Dancing between the Traditional and the Contemporary with Digital Media


  • Sarah Rubidge


Sarah Rubidge explores the potential of digital media in traditional performance practices. Although digital choreography is a new artistic medium, it can provide a means of expressing issues relevant to 21st century societies if integrated into both contemporary and traditional dance forms. This article1 provides an overview of the forms of digital choreographic practice that have been developing since the mid-1990s. It introduces some of the thinking that lie behind the works that digital choreographers and artists have been creating in this new artistic field. In the latter part of the article, referring to a digital installation recently created by the author,2 the article shows how a hybrid of digital and choreographic practices can embody the principles of both contemporary and traditional art forms to create new ways of expressing the interplay of traditional and contemporary values in Southeast Asian culture.

Author Biography

Sarah Rubidge

Sarah Rubidge is a freelance Digital Choreographer. Formerly Professor of Choreography and New Media at the University of Chichester (UK), she is a practitioner-scholar who specialises in creating choreographic digital installations. She has collaborated extensively with artists, scientists, geographers, and others on research projects that explored cross-disciplinary approaches, and has worked with artists from Europe, East and South Asia, and Uganda. Her artistic interests range from an interrogation of ideas concerning the ways in which the past and present overlap; the use of haptic interfaces to enhance sensuous responses in digital installations; cultural hybridity in contemporary society; and experimentation with participatory installations that facilitate informal choreographies between visitors and installations, and between visitors and digital performers. Prof. Rubidge’s artistic works, including writings that address the interweaving of conceptual and artistic ideas embodied in her work, have been presented nationally and internationally.