A dancer's trace III

Thesis Project

Jan-March 2020

Three months

Design brief

The goal of this project is to translate the intricate movements in the Indian classical dance of Kathak into abstract and expressive visualizations using non-traditional methods of capturing movement. 

For the purpose of this thesis, I have used a sample choreography by Guru Pali Chandra called "Paran judi Aamad". The detailed bols and choreography for this composition can be found in her online Kathak curriculum at Learn Kathak Online

1.Ankle acelerometers worn above the ghungroos 2.Wrist bands 3.Actigraph accelerometers


In this experiment I use wearable sensors like accelerometers can provide highly precise data at a high sampling rate. I use this data in my experiment to explore various possibilities of visualizing movement of the selected choreography.

For this experiment, I used four actigraph accelerometers two on my wrists and two on my ankles. The accelerometers were charged and pre-calibrated at a sampling rate of 80/sec. These accelerometers use an atomic clock and record continuously based on when the timer is set to record. The data collected from the accelerometer contains the X, Y, Z position of the accelerometer along with the timestamp.

The data for the choreography is available here–

Raw plot of the accelerometer data for the entire choreography for ~40 secs.

1. 3D plot of the wrist and ankle movement 2. Zoomed in plot of the same with the wrist data as smooth curves in green and sharp curves of ankle data in red.

Animated video trace of 'Paran judi Aamad' created using the temporal accelerometer data.

Tools used:

Accelerometers, sensors, data manipulation, processing

singh.aru@husky.neu.edu​ | arushisingh5545@gmail.com

© 2020 Arushi Singh