November 29, 2017

The Dancer Awakens: an Interview with Regina de Jong

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An interview with The Dancer Awakens– star Regina de Jong

The Creative Lab has produced The Dancer Awakens, first ever holographic-animation-short-film for the Hololens (by Microsoft), showcasing it at the ‘Go Short – International Short Film Festival’ in Nijmegen earlier this year. Actress and dancer Regina de Jong has been carrying out the narrative to the story: of a dancer trapped in a musical box, ready to step out of it in order to explore the world. We talked about her experiences during this project and realised that our latest technologies on the market might often be a challenge for the performing arts indeed – and just as much of a great chance to explore it on an entirely new level for future generations.

The Creative Lab: Do you think that the HoloLens has an actual future for your art and the dancing world?

Regina de Jong: When I was asked to do it, when I was making a choreography for it (for The Dancer Awakens), I had no idea what to expect. So it was really a surprise and I wasn’t really focusing on whether this could be a professional thing for dancers, but yeah – I guess it’s the future. If this really takes off, then definitely. Dancing is a way of communicating and technology is a way of communicating. And I just love all these possibilities we have now.

The Creative Lab: How was the experience for The Dancer Awakens different for you from a dancer’s perspective?

Regina de Jong: I did have to adjust the choreography to the suit, because sensors are really expensive, you cannot really hit the ground hard.

The Creative Lab: Suppose we would all wear a HoloLens watching the same story, coming from a different angle to guide the dancer. Do you think experiments such as these have a future?

Regina de Jong: Definitely. No matter what the technology, art and dance is part of that, it will find a way to go with that.

The Creative Lab: Apart from the HoloLens; Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are part of these amazing innovations we experience today. How about the possibility to one day put on the goggles and stand within your very own performance?

Regina de Jong: That would be so great! If people could actually join you!

The Creative Lab: Do you, however, feel like we might one day turn towards technology so much we might forget to see the original art of the performance behind it all?

Regina de Jong: The thing is – technology advances people, it happens. So it would be naive to say ‘we are not getting involved with this, because it is not art and you won’t get to experience the same thing’.

The Creative Lab: So to implement the new to the old and to keep experimenting with that seems to be a great tool for the success of both the arts and technology then, doesn’t it?

Regina de Jong: I agree. I mean, I love traditional things as well. I mean, I don’t think you should just do modern things. I like to experience all of it, you know. I think it is great to experiment with new technologies, I am all for that. But I totally get that people want to have the traditional experience of dance or art or whatever and that’s going to be fine. 

The Creative Lab: Keeping an open mind and having art and technology experiment with each other seems to be the way forward then?

Regina de Jong: I think dance is a flowing art and you can do so much with it. Why limit yourself to just one thing?


The Creative Lab would like to thank Regina de Jong for this interview! Did you enjoy the read? Learn more on the HoloLens short film The Dancer Awakens!

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