VR_I: A Contemporary Dance Piece in Immersive Virtual Reality

For the first time ever, a choreographer combines dance with immersive virtual reality in a work that provides viewers with a unique sensory experience.

During 9-12/15-18 May, VR_I will be presented by Swissnex in China at Chronus Art Center in Shanghai. Discussions and talks on the future of virtual reality and contemporary dance will be organized along with the show.


VR_I is a contemporary dance piece in immersive virtual reality created by Gilles Jobin and Artanim. For the upcoming month, the team will be on tour in Asia: after their first destination in Japan, the fantastic VR_I will be in Shanghai and followed by Korea and Singapore.

For the first time ever, a choreographer combines dance with immersive virtual reality in a work that provides viewers with a unique sensory experience. Blending art with technology, VR_I resulted from the encounter between Gilles Jobin and the founders of Artanim, Caecilia Charbonnier and Sylvain Chagué, motion capture technology experts and virtual reality pioneers in Switzerland and abroad. In association with them, Gilles Jobin developed VR_I, a work in which the creator questions our perception of reality and enters new unexplored and unchartered territories for contemporary dance.

Thanks to the virtual reality technology developed by Artanim, VR_I viewers equipped with virtual reality headsets and backpack computers move freely in a total virtual space. Five viewers at a time may explore this world, moving in turn in an endless desert, an urban landscape or inside a loft at the top of a mountain. Participants each embody an avatar that faithfully replicates their movements, enhancing the feeling of immersion in the virtual world while also enabling them to see their peers. During the experience, participants can thus interact physically and even communicate with the others. Five virtual dancers then come to blur their perception, multiplying, growing to the point of becoming giants or becoming tiny. With these effects of scale, Gilles Jobin addresses the concept of spatiality in a truly original way.

The international cast for this work designed and produced in Switzerland features American composer Carla Scaletti, Belgian fashion designer Jean-Paul Lespagnard and dancers Victoria Chiu, Susana Panadés Diaz, Diya Naidu, Tidiani N’Diaye and Gilles Jobin himself. Since its creation in 2017, VR_I was presented at Sundance Film Festival 2018, and at 75 Mostra Internazionale d’Arte cinematografica / La Biennale di Venezia 2018.  VR_I received the Innovation award and the people’s choice award for the best performance at the 49th edition of the Festival du nouveau cinema in Montréal 2017.

Cie Gilles Jobin is a non-profit organisation which has turned Studios 44 into a bustling centre, a pioneer in terms of professional training for dancers, recognition of contemporary dance in Switzerland and promoting international exchanges through a number of initiatives: training pro-grammes for dancers, educational and awareness-raising actions, workshops, artistic residen-cies, and projects with countries in the Southern hemisphere, especially in Africa and Latin America.

Artanim is a non-profit organisation established in 2011 dedicated to developing and promoting motion capture. Artanim has been conducting R&D projects along two major lines of research: medical research, where motion capture combined with 3D medical imagery is used to better understand joint structures and developing applications in virtual or enhanced reality with a focus on real-time interaction and using cutting-edge motion capture technology.

Can Virtual Reality Revolutionize Contemporary Dance?

4-5pm 10 May | Chronus Art Center, Building 18, No.50 Moganshan Rd, Shanghai


From immersive video games to innovative advertisement, virtual reality has the potential to be the wave of the future.

Contemporary dance, a sub-category of live entertainment, is also at the helm exploring VR’s uncharted territory. Because of its non-narrative form, contemporary dance offers an ideal field for the artistic exploration of new imaging technologies—technologies that open an innovative field of exploration for 3D dancing.

With the passion for imaging technology, Swiss choreographer – Gilles Jobin initiated a series of practices in 3D dancing. He realizes these technologies can reproduce, and even enhance the unique live experience of contemporary dance, thus provide new distribution channels for dance. Cinema screens, immersive virtual reality devices and online platforms for the dissemination of content dedicated to virtual reality: New areas of dance are there to be explored.

However, with the technology barrier and the limits on audience engagement, can virtual reality really be the future of contemporary dance? On 10 May, during the showcase of VR_I, Gilles Jobin, Director and Choreographer of VR_I, together with Salar Shahna, Head of World VR Forum, Nunu Kong, Choreographer / Performing Artist / Independent Producer, Xiaotong (Roger) Yang, Curator of VR Section, Shanghai TV Festival / Shanghai International Film Festival 2019 and Daming Zhang, Film and Theatre director / VR content creator, will present their projects and share their insights.




Salar Shahna
Director / Producer / XR Expert

Salar Shahna is at the head of the World VR Forum, an organization which has promoted VR internationally since 2015, holding its annual gathering every year in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. His focus was to connect science, creatives and industry; stimulate the market and showcase the best works in the festival. With his team, he kept extending the mission of the Forum notably by launching a talent incubator that supports and guides creatives, directors and technicians in the development of their projects. Salar was the first to bring foreign VR content in China during the Shanghai International Film Festival and has since curated an exhibiton in the Westbund Museum (2017) and in Shanghai’s Modern Art Museum (2018). Salar also directed two short films, “Human Race 3D” in 2012 and “The Bakery” in 2013. Salar’s production company Dirty Bacon takes a new flight in 2018 with a detonating line-up and the development of 3 radically new VR projects directed by international and renowned creatives. Salar will be directing the science-fiction experience Relife from this line-up.




Gilles Jobin
Choreographer / dancer / director

Recognized for his ground breaking work in choreography, Gilles Jobin began producing dance pieces in 1995 which earned him the acclaim of both the critics and the public. He soon established himself as a leading independent choreographer in Europe. In 2012, he became resident choreographer at CERN, Geneva. As an Ambassador for the arts and sciences, he regularly features as a guest lecturer in Switzerland and abroad. In 2015, Gilles Jobin received the Swiss Grand Award for Dance, awarded by the Federal Office of Culture. Fascinated with new imaging technologies, he produced the 3D film WOMB in 2016, awarded Best Art/Experimental Film at San Francisco Dance Film Festival in 2017, followed by the dance duo FORÇA FORTE for which he carried out his first motion capture experiments. In 2017 he creates VR_I – a dance piece in immersive virtual reality. In collaboration with Artanim. For the first time a choreographer combines dance with immersive virtual reality in a work that provides viewers with a unique sensory experience.


Nunu Kong
Choreographer / Performing Artist / Independent Producer

Nunu Kong graduated from a unique 4 years contemporary dance program from Beijing Dance Academy.  In 2007, she established her own independent dance project “BrandNuDance” which has become one of China’s most innovative experimental performing arts exchange platforms.  Promoting experimental dance as a new and vital medium in contemporary art, she has produced numerous international dance productions, commissions, workshops, lectures and presents Chinese independent performing artist’s work beyond the underground. Nunu Kong develops through her work a characteristic expression playing with time and space in poetic and illusionary dimensions in both visual and dramaturgic levels with a particular sense of humor instinctively blended into her choreography. In 2018, Nunu Kong and artist Marco Donnarumma co-directed Performance Project “ALIA: ZǓ TÀI”, which combines choreography, biosensors and sophisticated artificial intelligence robotics.


Xiaotong (Roger) Yang
Curator of VR Section, Shanghai TV Festival / Shanghai International Film Festival 2019

Roger Yang, Curator of VR Section of Shanghai TV Festival and Shanghai International Film Festival 2019. He was the Head of Strategy & Partners of Jaunt China, a company that creates and distributes location-based immersive experiences in China. He oversees content acquisition, location-based entertainment and virtual reality camera business at Jaunt China. As an evangelist of integrating VR with art, Roger has contributed to the production of various VR artistic projects, and he has curated several art-themed VR exhibitions in 2018. Before joining Jaunt China, he was a senior investment manager at Shanghai Media Group, one of the largest state-owned media enterprises in China. During his time at SMG, he led the investment to a series of top virtual reality studios and companies, including Jaunt Inc., Baobab and Felix & Paul.


Daming Zhang
Film and Theatre director / VR content creator

Daming Zhang graduated from the Central Academy of Drama in Stage design and received her Ph.D.in 2015. While working at the Power Station of Art (Shanghai Biennale), as project director she founded the experimental performance season “ReActor”. In 2018, she initiated and created the VR dance film “Or Bit”, it is currently in post-production.

Exploring Virtual Reality. New Perspective on Contemporary Dance & Medical Training

6.30-9.00pm, 16 May | Swissnex in China, 22F, Building A, No.319 Xianxia Rd, Shanghai


With increasing technology awareness and easier access, organizations and industries everywhere are brainstorming innovative ways to incorporate Virtual Reality into their businesses. For the fifth edition of Café des Sciences audience are invited to explore VR with Gilles Jobin, Director & Choreographer of VR_I, and Gauthier Dubruel, Business Director and co-founder of UbiSim – the first VR training solution for nurses.

The lecture is also the fifth edition of Café des Sciences Lectures, initiated by Swissnex in China to present Swiss Spotlight Scientists and Startups. The lecture is scheduled to take place every third Thursday each month at Swissnex in China or our partner spaces.




18:30-19:00               Registration


19:00-19:05               Welcome Speech


19:05-19:25                Presentation: Digital Territories, new areas of performance for contemporary dance
by Gilles Jobin, Director / Choreographer / Dancer


19:25-19:45                Presentation: Can virtual reality revolutionize medical training?
by Gauthier Dubruel, Business Director and co-founder of UbiSim


19:45-20:00              Q&A Session


20:00-21:00              Networking Apéro


 *scan to register


A contemporary dance piece in Immersive Virtual Reality
A project by Cie Gilles Jobin & Artanim


VR_I China Tour

Choreography – Gilles Jobin

Dance – Susana Panadés Díaz, Victoria Chiu, Diya Naidu, Gilles Jobin, Tidiani N’Diaye

VR Platform & Immersive Technology – Artanim

Costumes & Virtual Set – Jean-Paul Lespagnard

Sound Environment – Carla Scaletti / Symbolic Sound

Production Director – Camilo De Martino

3D Scans & Motion Capture – Artanim

3D Artist – Tristan Siodlak

3D Editor – Camilo De Martino

Technical Artist – Rémy Maetz

Assistant to the Choreographer  – Susana Panadés Díaz

Technical Director – Hugo Cahn

Technicians on Tour – Hugo Cahn, Camilo De Martino

Administration & Accounting – Gonzague Bochud

Production – Cie Gilles Jobin Genève – Switzerland

Co Production – Arsenic

With the support of – City of Geneva, Canton of Geneva, Pro Helvetia, Loterie Romande, Fondation Meyrinoise du Casino, Fonds mécénat SIG



Swissnex in China is the Science Consulate of Switzerland for China, which builds bridges by connecting Switzerland and China in education, research and innovation. By crossing conventional boundaries, we offer a platform to foster collaboration and creativity for inspiring research and groundbreaking innovation. Swissnex is the Swiss global network connecting the dots in education, research, and innovation. Its mission is to support the outreach and active engagement of its partners in the international exchange of knowledge, ideas and talent.



Established in 2013, Chronus Art Center (CAC) is China’s first nonprofit art organization dedicated to the presentation, research / creation and scholarship of media art. CAC with its exhibitions, residency-oriented fellowships, lectures and workshop programs and through its archiving and publishing initiatives, creates a multifaceted and vibrant platform for the discourse, production and dissemination of media art in a global context. CAC is positioned to advance artistic innovation and cultural awareness by critically engaging with media technologies that are transforming and reshaping contemporary experiences.


Strategic Partners 

MANA is a global comprehensive community that involves artists, designers and scientific creators that promotes the industry with extraordinary creators and their works. Dedicated to facilitating the communication and interaction among global artists, designers and scientific creators, MANA is also committed to widely spreading and promoting outstanding works to public, art organizations, commercial enterprises in order to enhance the opportunity of cooperation in cross-border disciplines and industries.

As a sub offline platform brand of MANA, date is a life evolution theory of design, art, technology and education to awaken contemporary aesthetics and curiosity by communication face-to-face and personal involvement. date holds regular talks, forums, conferences, even party for arts/design/technology/education field.


Event Partner

WVRF is a non-profit organization, dedicated to advancing Virtual and Augmented Reality throughout Switzerland and the world by annually hosting a VR/AR Summit and collaborating with other organizations on VR/AR related events throughout the year.