News Release

REF NO.: 28

SUBJECT: Dance Games and Body Work: Public talk on dance video game research

DATE: September 29, 2014

The Research Centre of Music, Media and Place at Memorial University (MMap) is kicking off its 2014-15 lecture series with a public talk by a leading expert on video games and participatory culture.

The event takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 4 p.m. in the MMaP gallery on the second floor of the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre.

Dr. Kiri Miller of Brown University will speak about her research on digital video gaming and participatory culture.

“Digital dance games like Dance Central and Just Dance teach players full-body choreography routines set to popular club music, providing real-time feedback driven by a motion-sensing interface,” she said. “These games offer a new channel for the transmission of embodied knowledge, and for indexing that knowledge through popular music. Game choreographers translate song into dance; players learn to feel out music with their bodies as choreographers do. Many players post videos of their performances online, as well as engaging in vigorous debates about the choreography for each song.”

Drawing on analysis of online discourse and interviews with players and game designers, Dr. Miller’s talk will address dance games as the staging grounds for emergent forms of gender performance, multisensory interactivity and participatory culture.

Dr. Miller is associate professor of music at Brown University, where she is also affiliated with American studies, theatre arts and performance studies, and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. Her work focuses on interactive digital media, virtual performance and participatory culture. She completed her PhD in music (ethnomusicology) at Harvard University in 2005. She is the author of Traveling Home: Sacred Harp Singing and American Pluralism (Illinois, 2008) and Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube, and Virtual Performance (Oxford, 2012). Her articles have appeared in Ethnomusicology, New Media & Society, Game Studies, the Journal of American Folklore and American Music, among other journals. Her research has been supported by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the American Council of Learned Societies.

The MMaP Lecture Series is sponsored by the Office of the President, Memorial University, in collaboration with the School of Music.

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