Life Forms is a graphic animation program designed to assist choreographers in creating an initial sketch for their ideas. The program allows a user both to manipulate individual body parts and to choose from a library of stances. These positions can then be oriented in space and time to create a visualization of a dance. Life Forms has been used by noted choreographers such as Merce Cunningham and William Forsythe. It also is regularly employed by animators in films.
At Swarthmore, Life Forms is used as a teaching tool in choreography classes and also in various special topics and directed reading projects. Student and faculty choreographers may also choose to create a series of Life Forms images as another element in concert work. Professor Kim Arrow worked with both video and animation for his performance of Quasimodo in the Outback at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.
The Swarthmore Dance Program is committed to providing students with access to, and training in the use of cutting edge technology. Swarthmore dance students have access to animation programs as well as state-of-the-art digital video editing facilities. Professor Sharon Friedler, the director of the dance program, was a Beta tester for one of the early versions of the Life Forms program. She was one of the first faculty in the country to use Life Forms in dance composition classes.
To learn more about Life Forms, visit the Credo Interactive site.