Project Coordinators

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Brandstetter
Elizabeth Waterhouse

Principal Investigator

Responsible Investigators

Dr. Bettina Bläsing


Motion Together


2016/05 - 2018/04 Total: 189.000 Euro
Share (Bielefeld University): 73.000 Euro


Riley Watts (The Forsythe Company), Timo Herbst (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig), Daniel Belasco Rogers (Junge Akademie der Akademie der Künste Berlin), Dr. Susanne Schmitt (Uni-versität München), Sophia New (Universität der Künste Berlin), Mark Coniglio (TroikaTronix, Berlin), Brigel Gjoka (The Forsythe Company), Dr. Monica van der Haagen-Wulff (Universität Köln), Elizabeth Waterhouse (Universität Bern), Dr. Bettina Bläsing (Bielefeld University), Prof. Dr. Gabriele Brandstetter



Entrainment science focuses on processes in which independent rhythmical systems in-teract producing synchronization and/or rhythmic coordination. Entrainment has been stu-died in music, communication and motor action, but only to a limited extent in dance. The project "Motion Together" extends prior research of entrainment in contemporary dance, in the case study of William Forsythe's choreography "Duo". The primary objectives of "Motion Together" are 1) to transfer expertise from the perspective of dancers in collaboration with scholars and artists in other fields and 2) to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of entrainment relevant to artists and scholars. From the perspective of entrainment science, "Duo" is also a valuable example of expertise in planned synchronous and asynchronous partnering, and an unusual case of motion and sound production without an external musical pulse. Entrainment in "Duo" involves the dancers' deliberate and audible breath. It thus enables cross-comparison between phenomena considered related, but often individually analyzed: namely music, conversation, action, and dance. In the part of the project "Motion Together" that is located at CITEC, Bielefeld University, we will use eye-tracking, motion capture and behavioural measures to investigate how spectators watch and perceive contemporary dance choreography, in particular William Forsythe's choreography "Duo", presented as video material. The situation of two dancers engaging in a danced conversation without external cues or pulse is not only relevant in the context of dance perception and performance, it also has the potential to shed a new light on joint action, joint attention, nonverbal communication, and social interaction in general. In an initial eye-tracking study conducted under laboratory conditions, we investigate how spectators of "Duo" video footage visually monitor the dancers' interactions, specifically their moving in synchrony or unison, and how this interacts with the spectators' perception of the performance.

For more information on Motion Together [ see here ].

Related Publications

Waterhouse, E., Watts, R., & Bläsing, B. E. (2014). Doing Duo - a case study of entrainment in William Forsythe's choreography "Duo". Frontiers in human neuroscience, 8, 812.