Google Arts and Martha Graham Company - photo: Ramsay de Give for The New York Times

It's pretty safe to say that Google is one of the leaders in technology today. Their name is a verb, for gosh's sake! (How many times a day do you tell someone to "Google it"? Probably more than you say "Bing it" or "Yahoo it," that's for sure). They're extending their desire to be at the forefront of technology to the arts, and we're super here for it. 

Google Arts and Culture recently created The Google Cultural Institute in Paris, France. Their website says their goal is to create "new technology to help partners publish their collections online and reach new audiences, as seen in the Google Art Project, Historic Moments and World Wonders initiatives..[it's] a place where tech and creative communities come together to share ideas and discover new ways to experience art and culture." Their online collections - which are sort of like online museums - include collections from establishments from MoMA, the Getty Museum, Van Gogh Museum, and the British Museum. See some of the art here.

The cultural institute has also partnered with 89plus , a research project founded by Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist, to create a series of ten week residencies for young artists - which means anyone born after 1989. The artists work alongside engineers to develop ideas using technologies in the Lab. And now, for the first time, they've selected dancers to join in!

Google chose the Martha Graham Company to be not only the first experiment to take place in New York, but the first dance collaboration for the project. The company spent two weeks this month in Google's New York offices playing with a number of technologies. Some dancers were motion-captured in 3D, another performed the iconic "Lamentation" solo with archived footage projected onto her movie body. The dancers even got to dance in a virtual-reality environment - how freaking cool is that? 

The New York Times was able to go behind the scenes and watch some of the experiments in action. Check out what it was like in the room.

photo credit: Ramsay de Give for The New York Times

About the author

Anne Luben has performed works by notable choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Bill T. Jones, Jiri Kylian, Idan Cohen, Alex Ketley, and Summer Lee Rhatigan, among others.