The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms

The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms has been produced to bridge the gap between the world of dance and computer technology. The latest version of the guide to this software tool for digital choreography is now available with additional creative tutorials. It contains Video Tutorials, PDF manuals, animation and study files.

“I have discovered that I can create a contemporary art form using the fusion of digital technology with the language and vocabulary of dance. By using and experimenting with this technology including DanceForms, I find that I am able to transcend the range of stage performance and explore choreographic possibilities without the restriction of conventional rules of dance, for example in the use of weight and space. Merce Cunningham, who discovered new choreographic dimensions when using DanceForms, was a great inspiration and encouragement to me in my exploration of DanceForms as a tool for choreography. Not only is this form of expression able to convey the emotional, uplifting and spiritual side of dance, but it celebrates also the innovative possibilities of probing and extending the boundaries of dance, elevating the finite into the infinite”.

Janet Randell


Janet Randell

Janet Randell, BA (Hons), AISTD, international choreographer, digital dance animator, teacher, lecturer, author, researcher and musician, is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Cedar Dance Theatre Company and Cedar Dance Animations Ltd. One of her recent productions is a comprehensive digitized version of The Tutorial Guide To DanceForms.


The Guide is designed for all users, from advanced choreographers to absolute beginners. Exploring another dimension to dance has opened up new and creative possibilities for Randell in the interplay between digital and live dance.


“An aim in The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms is to present the art of choreography and dance in a fresh and creative way and to make digital dance accessible to all”. Janet Randell     Find Out More

Photograph of Janet Randell rehearsing Ancient Voices with Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Guangzhou, China. © CDA.

Tom Calvert

Tom Calvert is Professor Emeritus in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver and 2017 Canadian Digital Media Pioneer Award Recipient. As President and CEO of Credo Interactive Inc. he developed the innovative computer choreography tool Life Forms, later known as DanceForms.


Tom Calvert led the team, who worked alongside choreographer Merce Cunningham, sharing the visionary aim of bringing dance and technology together in a unique way.


“As one of the team that created DanceForms, I strongly recommend that anyone setting out to use this software should start with the tutorials in Janet Randell’s Tutorial Guide”.

Tom Calvert, Introduction to The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms

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Merce Cunningham

MERCE CUNNINGHAM (1919-2009) was an artistic colossus of the avant-garde in dance, choreography and visual arts. During his illustrious and innovative career, Cunningham collaborated with many visionaries of music, visual arts and technology. Ceaselessly curious and inventive, he also collaborated with Professor Tom Calvert and colleagues to develop DanceForms.


Merce Cunningham explored the boundaries of choreography by helping to develop the computer program DanceForms, which he continued to use in his dances.


The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms by Janet Randell opens up new vistas in dance for the existing and next generation of dancers and choreographers. I recommend the Guide as it demonstrates in an imaginative way how computer technology can be harnessed as a valuable and innovative working tool for dance”.

Merce Cunningham, Foreword to The Tutorial Guide to DanceForms

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Photograph of Merce Cunningham with dancers of the Ballet de l’Opéra national de Paris, PHOTO CREDIT: Merce Cunningham © Merce Cunningham Trust, all rights reserved. Photo by Babette Mangold Mongolte

Pushing The Boundaries of Dance & Animation

The Cedar Dance Theatre Company, founded in London, is one of the UK’s longest established contemporary dance companies. Together with its sister company Cedar Dance Animations, and under the artistic, creative and choreographic directorship of Janet Randell, Cedar Dance has continued to delight and challenge audiences with original and stunning projects and productions in live dance, film, digital and animated dance.

Janet Randell © Cedar Dance Animations Limited 2019

Limitless Horizons in the World of Digital Choreography and Dance