About the Project

Breath Catalogue is a collaborative work by artist/scholars Megan Nicely and Kate Elswit, and data scientist/interaction designer Ben Gimpert, together with composer Daniel Thomas Davis and violist Stephanie Griffin. The project combines choreographic methods with medical technology to externalize breath as experience. Dance artists link breathing and movement patterns in both creation and performance. Our goal is to expand the intrinsic dance connection between breath and gesture by visualizing and making audible the data obtained from the mover’s breath, and inserting this into the choreographic process to make the breath perceptible to the spectator. In the first phase of the project, we worked with prototypes of breath monitors from the San Francisco-based startup Spire. We are excited to be embarking on a second phase in collaboration with StretchSense from Auckland, using capacitance-based resistance bands. If you are interested in reading more about what we’ve been doing and how, you might start with Cataloguing Breath Through Choreography.

In addition to technological sponsorship, Breath Catalogue has received funding from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, The Life of Breath Project, the University of San Francisco, and the University of Bristol.

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a cabinet of breath curiosities: contemporary choreography meets medical technology