AARNet to 'step up' to dance floor for world contest

Australian and Korean B-boys will settle their differences by videoconference in a dance battle set to go off this Sunday. Australia's research-and-education broadband network, AARNet, will connect three large public screens in Melbourne, Perth and Seoul in a demonstration of technology bridging distant cultures.

The dance-off between the two nations will go down via real-time videoconferencing, connecting 65-square-meter LED screens in Federation Square, Melbourne, Northbridge Piazza, Perth and the Art Center Nabi in Seoul. The event is scheduled from 3 to 6 p.m. AEST.

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The contest is part of a five-year project funded by the Australian Research Council and designed by the University of Melbourne, University of Western Australia and University of Sydney.

The project is in its third year, but Sunday's dance-off will be its "first big splash," AARNet project director, Doug Farmer, told Computerworld Australia. "This is the first time that large public screens have been linked in this way for public, real-time interaction."

Why dance? Farmer said the University of Melbourne "sees dance as a medium to facilitate that cross-cultural exchange that can transcend the language boundaries."