Uncanny Robots

A Human-Robot pas de deux


This project aims to explore the possibilities of human-robot interactions through means not normally used. In a transdisciplinary, research-creation activity, the project blurs the lines of not only the performance/audience being human/non-human, but the space itself acting as both a site of creation and an interactive character, contributing to the narrative. The medium of dance has been an inherently human mode of expression and performance. With technology affecting so many areas of our experience, what, and how, can a technological actor contribute to this physical performance mode, and influence our understanding of ourselves and the role of technology.

This performance is the first phase of the project and acts as a proof-of-concept of developing a larger work. In it we present a 20-minute dance duet choreographed by and featuring Belinda McGuire, and a KUKA robot. Further research aims include exploring machine learning and improvisation techniques. As well we aim to develop a digital choreographic library of movement that can act as a dataset in further robotic and technological dance development.

Principle Investigator

Michael F Bergmann, Performance - Creator, Director, Designer


Linda Zhang, RSID - Creator, Spacial focus, Robot programmer, Robot Choreographer; Louis Laberge-Cote, Performance - Creator, Choreography focus; Belinda McGuire, external - Creator, Choreographer, Performer

CTL Director

Jonathan Anderson, RSID - Robot programmer and advisor

Technical Director

Scott Martin, Performance (Staff) Josh Capodagli, Performance (Staff)

Research Assistant:

Sasha Anderson, student, Performance

Stage Manager

Nicholas Fassbender, student, Performance

Lighting Designer

Sam Skynner, student, Performance

Costume Designers

Alessia Urbani, student, Performance; Andrew Nasturzio, alumnus, Performance

Drone and 3D scanning consultant

Jimmy Tran, Ph.D., Staff - Ryerson Library Collaboratory Research Technology Advisor