Classical dance in the computer age.
- Writer Deirdre Kelly
Artificial intelligence is centre stage with an innovative ballet training program that uses augmented reality, algorithms, and advanced computer vision technologies. Now anyone can learn or perfect positions at home and dance like a ballerina.
More than a year and a half in development, 1on1 Ballet Studio Master Classes is the brainchild of Svetlana Lunkina, a Bolshoi-trained ballerina who worked closely with scientists and programmers from five countries—experts in the fields of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and neural networks—to create a mobile training module powered by AI analytics.
The first of its kind, the multi-level online program utilizes centuries-old ballet exercises and combinations, recorded simultaneously by four cameras positioned at different angles. There are four main training modules comprising 20 exercises each and running approximately 45 minutes each for both beginner and professional-level dancers. Everything from basic pliés to rigorous battements tendus is taught to willing children or adults who want to learn ballet.
Students can follow the lessons wherever they can secure approximately five metres of space in which to move. The back of a chair can be used as a substitute for the ballet barre. Pointe shoes are optional. It works like this:
- Detailed text explains which muscles are used for a given exercise and how best to execute it.
- Users of the interactive system emulate the master dancer’s movements while recording themselves with a personal device.
- Algorithm analytics measure the body in space and time, focusing on speed, positions, and poses.
AI technology then compares the student’s body positions and movements with those of the master dancer, highlighting differences that are then analyzed. Then, as if by a thoughtful teacher, suggestions on how to improve are conveyed by text message. The student can consult this data in order to monitor progress over a period of time.
Expected to come to market on December 15th, 1on1 Ballet Studio Master Classes comes with a curated soundtrack of 59 musical pieces running 96 minutes in length and a Ballet Fitness package consisting of 15 exercises, activated by a voice prompt, that are considered essential for classical dance.
“We have developed a platform that provides access to the best coaches in ballet,” Lunkina says. “Allowing you to see the differences in technique at any point of the movement focuses attention on problematic micro-movements that are important for successfully executing a professional-level ballet movement.”
November 20, 2019