The Guardian moves in Celestial Motion

The Guardian has launched a new virtual reality dance piece, created in partnership with Alexander Whitley Dance Company and Sadler’s Wells. Celestial Motion explores humanity’s relationship with the sun.

the piece uses The Guardian‘s VR platform and takes the audience into a 360-degree cosmic landscape. Dancers perform choreography created by Alexander Whitley, with their bodies morphed using video graphics.

Celestial Motion is our first arts-inspired virtual reality project and one which lets viewers switch between two worlds, further exploring how audiences can interact with the medium of VR,” said Shehani Fernando, director of virtual reality at Guardian News & Media. “We’re extremely pleased with the way in which choreography, visuals and interactivity have come together to produce a powerful immersive performance.”

The piece was adapted from Whitley’s 8 Minutes, which premiered at Sadler’s Wells in June 2017. The choreographer also took inspiration from solar science images and data produced by physicists at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

“Exploring the new creative possibilities opened up by digital technology is a defining principle of my company,” remarked Whitley. “I’m thrilled, to have worked with The Guardian in the creation of this new virtual reality dance experience. I’m as excited by what dance has to bring to this new platform as I am by the opportunity it presents for creating and experiencing new forms of dance performance.”

Celestial Motion was developed by The Guardian’s VR team and Luca Biada from FENYCE. Tal Rosner created the video graphics, with Daniel Wohl providing the score.