Digital Umbilical

Project: Digital Umbilical
Partners: Body Intelligence Collective,
Sadlers Wells, Dansathon 2019.

Salomé Bazin from Cellule Studio has worked with the Body Intelligence Collective to develop Digital Umbilical: a poetic-technologic experience merging science, technology and contemporary dance.

Digital umbilical is a powerful and unique experience allowing people to connect and reconnect with each other. Eye to eye, heartbeat to heartbeat, breath to breath.

The project was a commission from Dansathon 2018 and Sadler’s Wells London.




Contemporary dance


Interaction design
Technology research


Humane tech

“How do we connect to others in the age of digital connection?”

Despite living in a period of ‘high connection’, our society is experiencing increased feelings of loneliness affecting people in all social groups independent of their wealth or status. How do we truly connect to others in the age of machines and digital connection? How can we use technology to deepen the connection to our body and to enhance intimacy between a performer and an audience?

Repurposing technological tools of bio-data control and measurement, Digital Umbilical wants to reclaim the poetic, rhythmic and creative aspect of bio-rhythms and body cycles, enabling audiences to reconnect to their bodies.

“This dance performance
explores the amplification
of empathy with bio-signals.”

This dance performance explores the connection between individuals (dancer and performer), and its amplification through the use of technology.

A responsive interactive system with sensors feedback in real time bio-data from both audience members and performers,
controlling the soundscape and lighting environment. This gives audiences a unique experience of dance and a rare insight into their own uncontrollable physiological reactions.

“We wanted
participants to
reconnect to their body and physiology.”

At a time where we rising political division along simplified categorizations and artificial boundaries amongst humans,
we believe it is critical to get audiences and participants to reconnect to the universality of our body, and experiences we have all shared as human beings.

Concept and realisation by Body Intelligence Collective. Design and scenography by Cellule studio.

Concept and realisation by Body Intelligence Collective.

Creative technologist: Simon Haenggi
Choreographer: Renaud Wiser
Designer: Salomé Bazin
Producer: Lara Buffard
Programmer: Jon Rowe
Performer: Adam Seid Tahir
Performer: Rosanne Briens
Composer: Arthur Astier
Photography: Maria Lax
Video: Laurent Liotardo

The creation of Digital Umbilical was made possible with the generous support of Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants, Fondation BNP Paribas and Sadler’s Wells to the Body Intelligence Collective.