Newton App Developer Part Of Upcoming Augmented Reality Dance Project

SEP 20, 2022

NEWTON, MA — A Newton app developer and tech consultant is part of what organizers describe as an experimental augmented reality dance experience centered in Cambridge’s Kendall Square Canal District.

Dubbed “Emotive Lands,” the performance is a product of the arts collective The Click. Anyone can access the performance via a corresponding app available from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30. There will also be a live performance where artists will interact with the digital, augmented reality Emotive Lands content along the water in the Canal District on Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.

Audience members can access the app, once it is available, via The Click’s website, via the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, or via other app vendors.

Audience members will be able to go to the Canal District, either during the live launch show or at any other time during the app’s availability to view the augmented reality show around them. Viewers who download the app and open it near Kendall Square will see visual prompts that will lead them to spots where they can see virtual dancers on their screens. Dancers will interact with various physical objects in the environment as part of the show.

The app uses technology that is somewhat similar to technology seen in massively popular games like Pokemon Go.

At least nine local artists are involved in the Emotive Lands project, including Newton’s James Peerless.

“The overlap of AR technology and the arts is pretty small right now, but it's growing,” Peerless said in a news release announcing the project. “It’s a way to bring the feeling of being at a live performance in an on-demand way.”

“We want people to see the power of community when engaging with this work,” dancer Kristin Wagner added.

“Our work is heightened by the creative freedom that technology offers – audience members are free to come and go at any time,” Wagner continued.

Emotive Lands is backed by a series of grants and residency programs.

The Click dates back to 2021 and is marking its first project as a group with the launch of Emotive Lands.

The Click's Emotive Lands app and live performance are both free.

The live performance will begin at 15 Broad Canal Way in Cambridge and follow a walking path along the Charles River with several stops.

A rain date is set for Oct. 2.

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