Motion Tracking

Course Syllabus

Dance 287/193 @ UC Irvine

Spring 2021
  • CLASS TIME: Mon, 4:00 - 6:50pm
  • LOCATION: Virtual Remote - Zoom Meeting Info
  • PROFESSOR: John Crawford
  • LAB HOURS: Online Calendar
  • CREDIT: 4 units

An introduction to motion tracking for intermedia performance, intended for dancers and other performing artists. Demonstrations, discussion and experiential exercises provide practical experience with motion tracking concepts and techniques. Students work on experimental projects that intersect arts, design and technology through collaborative multimodal creation, with a showcase at the end of the quarter.

As a collaboration between the Dance and Music departments, this course introduces and provides free access to intermedia software and equipment specifically designed to support performing artists, including the Active Space intermedia framework developed by Dance Professor John Crawford and the Mugic gestural motion sensor developed by Music Professor Mari Kimura. The course is suitable for graduate and undergraduate students in any performing arts discipline. No previous technology experience is required.

Motion Tracking for Performance offers performing artists a unique opportunity to explore the expressive potential of computer-based interactivity. Class times are scheduled to coincide with Music 237, Intermedia Composition, in which music students work with new technologies for composition and performance. The curricula in both courses are coordinated, creating a learning environment to encourage collaborative exploration of embodied human-computer interaction, developing and deepening vocabularies and techniques for structured improvisation, mediated performance and responsive system design.

Mentored by Prof. Crawford and Prof. Kimura, students will develop short online performance projects using motion tracking as a central component, responding in some way to the overall theme of “Our Climate Emergency.” These projects will be presented in a combined Intermedia Showcase at the end of the quarter.

In addition to dancers and choreographers, the Motion Tracking for Performance course will be of particular interest to musicians, composers, scenic and lighting designers, directors, actors, visual artists, animators, filmmakers, interface designers, computer scientists, engineers, architects, and anyone intrigued by issues of embodiment, technology and interactive experience.

Grad students should register for Dance 287. Undergrad students should register for Dance 193.


No prerequisites.

Required Materials and Supplies

This course requires the use of a computer with webcam. Readings will be available online.

Assignments & Grading

Required homework consists of regular assigned reading and viewing, a series of lab projects and a final project. Details on all assignments will be provided in class. Assignment grading (subject to change) is:

  • Lab projects, 20% of final grade
  • Final project, 30% of final grade
  • Overall participation, including assigned reading, viewing and responses, counts for 50% of the final grade

Course Email

You are required to use your UCI email address (e.g. for this course. All course-related email will be sent to that address, not to any other email address you might have. Keep in mind that it might take much longer for me to respond to any email messages sent from a non-UCI address. I get a lot of email and have to prioritize reading the messages that we know are from UCI students.

UCI Google Workspace

Some of your assignments for this course will require you to use applications in the UCI Google Workspace for Education (formerly G-Suite). If you haven’t already, please follow the instructions at to ensure that your UCI Google Workspace account is active. Note that a non-UCI Google account will not suffice for this course. You must have a UCI Google Workspace account. Verify your account at by ensuring that you can see the anteater logo in the upper right corner of the window.

Attendance Policy

Full attendance is a requirement of this course, and you are expected to always be present for the entire class meeting time. Successful completion of this course depends on your active participation during class as well as full commitment to the written assignments and all the work you create for this course. If you need to miss a class, arrive late, or leave early, it’s your responsibility to notify the professor in advance, preferably by email. Unexcused absences will affect your grade, except in cases of severe illness or emergency.

Academic Integrity

Learning, research, and scholarship depend upon an environment of academic integrity and honesty. This environment can be maintained only when all participants recognize the importance of upholding the highest ethical standards. All student work, including quizzes, exams, reports, and papers must be the work of the individual receiving credit. Academic dishonesty includes, for example, cheating on examinations or any assignment, plagiarism of any kind (including improper citation of sources), having someone else take an examination or complete an assignment for you (or doing this for someone else), or any activity in which you represent someone else’s work as your own. Violations of academic integrity will be referred to the Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct. The impact on your grade will be determined by the individual instructor’s policies. Please familiarize yourself with UCI’s Academic Integrity Policy and speak to your instructor if you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course.