Abstract : This paper deals with a new method for controlling kinematically articulated systems. Unlike traditional approaches, we pose the problem in a new distance space. We propose a novel distance-based formalization of kinematic control, and an optimization method for solving a set of classical for motion adaptation and inverse kinematics problems. The originality of the method lies also in the possibility to introduce distance constraints with priorities. The approach is validated by a set of experiments using several classical kinematic operations applied to motion control of articulated figures, and compared to other approaches by means of stability, convergence and performance issues.