Scholarship of Engagement

What do we mean by scholarship of engagement? It means Purdue faculty teaching, conducting research or performing service to fulfill an academic mission and meet community needs.

The Paint that Wants to Dance

Dance and digital color — the two ingredients for a new vocabulary.

Petronio Bendito, a Purdue associate professor of visual and performing arts, developed a new visual vocabulary that started from collaboration with dancers and choreographers from the Lafayette community. Bendito uses a digitally enhanced method to "paint" dancers in real time during live performances.

"Our project involved the intersection of dance and technology mediated by a technique I labeled Digital Kinetic Color Traces," Bendito says.

Bendito then took what he learned through his work with the dancers, expanded upon it over the years with the Division of Dance, and took it back into the classroom at Purdue, where he shared the new visual vocabulary with students in music, dance and lighting design.

"It's rewarding when you can take a project like this and impact both the community and learning at Purdue," Bendito says. "We help the dancers in the community expand their professional practice, and then take our findings from the fieldwork to expand our scholarly and teaching experiences.

"This was such a great opportunity for Purdue to use its resources, including with visual and performing arts, to invest culturally in the community. When you put the two pieces together — Purdue and the community — both parts benefit."

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