The MAD COOL Show brought together new music, new choreography, and laser lights in The Cube at the Moss Arts Center. The challenge for musicians was to submit music for a dance show. The challenge for the dancers was to choreograph this music. The challenge for the lighting system was to be compact and mobile so that it may easily travel to facilitate events.

The project got musicians and dancers that live in Blacksburg to share an art space and give feedback to each other. The Cube is a perfect venue for such projects for it allows the seamless combination of music, dance, and light through extensive sound spatialization, its multipurpose performance floor, and easy light automation.

On a different perspective, the project invited the Residential College at West Ambler Johnston to participate in rehearsals and discuss the music. Discussion dinners took place at D2 over food and deserts to help start the conversation.

The project team Kyriakos Tsoukalas, Armi Behzad, and Madeleine Paulsen were challenged to liaison with people, manage cancellations, reschedule events, and host meetings. Moreover, they unified the different project parts into performance ready material. Faculty advisors Dr. Billie Lepczyk and Dr. Ico Bukvic helped with creating the calls for participation and advised on the concept of a show blending music, dance, and lighting.

A call for music was sent out to gather music from VT students, alumni, and faculty. Excerpts from the music were mixed down to a 30 minutes sequence from hip-hop, to chill, to electro-acoustic kind of music. A call for dancers asked for people interested to dance and also choreograph different sections of the sequence running on average about 90 second each. A DJ deck, LED strips, laser and strobe lights were purchased to automate lighting for the show. The project used different spaces to accomplish its goals. The Digital Interactive Sound & Intermedia Studio (Newman Library) was used to produce the music sequence. LED strips and other material were assembled in Create studio (Moss Arts Center). The Great and Junior Commons rooms at Ambler Johnston building were used to meet, research, and perform. The Cube (Moss Arts Center) hosted the first show and the Radio Studio at the Media Building was furnished with the DJ and light automation equipment so that VT students may practice with or rent out for an event.

Mad Cool Show


  1. A mobile DJ and lighting gear solution to host musical events.
  2. A repository for how to create calls for participation of musicians and dancers. 
  3. Two performances of the show with music, dance, and lighting. 


The project aims to continue with exploring motion tracking of dancers to augment their performance with image projection driven by their movements.