A parameterizable spatiotemporal representation of popular dance styles for humanoid dancing characters


Dance movements are a complex class of human behavior which convey forms of non-verbal and subjective communication that are performed as cultural vocabularies in all human cultures. The singularity of dance forms imposes fascinating challenges to computer animation and robotics, which in turn presents outstanding opportunities to deepen our understanding about the phenomenon of dance by means of developing models, analyses and syntheses of motion patterns. In this article, we formalize a model for the analysis and representation of popular dance styles of repetitive gestures by specifying the parameters and validation procedures necessary to describe the spatiotemporal elements of the dance movement in relation to its music temporal structure (musical meter). Our representation model is able to precisely describe the structure of dance gestures according to the structure of musical meter, at different temporal resolutions, and is flexible enough to convey the variability of the spatiotemporal relation between music structure and movement in space. It results in a compact and discrete mid-level representation of the dance that can be further applied to algorithms for the generation of movements in different humanoid dancing characters. The validation of our representation model relies upon two hypotheses: (i) the impact of metric resolution and (ii) the impact of variability towards fully and naturally representing a particular dance style of repetitive gestures. We numerically and subjectively assess these hypotheses by analyzing solo dance sequences of Afro-Brazilian samba and American Charleston, captured with a MoCap (Motion Capture) system. From these analyses, we build a set of dance representations modeled with different parameters, and re-synthesize motion sequence variations of the represented dance styles. For specifically assessing the metric hypothesis, we compare the captured dance sequences with repetitive sequences of a fixed dance motion pattern, synthesized at different metric resolutions for both dance styles. In order to evaluate the hypothesis of variability, we compare the same repetitive sequences with others synthesized with variability, by generating and concatenating stochastic variations of the represented dance pattern. The observed results validate the proposition that different dance styles of repetitive gestures might require a minimum and sufficient metric resolution to be fully represented by the proposed representation model. Yet, these also suggest that additional information may be required to synthesize variability in the dance sequences while assuring the naturalness of the performance. Nevertheless, we found evidence that supports the use of the proposed dance representation for flexibly modeling and synthesizing dance sequences from different popular dance styles, with potential developments for the generation of expressive and natural movement profiles onto humanoid dancing characters.

DOI: 10.1186/1687-4722-2012-18

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@article{Oliveira2012APS, title={A parameterizable spatiotemporal representation of popular dance styles for humanoid dancing characters}, author={Jo{\~a}o Lobato Oliveira and Luiz Naveda and Fabien Gouyon and Lu{\'i}s Paulo Reis and Paulo Sousa and Marc Leman}, journal={EURASIP J. Audio, Speech and Music Processing}, year={2012}, volume={2012}, pages={18} }