Celestial Dance of Tang

Academic Work
Digital 3D Animation | Immersive Exhibition

Role:Designer, Production, Responsible for ACT2 Celestial Dance of Tang
Venue:Harvard University



Cave Dance is the second project I have worked on since joining Harvard CAMLab. Based on the Dunhuang murals, Cave Dance is a modernized version of the Celestial Dance of Tang, combining motion capture and AI-generated algorithms. In the immersive images of the Celestial Dance, I sought to depict the Buddha of the Dunhuang culture dancing like ghosts and gods. The dancers are both real and imaginary, moving on the edge of the visible and invisible.

Dance: Between Real and Virtual

I tried many different effects for the dancer. These included fabric simulation with different materials, object tracking, normal trailing effects, trailing effect with strokes, and a following effect made by overlaying complex materials. All of these methods attempt to place the dancer’s image somewhere between illusion and reality. They are neither very realistic, nor very material (the common fluid simulation or particle tracking effects will have a kind of over-industrialized feeling). They are also not completely visible nor invisible to the human figure.

Dancing in this glazed world are flying celestials, immortals, bodhisattvas—otherwise known as gods and Buddhas. They wear "heavenly clothes" that are as light as nothing, and can dance on the ground or in the air. Based on these legal principles, I finally tried to superimpose three effects on the dancers.

Infinite Mirror and Heavenly Palace

Dance in the fire to extend life


- TEAM DIRECTORS: Eugene Wang, Chenchen Lu
- PROJECT LEAD: Anna Borou Yu

- TECH CONSULTANT: Huazhe Xu, Zeyu Wang, Renju Li
- PRODUCTION CONSULTANT: Jeff Grantz, Wenhua Shi, Oliver Radford, Sean Stewart

- ADMINISTRATION: Lorna Desiree Campos
- RESEARCH: Chenchen Lu, April Peng, Sophie Lei, Muyun Zhou, Ting-Ning Wen, Anna Borou Yu, Tiange Zhou, Xiaoyu Yang, Yanyue Li, Xiangyi Sun, Ziming Su, Icey Lin, Zhining Xia
- TECH RESEARCH: Anna Borou Yu, Chengan He, Jiashun Wang, Amo Zeng, Betty Wang, Junhua Liu, Angela Shen, Ningjing Tang, Diana Yue, Rachel Ai
- SCREENWRIGHT: Eugene Wang, Chenchen Lu
- CHOREOGRAPHY: Anna Borou Yu, Ting-Ning Wen, Yanyue Li, Xiangyi Sun
- PERFORMANCE: Anna Borou Yu, Ting-Ning Wen, Shuqi Cong, Teng Shi, Shumeng A, Qingyuan Hu, Hansong Wang
- VISUAL ARTIST LEAD: Curry Sicong Tian
- VISUAL ARTISTS: Jam Jianyu Mo(3d), Reraner Yetong Xin(3d), Amo Mengying Zeng(3d), Jake Xi Wang(3d),  Haofan Liu(3d,TD), Du Ren (3d), Chao Zhou(3d), Erica Yuhan Song(3d)
- EDITING: Suki Yi Su, Curry Sicong Tian, Anna Borou Yu, Jiajian Min, Yihan Yin, Chenchen Lu, Ziming Su
- 3D DESIGN: Jiajian Min, Wenbo Xiang, Danlei Huang, Yingxuan Ma
- VISUAL DESIGN: Wanni Xu, Jianyu Zhang, Lily Li, Sijia Chen, Zhifei Xu, Jintong Duan
- LIVE ACTION: Fletcher Liujiyi Zuo, Jiajian Min, Shuyi Wang, Joseph Weingrad/ Xiuxing Wang
- SOUND DESIGN: Tiange Zhou, Leon Hangfeng Sun
- WEBSITE DESIGN: Chun Wang, Amo Zeng
- PUBLIC PROGRAM: Alina Yijia Yang, Elaine Yilin Huang, Sabrina Mingjia Chen
- EXHIBITION DESIGN: Jiajian Min, Anna Borou Yu
- EXHIBITION MANAGEMENT: Simone Levine, Jiajian Min
- EXHIBITION AV SYSTEM: dbpc (Dan and Ben Production Company)
- EXHIBITION INSTALLATION: DCL (Design Communications Ltd.), EPS Painting and Services
- MOTION CAPTURE: Beijing TenYoun 3D Technology Co., Ltd, The MIT.nano Immersion Lab, Barnard College Movement Lab
- TECH SUPPORT: Shujia Yun, Tianlin Yan, Bowei Li