Creator of the Pentametron collaborates with Brooklyn Ballet

Ballet with bits: Artist makes computer program that makes art

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Park Slope artist Ranjit Bhatnagar can’t paint and he can’t sculpt — but he knows how to make ones and zeroes into something beautiful.

The computer-based artist will put his programming skills to the test on Feb. 28 in a collaboration with the real-life dancers at Brooklyn Ballet.

Bhatnagar and his compatriots in the “hacker collective” NYCResistor are figuring out a way to project each quiver of a ballet slipper and every choreographed step on a wall facing the audience, giving them a literal new perspective on the nuances of choreography.

The idea isn’t to outshine the dancers — but it takes a computer to reveal how complicated and precise their movements are.

“I had been interested in focusing and revealing choreography in real time,” said choreographer Lynn Parkerson.

“Sometimes dance pieces can look simple but have a lot of ideas that go into creating the movement.”

The collaboration is a logical next step for Bhatnagar. He has long been interested in using his programming ability to create something that goes beyond an algorithm.

Bhatnagar’s art has the ability to surprise even him.

“It has a life of its own even after its finished,” he said.

That’s not unlike his previous endeavour, in which he designed a computer program — dubbed the Pentametron — that took endless streams of tweets from multitudes of Twitter users and merged them together to create poetry in iambic pentameter with rhyming couplets.

“I know a little freak in Hollywood, I’m tired by Pandora getting good,” Pentametron once wrote. “I wonder what tomorrow’s gonna bring, I’m losing everyone and everything.”

“Brooklyn Ballet’s 2013 season: In 4D“ at Actors Fund Arts Center Theater [160 Schermerhorn Street, between Smith and Hoyt streets in Downtown, (718) 246–0146,]. Opens Feb. 28, 8 pm. Tickets start at $15.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
Updated 12:06 am, February 25, 2013
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!