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The Shadows We Cast


Ballett dancer and heart beat visualisationObjectives

The project's aim is to create a live dance performance with heart rate monitors.

Artistic concept

Through the narrative of the piece, the dancers show different stages of human relationships and social interactions. The projected image of their heart rate signals emphasise the performer's actual emotional and physical state to the audience, creating a more intimate experience. Changes in the intensity and length of the physical dance moves, influence the dancer's heart rate according to the story of the piece.

Technical concept

The piece includes around 6 dancers, each of them wearing a heart rate monitor
(using a chest strap). During the performance these monitors simultaneously send their signal to a central receiver where a program creates a visual representation of the heart rate (BPM) of the dancers. The receiver sends the visualisation to a projector that projects the image of the heart signals to the backdrop of the stage.


The development of a wireless, stable and fail-safe technical solution including the program which receives and visualises the signals.

Project details

  • Artistic concept and choreography by Attila Bako.
  • Technical solution, visualisation and scientific evaluation by Dr. Oliver Hödl, Gerhard Kocher and Carina Bernscherer (University of Vienna) and Dr. Florian Güldenpfennig (Vienna University of Technology).
  • The live event was organised by the Ballettclub Wiener Staatsoper & Volksoper within the frame of the Junge Choreografen series. The performances were held in Theater Akzent Wien in May 2017. The choreographer and the dancers of the piece are members of the Wiener Staatsoper.
  • Photo Credit: Ashley Taylor
Further details
internal research projects
2016 - 2017
Research Group Cooperative Systems
Contact us
Faculty of Computer Science
University of Vienna

Währinger Straße 29
A-1090 Vienna