Christopher Knowlton, Ph.D., is a movement artist, research scientist, dancer and engineer who uses emerging technologies to investigate the nature of dance, choreography, health, cognition and audience engagement. While completing his degree in Bioengineering, Chris has acted as manager of the Rush University Medical Center Motion Analysis Laboratory and worked as a collaborative performer with numerous Chicago dancemakers. Affirming that art and science have always been intertwined, he believes that the body holds intrinsic information conveyed through movement, while our technologies, old and new, allow us to access that information and extend our bodies into new expressive possibilities.


During his Lab year, Knowlton is developing “Extended Play,” an augmented reality dance work for the rotating surface of a playing vinyl record. A custom-designed mobile application applies image recognition to overlay avatar dancers, whose original choreography is recorded through motion capture technology and is viewed by the audience at any angle through their devices for a personal and intimate experience. The technological framework of this project builds a platform for distribution of not only Knowlton’s own dance work but that of other Chicago dancemakers — past, present and future.

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Photos: Courtesy of Joffrey Ballet and Rush University Medical Center | Courtesy of Rough House Theater | Katie Graves