Dancing someone else's movements through someone else’s body
The process of commodification of the digital dancing body and the arising tensions with intellectual property regimes
Keywords:Blockchain, choreography, commodification, dance-media, intellectual property, motion capture
In this article, we will describe the uneven conditions in which dance practices are being extracted and circulated by looking at how online gaming platforms have digitised and commodified human movement. The study of these controversial cases contextualised within the legal aspects of dance copyright are the basis to offer speculative courses for both dance practitioners. The first section explores the issues of digitisation and ownership of bodily movement within virtual spaces by looking at notions of disembodiment and dance as a commodifiable object. The second section illustrates the complexities of copyrighting choreography through a critique on how intellectual property regimes disregard collective and social practices. Finally, we will present alternatives for dance practitioners going forward by looking at how to protect dance as a digital object; the current initiatives to engage dancers with technological affordances; and the decentralising potential of blockchain networks to build new collaborative landscapes for the circulation of creativity.