From the Los Angeles Times: Dancing long-distance
A high-speed fiber-optic network, now serving college campuses, holds great promise for collaboration in the arts.
By Hugh Hart , Special to The Times
'We want to make sure geography is not a barrier to collaboration.'MORE...
-- Ann Doyle director of Arts and Humanities Initiative for Internet2
Backstage at USC's Bing Theater a couple of weeks ago, show time fast approached for Benjamin Schaeffer, a lanky University of Illinois computer programmer with a doctorate in mathematics. Cradling a cell phone, Schaeffer eyed the numbers scrolling across his laptop screen and checked in with dancer Cho-Ying Tsai as she warmed up -- 1,800 miles away -- for a piece she'd soon be performing with Chih-Chun Huang on the stage of the theater on the USC campus.
In an experiment that gave new meaning to the term "tech rehearsal," Schaeffer and nearly a dozen other engineers and software programmers from around the country hovered over scads of laptop computers, gleaming black boxes, mixing consoles and video monitors. For this virtual variety show, sounds and images would be streaming in during the next couple of hours from Ohio, Oklahoma, Florida, Illinois and three California sites. The data would be routed through digital projectors positioned at the back of the house and transmitted to screens on stage.