Students from Weston and LA stage innovative digital performance together

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University Centre Weston (UCW) students have performed alongside their counterparts in Los Angeles despite being separated by more than 5,300 miles.

The performers put on the special show by simultaneously streaming videos of each space onto floor-to-ceiling screens in real-time – giving live audiences and those following the performance online the impression of a single stage.

The show, called Digital Dancing, was performed by ten UCW students, who are studying for BA (Hons) Top-up degrees in Musical Theatre on a programme delivered in partnership with Bath Spa University, and eleven students from Relativity School in LA.

The concept was borne out of the recently-established link between the two institutions, with UCW hosting a group from Relativity School in March and the Weston students visiting LA in April.

Although staff and students were able to devise the piece and talk through some of the technical aspects of the production while they were together in North Somerset and California, much of the rehearsing had to be done via the screens at 8am and 4pm UK time due to the eight hour time difference.

UCW Curriculum Coordinator for Musical Theatre Sylvia Lane said: “I’m so proud of everyone who contributed to such a seamless and stylish performance.

“Considering the challenges posed by the distance and time difference, this project has been such a valuable experience for the students, particularly in terms of their professional development.

“Having the confidence and skills to overcome production and technical obstacles is a really important part of being a modern performer.”

Digital Dancing is the second virtual performance for UCW following a similar project with the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2015.

Sylvia is also currently making a documentary about telematics performance, which is being produced by award-winning film company NSF Productions.