Research Critique: Costume and Textile

“Pixel” is a mesmerising, extraordinary performance piece that creatively combines interactive technology together with dance choreography. Produced by performance artists Adrian Mondot and Claire Bardainne, it was jointly choreographed with Mourad Merzouki.

“The hour-long performance incorporates a host of digital projection mapping techniques, 11 dancers, and bills itself as “a work on illusion combining energy and poetry, fiction and technical achievement, hip hop and circus.” ” – Colossal

The performance mainly utilised projection mapping techniques onto the stage and backdrop. Adrian Mondot and Claire Bardainne used this custom built software, eMotion, that allowed them to produce virtual environments with realistic physics. They also combined it with QLab and Vezer, technology shared via open source. eMotion is now shared through open source technology, so that more artists can make use of such a software to improve their works as well.

In addition, wearable technology was used in the form of data sensors whereby the dancers’ motions are captured and the space reacts with it. Everything was hence spontaneous and in real-time, with none of the projections pre-recorded but rather stimulated by the dancers’ movements. Lighting of the costume also played a huge role in allowing the illusion to happen:

In order for the dance to exist with the image without being overpowered by it, the dancer must be brilliantly lit.

And conversely, for the illusion to work, the tulle must only be lit by the video projections and the global lighting level must remain as low as possible so as not to affect the transparency of the material.

Our choice is therefore to only light the essential, the dancer’s body, thanks to an automatic tracking system (based on a capture) and in this way minimising any glare.” – Deduce Blog


The virtual world brought to life with projection and the dancers react to them e.g. doing spins inside the projected circles.



A close-up visual of the virtual circles.



Blending of the digital environment and real space – a dancer shields himself from the pixelated rain with an umbrella.


This piece is an amazing example to show how differentiation between real and virtual worlds are blurred tremendously with the creation of digital environments. This provides an out-of-the-world experience for audiences. A seamless combination of art and technology, it pushes boundaries of a dance choreography.




  1. Very good research critique describing a compelling dance work. I thought the movement and imagery was stunning and beautifully choreographed as you described. What was missing from your critique was a discussion of the materials: the textiles, the costumes and how they were integrated into the work, the images, the motion, etc. You were quite correct though about the interdisciplinary qualities of the work demanding integration and collaboration from the participants.

  2. Great choice for the research Critique . As you described this work is a simles combination between dance and technology and amazing example to show how differentiation between real and virtual worlds are blurred tremendously with the creation of digital environments. You mentioned the use of tulle ( very fine nonwoven transperent textile) as a projection surface , that helps for the illusion to work, but not so much about the costumes and the sensors. The visuals are fantastic.

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