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Some performers are always looking for new ways to integrate new technology into their shows. Usher will be the next to join that list. The director of his upcoming London show revealed Thursday that fans will actually be able to join him onstage as part of a Digital Dance Crew.
Director Hamish Hamilton told The New York Times that fans viewing Usher’s June 11 concert at the Hammersmith Apollo in London online will be able to upload avatars that wll be seen dancing with the singer. “Literally, people will be able to create their own avatar and have it dance on the screen with Usher,” he told the Times.
In addition to the digital dance team, which will perform with Usher when he sings “Scream,” live tweeting will be incorporated. Online viewers will also get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Hamilton and the rest of the crew at work in the control booth where“you can hear all the people in control, or not, as the case may be,” he said.
As TheGrio notes, the technology was built by Montreal company Moment Factory, which also worked with Madonna for her Super Bowl Halftime Show, which Hamilton directed.
The concert will be streaming live on Usher’s Vevo page on YouTube. The show is the latest in a series of concerts streamed live and directed by an acclaimed director. “I ain’t David Lynch, I ain’t Gary Oldman, and I’m quite aware of that,” Hamilton told the Times. “But I bring something different. I bring a cutting-edge technological experience and an enthusiasm and a passion to take things to the next level. And also a track record that says, this guy’s done a bit of this in the past.”
In an interview with Reuters, Usher talked about how they hoped to make the show as interactive as possible. “We wanted to make this interactive for the fans so, they'll be able to create their own avatar and have it dance on screen with me. It's something that Hamish, and my entire team felt would be very unique. Fans can tweet while I'm on stage. I'll be able to interact with them - I may comment on tweets that come through,” he said.