Awards and Press
Shortlisted for Interaction Awards 2013
Published on Designwala
IIT Mumbai Tech Fest
NrityaDhol is a music instrument which combines dance and music experiences of Ghunghroo and Dhol. Ghunghroo is a pair of musical anklets tied to the legs of Indian classical dancers to produce music out of their footwork. Dhol is a drum which accompanies rhythm of foot tapping in many Indian dances.

NrityaDhol is a pair of musical anklets which translates foot tapping patterns of classical dances into a rhythm of Dhol with the help of motion detection technology. It produces "Dhin"(low frequency bass sound) and "Tak" (high frequency treble sound) of Dhol on tapping left and right leg respectively.

NrityaDhol combining dance and live music performances into one to create unique audio-visual experience for performers and audiences. With NrityaDhol, Indian classical dancers can combine Mudras (hand gestures) and facial gestures of classical dances with Dhol music for narrative performances.

This concept is based on human's ability to synchronize movements with sound with which humans have discovered "dance". This already existing connections of sounds to movements can be used to design music instruments where sounds are produced by correlated movements. It can make music production very intuitive to humans and transform music learning experience into dance learning and music production into choreographing.
To validate the concept we started prototyping tap detection with Arduino and Force Sensitive Resistor(FSR). We stitched FSR into a wearable pad to understand force patterns of various styles of foot tapping. After gaining fair understanding of foot tapping, we decided to place FSR under toes so the dancer can incorporate different tapping styles. We designed a small circuit to detect foot tap out of FSR data and send a trigger to the Arduino. We used Processing in conjunction with Arduino to play sound tap is detected.

Up to this stage, the hardware was wired with the computer. It was essential to make it wireless in order to test it with dancers. We used three Xbees, two on each leg connected with tap detecting circuit and the third one connected with Processing. While making this prototype wireless we also removed Arduino from it.

We packed tap detecting circuit with Xbee and battery into an anklet which dancer can wear just like Ghunghroo. Then we tested the concept with dancers and tried alternate ways to map Dhol sounds to tapping movement.