Ballet Pixelle® Produces Professional Works
That Creatively Utilize the Virtual World Second Life®


Hausos Poster

"Hausos" is Ballet Pixelle's story of how the auora borealis,
or Northern Lights, came to be.

This ballet is dedicated to the town of Skagastrond in northern Iceland where Inarra Saarinen was invited to a Nes Artist Residency in September. The ballet was performed there with our dancers performing live, with Anna Stefansdottir, a real-life dancer from Reykyavik, Iceland, a Second Life audience and a Real Life audience in Skagastrond!

Act I, Part 1 = Air
Act I, Part 2 = The elements of ice, water, fire, and earth as shown by Glacier, Geyser, Volcano, and Mountain. These elements are embodied by humans as patience, energy, passion, and strength. We see these personified in the human dancer.

In Act II, we see the Hidden Folk, who are like royal humans also with these attributes, dance at a party. Then we see Thordis, the human dancer prophetess, hide a treasure chest in the mountain.

In Act III, each royal hidden folk climbs the mountain, opens the treasure chest, and is transformed to an energy ball of light, that paints the sky and creates the aurora borealis!

Unlike other ballet companies, Ballet Pixelle uses new technology to take the art form into a unique environment to new and existing spectators. The first and only of its kind, the company performs in and takes advantage of a 3D Internet virtual world called Second Life®. The company creatively utilizes unique aspects of the virtual reality, e.g., transforming from human into animal or dragon or growing old on stage.

“By the end of the first act, I realized that the same emotional response that real life dance can evoke is possible in the virtual realm.”
—Pixeleen Mistral of the "Second Life Herald"

The ballet uses a new breed of dancers and a new classical ballet vocabulary created to take advantage of the innovative medium. By performing in an Internet virtual space, it breaks geographical boundaries and time zones, and it allows new spectators, such as disabled individuals, to enjoy a ballet performance that they may not have experienced otherwise.

These avatars are real people from around the globe – Japan, Canada, Portugal, England, and California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC – they come together to captivate audiences. Many are Real Life professional and amateur dancers and not just in ballet but in others such as Irish Dance and Flamenco.

Avatara Ava, a Real Life dancer, dances with Tara, a virtual dancerAvatara Act II Ava and Tara dance with  Virtuals

An excellent example is Avatara in which Ava, the Real Life dancer Hiroko Kimono (Tokyo), dances pas de deux with Tara, the Second Life dancer Amelie Dibou (Washington, D.C.). Then in Act II Ava joins Tara in the virtual world to dance together as humans, butterflies, metal aliens, and more. One of the funniest animations folds the dancers up into human suitcases!

Inarra Saarinen, Interview on Blending Realities with Live Virtual Dance Performances with Ballet Pixelle

Why Ballet in a Virtual World?

The Making of a Ballet in a Virtual Space