Dance through robots

Number of Participants: 15
Place: Bergen Dance Center, Georgernes Verft 12, 5011 Bergen
Time: Friday 19th of November from 11-15h
Duration: 4 hours

This workshop is part of the Performing Arts Workshop program, electronics and free/libre technologies applied to the performing arts. It is a Piksel initiative in collaboration with Bergen Dansesenter – resource centre for dance in Vestland.

To register please send an email to: with your name and the name of the workshop you want to attend.

Dance through robots
Choreographic creation with the help of robots.

The workshop intends to be a collective research-moment where he choreographer Ugo Dehaes will bring a couple of robotic sculptures that will act as the inspiration for dance movements. The goal is to act as a first rehearsal for a future performance.

Together with the participants we will explore how we can move these robots by physically manipulating them, and how we can train their AI so they can move on their own.

We try to make small choreographies for these machines and discover how they can dance based on our input.

In a next step, some of the participants can try to translate these robotic movements into human dance, while others take care of the movements of the robotic sculptures.

The aim is to develop a new tool to create movements, starting form the robot’s inherent way of moving.

Finally, by attaching the robots to humans, we can create small duets between dancers and machines.

We create duets between human dancers and robots that are remote-controlled by other humans, or robots that create movements autonomously.

The overall goal is to explore how objects, or in this case robotic sculpture can act as an inspiration for movement-creation and what place robots can have on stage. 

For whom?
If you are a dancers and want to explore a new way to create movements 

If you are a choreographer and want to spice up your tools with technology 
If you are interested in the technology of robots
If you are curious and want to play with robots.

About Ugo Dehaes

Ugo Dehaes [1977, Leuven] started to dance at the age of 18. During a year he took ballet classes, followed contemporary dance with teachers like David Hernandez, Benoît Lachambre and Saburro Teshigawara and attended a half-time theatre education at De Kleine Academie. The following year he started his full-time dance education at P.A.R.T.S., the international school for dancers and choreographers directed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

In 1998 Ugo started to work as a dancer for Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods. During three years he collaborated on the pieces appetite and Highway 101.

In 2000 he founded the company kwaad bloed [] together Charlotte Vanden Eynde. Their first piece, lijfstof, premiered at Kaaitheater before starting an international tour to Vienna, Salzburg, Berlin, Paris, etc.

From that moment onwards Ugo created regularly new choreographies.
A first phase was inspired by the visual and mechanical aspects of the human body. He investigates the body as an object, how it grows older and how it can be transformed.
The second phase consisted of very physical work. He investigates what happens when two bodies occupy the same space, or how bodies can invoke emotions without the help of music or visual aids. This phase concluded with urban dance morphing into contemporary dance in a piece with youngsters and 6 autonomous drones.

Parallel a third phase aroused in which science takes an important role: from very visual choreographies inspired by the universal forces that keep our world together, to an investigation into the mind of persons living with dementia.

Since 2018 Ugo shifted his focus and became a choreographer of things. Ugo made the moving sculpture Stalactiet (2018) for Tweetakt Festival (NL), Forced Labor: Arena (2020), an installation with 8 interactive robots, Forced Labor (2021), a lecture-performance with small robots, Runner (2020), a self-learning robot, Pickled Punks (2021), a series of robots in jars of formaldehyde, commissioned by KIKK, and started the research for LIMP, a collaboration with Prof. Geraint A. Wiggins (Computational Creativity) and Axiles Bionics (AI robotized foot-protheses).

Next to his choreographic work, Ugo also made Coupure, a permanent, moving sculpture for the city of Bruges.

As a member of the Flemish Young Academy ( Ugo has a direct contact with numerous important young scientists and researchers in Belgium.

In the meanwhile Ugo gave numerous workshops and masterclasses and worked for other artists amongst which Stijn Grupping (Post Uit Hesdalen), Ehsan Hemat, Samah Hijawi, Stéphane Arcas, Sachiyo Takahashi, Emil Hrvatin, Arco Renz, Gisèle Vienne & Etienne Bideau-Rey, Kataline Patkaï, Nada Gambier, Antonin De Bemels, Heine R. Avdal,…