• Identificação do Projecto: TKB - Transmedia Knowledge Base for contemporary dance
  • Grupo: Lexicology, Lexicography and Terminology
  • Responsável: Carla Fernandes
  • Duração: 2010-2013
  • Palavras-chave: video annotation; linguistic annotation; contemporary choreographic creations; multimodal corpora; ontologies; ANVIL software; transdisciplinarity; motion analysis; knowledge-bases
  • Entidade financiadora: submitted for funding to Science and Technology Foundation (FCT) in February 2009


In the interstices between linguistics and contemporary dance studies and continuing the research line of the VILA_CCC_Mont (project funded by a Post-doc grant awarded to the project coordinator), TKB is a more extensive and transdisciplinay project aiming at the design and construction of an open-ended multimodal knowledge base to document, annotate and support the creation of contemporary dance pieces.

The TKB project is planned to run from 2009 to 2012 and seeks to provide a research space for rigorous, critical exploration of the relationship between linguistics, dance studies, new digital media and thought/consciousness.

Its main targets are: to extend the scope and application of the "documentation" concept to contemporary dance in different ways; to develop a strong link between the recent dance-research community and the well-established communities in cognitive linguistics (since Lakoff & Johnson 1980) and computer science, by taking a closer look at the cognitive process of "choreographic thinking" (Stevens & McKechnie 2005) and therefore contribute to the domains of multimodal corpora (Kipp 2008), terminological ontologies, cognition and verbal-nonverbal relations.

TKB implies the articulation of 3 complementary components, each of them involving specific aims and tasks, as specified below.

1. Linguistic annotation 

  • Video annotation of multiple rehearsal videos 
  • Creation of specialized glossary to define the terms used 
  • Prototype of online archive for Portuguese contemporary dance

The aim of this component is to linguistically annotate original videos from dance performances shot on site during their creation and rehearsal phases, in a first stage those corresponding to the piece SetUp by Rui Horta, being contrasted with two other pieces by the same creator, with which it is considered to form a trilogy: Pixel, SetUp and Scope. This will be tested as a first case study, other choreographers being planned for analysis as well, both for contrasting and evaluation purposes.

A terminological glossary of choreographic elements used by Rui Horta and his dancers is intended to be a rather flexible tool, in the sense that its underlying structure will be adapted to accommodate other choreographer-related terms as well, as is the intention of our partner Bertha Bermudez while working in a similar project with the dance company Emio Greco | PC.

With the prototype for a Digital Archive of Portuguese contemporary dance creations, which should be seen as a work-in-progress, our aim is to gradually compile in an interactive Transmedia Knowledge Base the newest creations of international choreographers showing interest in this initiative, as well as, in the longer run, to cover the existing resources documenting the choreographic productions of the last three decades in Portugal. The archive should also include the existing press and video documentation, as well as a spectator's gallery for feed-back and public intervention.

The linguistic annotation component will be developed both at CLUNL and CLUP with the collaboration of the Amsterdam School of Arts (AHK), under the supervision of Carla Fernandes.

2. Software development for annotation and motion analysis 

  • Video annotator 
  • Information & Knowledge Management 
  • Motion analysis research

This component includes the creation of a custom-made video annotator, an information & knowledge management system as the interface to connect its three different modules and a motion analysis research module: towards a multi-person semi-automatic system to analyze the human body motion in video dance sequences (Guo 2006). This corresponds to two different applications: one for annotation and another one, web-based, for content access and browsing.

This software development component will be developed at FCT/UNL, Interactive Multimedia Group, under the supervision of Nuno Correia.

3. Creation-oriented tool

  • Tool for choreographers' creation process and individual archives 
  • Design of the TKB interfaces

The novelty here is to design a creation-oriented tool deriving from the results of the annotated video corpora with the aim of feeding back to the choreographic creative process. The interfaces designed in this component will be implemented in component 2. The Web interface has different modes, based on the case studies, for different types of users, e.g., choreographers or archive users. It should be an auxiliary tool for the creator's task in real time compositions and for their archiving intentions (Jürgens 2008).

This will be developed by new media designer and artist Chris Ziegler, with the collaboration of Stephan Jurgens and Rui Horta.

We will have a contemporary dance-expert consultant (Maria José Fazenda) and a facilitator consultant for the project´s knowledge circulation (Scott DeLahunta).

TKB is to be launched in the web, being relevant for dance companies, higher education dance schools, contemporary art museums and for the scientific communities of cognitive linguistics, multimodal corpora and new media technologies.



  • Carla Montez Fernandes - Centro de Linguística da Universidade Nova de Lisboa


  • Carla Montez Fernandes - Centro de Linguística da Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  • Nuno Correia - Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa  
  • Isabel Galhano - Centro de Linguística da Universidade do Porto  
  • Evi Dimakopoulou (Grantee) - Centro de Linguística da Universidade do Porto  
  • Diogo Cabral (Grantee) - Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa  
  • Urândia Carvalho (Grantee) - Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa  
  • João Gaspar (Grantee) - Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa  
  • David Santos (Grantee) - Centro de Linguística da Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  • Carlos Oliveira (FCT Grantee) - FCSH / Programa Doutoral UT Austin | PT
  • Bertha Bermudez - AHK Amsterdam and Dance Company
  • Emio Greco | PC - Amsterdam  
  • Stephan Jürgens - INET_MD: Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa  
  • Rute Costa - Centro de Linguística da Universidade Nova de Lisboa  
  • Rui Horta - Centro Coreográfico "O Espaço do Tempo" - Montemor-o-Novo  


  • Scott DeLahunta - Amsterdam Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, NL
  • Chris Ziegler - ZKM - Karlsruhe   Maria José Fazenda - Escola Superior de Dança de Lisboa
  • Maria Teresa Lino - Centro de Linguística da Universidade Nova de Lisboa