ODH is a unique opportunity to meet like-minded artists and technology specialists who are interested in creative risk-taking and collaborate in an exciting and supportive atmosphere. Together we explore the relationship between dance and technology to kickstart the future of performance.

ODH24 takes place from 27th – 31st May 2024 in central Oulu, Northern Finland, with a public demo at 16:00 on Friday 31st May. Admission is free.


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Llewellyn Mnguni

Llewllyn is a South African dance artist, regularly based in Berlin. They have performed the challenging roles of Odile in Swan Lake, Escamilio in Carmen and Myrtha in Giselle for Dada Masilo’s extensive Asian, European, Canadian and US tour during 2013-2017. Their artist name “Lulu Belle” describes the complex nature of their profession, their persona and the playfulness embedded in their art. Having danced throughout their childhood, Mnguni realised their passion was to be a professional, and eventually was taught by Lorcia Cooper at the Mmabana Mmabatho Arts Centre in Mafikeng. Their career has focused on ballet, both experimental and contemporary, taking the opportunity as a choreographer to tell stories of the disenfranchised.

Noora Juppi

Noora graduated in 2012 as a circus artist, although she has since moved more towards dance and now defines herself as pole dancer artist. Her performances are by her own choreography and she is a strong advocate of the pole dance genre. Eager to experience and learn more, she currently studies choreography, having performed both as a solo artist and as part of a performing team. Oulu is not a new place for her, as she has taught in Oulun Tähtisirkus and in Oulun Taidekoulu. She is an enthusiast for expanding her art with the means of technology, and is currently toying with the idea of embedding tech into her pole, and into her art.
A two-image collage of Clemence Debaig. Left side depicts her in front of a screen image of a woman in a 3D visor, sensors and a black dancing costume. She is wearing almost similar clothing, except for her bare legs and knees covered in purple protection pads.

Clemence Debaig

Clemence Debaig is a dance artist, creative technologist and educator. And she is the artistic director of Unwired Dance Theatre. She often works with telepresence, networked wearables, motion capture and VR. With a background as a dancer and creative technologist – and a previous career as a UX designer – she brings a unique perspective to choreographing interactive and participatory experiences. She is also a lecturer and researcher at Goldsmiths University of London, focusing on Motion Capture and Digital Embodiment, Immersive theatre & Embodied Interaction Design. Clemence has an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Technology of Compiègne (France) and an MA in Computational Arts from Goldsmiths University (UK).

Cristina Bodnarescu

Cristina is passionate about exploring the intersection of new media, visual arts, and performance, striving to bring a unique perspective to the realm of technology and its profound impact on the human experience. With two MAs, she endeavours to delve artistically into the cultural implications of the technologically mediated human body, with a keen focus on the evolving relationship between humanity, technology and nature in the Anthropocene. Her work has been widely seen in festivals such as Ars Electronica or Fête des Lumières, and she is a co-founder of both an artistic duo Ethics of Joy (with George Urse) and the creative studio Hyperworks Studio, Creatives United.

Marta Kosieradzka

Marta has studied dance and choreography in Warsaw, Linz, Oslo and Antwerp. She is currently a guest teacher/choreographer of contemporary dance for the students of BA in classical dance at Oslo National Academy of Arts, while honing her own performances that have taken place all over Europe. Having already experimented with electronic sound, image, text, set and costume as the elements that can break and expand her old movement patterns, she is committed to sharing discourse and research in order to further expand her knowledge of dance and its relation to technological development.

ODH24 is part of a larger project realised in partnership with Central Europe Dance Theatre (Hungary) and Developing Art (Romania) and co-funded by the European Union and Oulu Culture Foundation Oulu2026. Oulu Dance Hack 2024 is followed by Dance Hacks in Budapest in November 2024 and Bucharest in April 2025.

The call for participants for Budapest Dance Hack will be launched later in 2024.

If you are local to Oulu and would like to receive an invitation to come to the demos and sharings of future Dance Hack events, please enter your details here:

When TaikaBox moved from Cardiff, Wales to Oulu, Finland in 2015, we had a dream to set up a dance/tech studio where artists could experiment with the relationship between movement and technology. We’re still on that journey to having a permanent studio, and in the meantime, have found ways to work with artists from all round the world, introducing them to our methods of cross-media collaboration.

In 2016, we launched Oulu Dance Hack with a 3-day intensive hosted by EduLAB and the Dance Department at Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OAMK). 12 artists were selected from an open call process, and travelled to Oulu in August, spending the time with TaikaBox and a small selection of dance and media students.

We invited local tech businesses to come on board and gave the artists opportunities to work with a robot arm and multifunction sensors as well as the TaikaBox toolkit and the EVE environment at OAMK.

After a day of introductions and experiments with various sensors, the artists split into groups and headed off to their respective studios to get hacking. With support from TaikaBox and some peer sharing sessions, they created short dance works that were shared at the end of the project, inviting an audience to tour the studios to see what had been created.

video made by Jussi Liikala

The structure of the project was repeated in 2017, with a different robot arm, a drone, IR camera/floor projection and the addition of two local musicians to support the visiting artists.

video made by media students from OAMK

In 2018, the Hack was again extended by a day and the artists had access to a 360 camera, 3D tracking with multiple kinects and floor projection, and MYO movement sensors triggering a sound/projection environment. After the sharing at OAMK, we moved into Oulu Museum of Art and showed the work there in the evening.

That was the year we started collaborating with Studio Siilo at Kulttuurivoimala. They run a media workshop that works with young people who have been out of work for a long time, teaching them how to make films and documentaries. They sent a camera crew into the studios throughout the Hack to document the process. We also added morning classes to the programme.

In 2019 we shifted the Hack week to later in the year and integrated it into LUMO – Oulu Light Festival. This meant that we were unable to use the studios at OAMK, so started the week in City Dance and then moved up to Oulu Museum of Art. To connect with the LUMO festival, we incorporated streetlights, flexible LED strips and moving head lights into the project, setting up a programme of performances that was seen by hundreds of visitors over the festival weekend. The collaboration with LUMO, plus funding from the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation enabled us to bring in more mentors and cover the visiting artists’ travel and accommodation costs.

Due to Coronavirus restrictions, 2020’s Oulu Dance Hack was canceled and the situation impacted the 2021 Hack – but in a good way. In Autumn 2020 we were able to rent a studio in Pikisaari for 8 months and set it up with camera, computer and speedy internet to be able to connect with studios elsewhere. (the story of our Connected Studio System is here)

We worked with the system during the Moving Barents – Out of Urgency project, but felt that it would benefit from some deeper research into the nature of connecting two studios, so ODH21 was a collaboration between us and Central Europe Dance Theatre in Budapest. Because of Corona regulations, we could only invite three independent artists into our studio to work with three dancers from CEDT on stage in Bethlen Theatre. The results were fascinating and the project has paved the way for future collaborations.

Coronavirus restrictions once again impacted on Oulu Dance Hack, with February’s ODH22 becoming reduced in scale to focus on Finland-based artists – with one artist joining us online from her studio in Germany. The team took over Pikisali at Oulu Theatre and worked on one main theme, improvising with tech provided by OAMK and Probot. We were joined, for the first time, by Fab Lab, who spent two days with us creating wearable tech and costume elements, and by Damien Brun from University of Lapland who brought a couple of LED wigs for us to test.
The whole week was documented by Kulttuurivoimala and resulted in a live-streamed performance demo and discussion.

The ODH22 Demo was broadcast live on Friday 11th February

OULU DANCE HACK 22b took place at the Proto Showroom on Pikisaari in September. This was the first time we had specifically invited visual artists and designers into the team, which worked really well in the gallery setting. We welcomed Fab Lab into the space for a couple of days and also collaborated with photographer J P Manninen for the first time.
The event also hosted the first pilot for Oulu Sound Hack, bringing local sound artists together to collaborate alongside the dancers and designers.

In 2023, we hacked in the main theatre space at Cultural Centre Valve, with the theme of Artificial Intelligence. Using AI as part of the creative process proved to be a little frustrating, as it is currently impossible to use realtime, but, by combining various AI apps with a toolbox of sensors, we generated some important conversations and interesting performance systems. Under the supervision of Tomi Knuutila from University of Lapland, we experimented with speech to text, text to speech, text to image, video processing with text and conversations with Chat GPT, also exploring ways of generating prompts from choreographic improvisation. The demo at the end of the week generated some lively discussion with the audience. I think that 2023 was our most philosophical Dance Hack so far…

The City of Oulu will become a European Capital of Culture in 2026. Oulu Dance Hack is part of the Cool Contrasts project. Over the next few years we will begin to connect with other European cities, running a programme of Hacks with likeminded organisations and commissioning a series of works to form the basis of Finland’s first Festival of Augmented Dance in 2026.

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