in Bonn Square, Brasenose Lane, Oxford Castle, and the Bodleian Library quadrangle.
The acts all recorded performances at each site last month which can only be seen on the phone when is it at each location.
Dance artist Aya Kobayashi is at the Bodleian; street dance group Rare Faction is at Brasenose Lane; Joe Lott is at Oxford Castle and funky tap dance group Sole Rebel Tap is at Bonn Square.
Mr Franklin, 49, digital co-ordinator at London dance venue The Place, said: “The app works like a GPS treasure hunt and went live at the start of the festival.
“People download the free app onto their smart phones and then they can choose to visit one of the four sites.
“Once people have visited all four sites the app allows you to enter the Dancin’ Oxford hall of fame and your name will be listed on the Dancin’ Oxford website.
“If people do visit all four sites the app will also unlock a bonus video showing additional dance performances from the four acts.
“This is the first time an app has been used in this way as an event which is part of a dance festival.
“We hope thousands of people will take the opportunity to participate in this way.”
Mr Franklin added that each of the dance videos on the app, which were recorded last month, last for about a minute.
He said: “The dance acts were excited to perform in these locations for the app – it was the first time for all of them that they had been involved in something like this. And there has been a lot of interest in this from other arts festivals. The app cost £20,000 to make and distribute and was funded by a grant from Arts Council England.”
- The free apps are available from itunes or android market. For information about Dancin’ Oxford, visit dancinoxford.co.uk