DanceX - Artificial Dance Partner Competition

DanceX is a competition in computer-generated dance partner for human-computer dance duet. All duet pieces contain two parts: a human lead (to be performed by a human) and a computer partner (to be performed by the submitted artificial dancer). Both performers “know” the music to dance with, and the computer partner needs to follow the leader, reacting to the human dance in an artistic manner. In particular, the computer partner has the freedom to follow a waltz, where the connection between the two dancers is tighter, or to follow a street dance, where there is more room for improvisation and choreography.


  1. Participants will be given 4 pieces of “dance duet” (see an example here) on May 29, 2017, in the form of (1) audio and (2) the human dance part of the duet. The latter will be in the form of motion vector sequence (synchronized with audio), or the participants are free to create their own human performance.
  2. Participants shall choose (at least) one of the 4 pieces. Two pieces are waltz, where the connection between the two dancers is tighter, and the other two pieces are street dance, where there is more room for improvisation and choreography. The “test” is then when given a new human version of the lead part, the machine (artificial dance partner) shall perform the other part.
  3. After the 4 dance duets are released, participants will have 72 hours to construct their artificial dancer (or to “train” the artificial performers if any machine-learning techniques are involved) and to then produce a partner's dance. The dance could be in the format of motion vectors.
  4. The created artificial dance partner should be a Linux/Windows/Mac executable program (written in C, Python, etc.) capable of sequentially processing the human dance part and generating a computer part. Note the program should be causal; during the course of a performance, artificial performers cannot use future human dance as a guide to generate their current dance.
  5. Validation will take the form of giving the artificial dancer a similar yet new human dance (of the same music piece) to follow.


  1. Contest participants can choose to submit entries that derive from any one of the 4 pieces.
  2. Submissions comprise (1) the source code for the artificial dance partner, (2) the final mix-down which contains both the human lead part and the generated computer part, and (3) the human lead performance alone, if the participants choose to create their own human dance rather than use the given one.
  3. Submissions will be effected through access to a virtual machine running a Linux/Windows operating system, or a server running Mac OS X. Participants will have access to the machines days before the competition begins and are responsible for getting their software to run on the platform (although the organizers will do their best to help if problems arise). See system specifications here for available operating systems and timelines to access them.
  4. The actual data for competition will be released on May 29, 8 am EST. Entries must be submitted by 8:00 AM EST, June 1, 2017.
  5. The virtual machine should be able to run the code via a single command line (or an equally simple and directly operation), which takes human lead performance as the input and generate computer accompaniment output, using less than 16GB of RAM and less than 50GB of disk space.
  6. The program must be completely self-contained and require no connectivity to the Internet.

Get started with your application here.

Prize and Honor:

  1. A set of finalists will be determined .Among the finalists, the best program (as determined by a panel of judges through Turing Test) will receive a $2000 cash prize. Judges will give prizes for outstanding creative efforts at their discretion.