The British Council just released the third installment of its ‘Mix’ series called ‘Mix the Body’ – after a year long celebration of cultural exchange between the UK and India.

Mix the Body continues the organisation’s mission of cultural exchange by giving you the chance to create art and explore Indian culture.

Create art

An interactive digital platform, Mix the Body, lets you create a sequence of contemporary dance using movements choreographed by world-renowned choreographer Wayne McGregor and performed by Bangalore-based dance company Attakkalari and Company Wayne McGregor.

Mix the Body was developed by the London-based creative agency Flying Object, who has previously worked with clients such as Google, BBC and Youtube. 

Creating a dance may seem complicated for the less experienced; however, Mix the Body makes it as simple as drawing a shape on the screen, as seen below.

Mix the body

To begin, select “Create a Dance” and choose your dancers – either a duet by Fukiko and Parth or Anindito and Alvaro – on the website.

You can then add your own touch to pre-choreographed movements by drawing on the screen to create a personalised sequence of moves. Drawing shapes with your mouse triggers the dancers to make similar gestures, which are then recorded in your sequence.

There are 18 movements that users may draw, such as circles, lines and zigzags. I found the platform fairly accurate in imitating my drawings, and it was interesting to discover which gestures resulted from certain drawings.

Once the bar at the bottom of the screen reaches 100% and you’ve constructed a long enough dance, the platform will ask if you’re satisfied with your dance.

If you are, it’s time to pick music to bring the dance to life.

Choose music to accompany your sequence from specially created tracks ranging from electronic music by award-winning musician and producer Jon Hopkins, to a cinematic score by composer Max Richter, or a Bollywood theme by Mumbai-based composer Meghdeep Bose.

The platform then plays the entire cinematically-shot performance of your unique dance, which can be saved and shared across social media platforms.

Here is the sequence that I have created.

“We hope that Mix the Body will start you off on a new choreographic adventure, creating your own unique dance miniatures in seconds, sharing them with friends and making some more. We can’t wait to see what you create - let your imagination run free,” says Wayne McGregor, choreographer and artistic director of the studio.

A year of cultural exchange

The British Council launched UK-India 2017 to honour the long history of their relationship.

The British Council says that “by experiencing the most innovative and exciting creative work from both countries and exploring our joint history, people will want to know more about each other’s countries and build deeper connections”. The variety of programmes and activities seek to do this.

Mix the Body “is a highlight of the British Council’s digital programme for the UK-India Year of Culture, which celebrates the UK and India’s relationship, connects young people in both countries and inspires them to build a relationship for the next 70 years”, says OBE and British Council diplomat Alan Gemmell.

Start creating art and explore the Indian culture here.