19 June 2024


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Studio Boekman

Running time

1:30, no interval


From € 9,50


Digital dance

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere. We use it at work, in healthcare, in robots, and in self-driving cars. But could AI also have something to offer ballet? That is the question being explored in Pulse by the Utrecht Innovation:Lab – in collaboration with consultancy boutique &samhoud – and choreographer Peter Leung.

This performance is in English.

Human and artificial intelligence

In Pulse, the Innovation:Lab and &samhoud, together with choreographer Peter Leung, delve into the fusion of human and artificial intelligence. They developed a technological installation in which live performers and the audience co-create with AI.

What will we see?

On 19 June, we will see the presentation of this research. The dancer will be wearing a motion capture suit, a suit that records movements. Physical expressions such as speed and flow are converted into data that AI translates into emotions. This data feeds real-time visual and audio generators, which use light and sound effects to reflect and amplify the performer’s emotional state. In addition, we invite the audience to contribute to the presentation, blurring the boundaries between spectator and participant.

Pulse emphasises that humans are always central to technology. Just as a heartbeat is essential for life, human presence remains crucial in the application of AI. Human emotion and intelligence give meaning to data and create a vibrant and authentic performance.

Ethical questions

After the presentation, there will be a panel discussion reflecting on the role of AI in a creative process. The use of AI also raises ethical questions: is the machine’s interpretation really the same as the artist’s intention? How can we further improve the symbiosis between technology and performance, and do we really want to? The interaction with the audience also gets us thinking: to what extent is the audience ‘allowed’ to influence a performance?

Techlab: room for experimentation

Pulse is the first edition of Techlab. In this lab, opera and ballet creators are given the space to experiment with digital technology, with a strong focus on research. The outcomes of this research, such as prototypes, are presented to the public, along with reflections on the research and creation process. In 2024, we will explore the role AI can play in creating a (ballet) choreography.


Technical development  Innovation:Lab
AI development and visual design  Nikzad Arabshahi
Partner  &samhoud
Choreography  Peter Leung

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