Barcelona and Vienna Dance Together Through the Network

RedIRIS has collaborated in this performance providing its network infrastructure for the transmission

Academic and research networks enable a pair of dancers to perform 1,800 kilometres apart, creating a unique performance which is part of “Near in the distance”, an event at the Network Performing Arts Production Workshop.


A female dancer, at the Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona, and her partner, at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna (mdw), performed together merging their own images which was broadcast through the academic and research networks.

This performance, celebrated in March 13, produced by the Konic theatre company with the technical support of Iglor, is part of “Near the Distance”, one of the scheduled activities in the European Network Performing Arts Production Workshop fourth European edition, which joins together performing arts and technologies to provide support to education, research in new tools and software, equipment, lighting techniques and so on. This activity also includes a concert between Trieste and Vienna that was broadcast using low latency video streaming, LOLA.

The broadcast was achieved using the academic and research networks from Catalonia (Anella Científica, managed by CESCA) and Spain (RedIRIS), and also the pan-European (GÉANT) and Austrian (ACOnet) networks. In order to guarantee the transmission, the Liceu’s speed connection was upgraded from 100 Mbps, its usual connection at the Anella Científica, up to 800 Mbps.

The software used for this transmission was UltraGrid, developed by the Czech Educational and Scientific Network, CESNET. UltraGrid is an open-source framework for low-latency network transmissions of HD and post-HD video, which is focused on maximum image quality and minimum latency available on commodity hardware. Depending on available network capacity, the video can be transmitted either uncompressed or compressed.

The workshop’s attendees were able to participate in short discussion panels, involving artists and engineers, who gave an overview of their experience working with one another across a distance but in real time, and what this means for rehearsals.

The NPAPW is held until 14th March in Vienna, and this edition emphasizes the equipment and staffing requirements for interactive performing arts education, multi-site performance events, and high quality netcasting over advanced networks. It is a mix of hands-on audio/video production techniques and presentations of networking aspects of producing high quality transmissions of various Performing Arts.

About the Network Performing Arts Production Workshop

The workshop’s fourth European edition takes place at University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (mdw), with local technical support provided by ACOnet. TERENA, the European research and academic networks association, and Internet2, the American network, coordinate this event. Moreover, the Italian network GARR, CESCA, who runs the Anella Científica in Catalonia, and the mdw itself, all of them put additional expertise.