His work has been presented in the USA, Holland, Scotland, Spain, France, Norway, Mozambique, Angola, Italy, Cuba, Israel, Mexico and Turkey. He is currently coordinator of Special Projects of the National Ballet Company. In addition to his activity as a choreographer, he is regularly invited to teach at the School of Dance and at the University of Stavanger in Norway. He holds the Society of Authors Award in the Best Choreography category of 2012, with Pedra Preciosa for the National Ballet Company, in partnership with André Teodósio.
Case study: Rui Lopes Graça
Our second case study on choreographer Rui Lopes Graça was carried out between May 2016 and October 2017. Rui Lopes Graça is an established choreographer of National Ballet of Portugal (CNB) and he has a track-record in both classical and contemporary dance. For this second case study we wanted to work with a very contrastive author to Fiadeiro, in order to analyse a compositional process (his piece"15 Bailarinos e Tempo Incerto" with plastic artist João Penalva) where there were very explicit choreographic instructions to be followed by the dancers and much less space for improvisation, consequently generating a totally different interaction and decision-making processes.
The BlackBox team has again designed studies to investigate different aspects of this work and our research interests cover: the analysis of the choreographer's decision-making patterns, following a neuroscience paradigm; the study of the "marking" phenomenon used by the dancers to memorize dance sequences; the interaction between touch and vocalisations in the communication between choreographer and dancers; the motion tracking of dance sequences to be visualised and annotated in 3D and virtual reality environments; and the production of a 360º video platform to visualize the creative process of "15 Bailarinos e Tempo Incerto", using animated and interactive annotations as well.
Performance Studies & Information Visualisation
Fifteen Dancers and Changeable Tempo 360º analyses the piece “Quinze Bailarinos e Tempo Incerto” (Fifteen Dancers and Changeable Tempo), a work by the visual artist João Penalva and the choreographer Rui Lopes Graça, which was presented by the National Ballet of Portugal (CNB) in 2016. More
After several months of exchanges, artist João Penalva and choreographer Rui Lopes Graça began rehearsals for Quinze Bailarinos e Tempo Incerto (Fifteen Dancers and Changeable Tempo), a contemporary dance piece for the National Ballet of Portugal (CNB), with sound by David Cunningham. More
Multimodal Communication & Cognition
Dancers of classical ballet and of neo-classical companies typically rehearse their choreographies by running through the dance steps in a reduced form, which is physically less straining than performing them “full out”: this wide-spread practice is known as “marking”. More
Human creativity finds in artistic practices one of its most admirable forms. However, very few studies have placed the emphasis on quantitatively characterizing the decision-making processes of a choreographer throughout the creation process, specifically while choosing to invest more or less effort in given elements of their art piece. More
Computer Vision & Motion Tracking
During Rui Lopes Graça's creative process, we had the chance to closely follow his interactions with the dancers, and what classical tools he had in his hands to guide, correct, and create. We captured several examples of small individual performances, group and individual rehearsals, and used that data to drive our research regarding 3D reconstruction of point cloud videos. More
Rui Lopes Graça, a native of Torres Vedras, graduated in dance as a fellow of the Gulbenkian Ballet School and the Professional Training Center of Companhia Nacional de Bailado. In 1985, he joined the cast of this company and became a solo dancer in 1996. He danced much of the repertoire of the CNB in classical and contemporary ballets. In July 1999, he participated in the International Course for Choreographers and Composers of the University of Bretton Hall in England, directed by Robert Cohan, Nigel Osborne, Ivan Kramar and Gale Law. Since 1996, he has choreographed for the National Ballet of Portugal as choreographer guest and resident, Ballet Gulbenkian, Portuguese Contemporary Dance Company, Strasbourg Opera Ballet, Dancing with the Difference Group, National Singing and Dancing Company of Mozambique, Contemporary Dance Company of Angola, and Companhia Rui Lopes Graça, among others.More