6.0 Conclusions

This article discusses the work done in connection with a pilot project focused on reconstruction and recreation through computer animation of a 9th-century dance technique which we have reason to believe was practised in Java, where its archaeological record is found. There are no obvious immediate links with a living tradition of dance, thus the task of the reconstructor is further complicated by the lack of such a reference framework.

This type of dance reconstruction is connected with archaeological enquiry and can be seen to be part of such an enquiry. It allows in-depth investigation of fundamental issues relating to dance, namely interpretation, movement quality and the cultural basis of movement. These are significant to everyone concerned with dance, at any level and in any form. But the research also deals with issues of reconstruction, heritage and interpretation which are central to contemporary archaeological discourse. Through work on the dance reliefs of Prambanan the archaeologist and the dancer come together to share methodological processes and concerns, ask parallel questions and provide complementary reconstructions of a multifaceted 'heritage' for public consumption.

The use of computer technology conveys the dynamism of the dance action in a non-live performance context and allows us to refine and improve its interpretation and make it contextually appropriate. The outcome of this research is thus useful to anyone engaged with developing computer technology and animation as an archaeological tool, particularly in the context of heritage and its presentation through the use of virtual reality.


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