If “to dance is to live; to live is to dance,” then who better to explore movement than scientists, those inquisitors of life? This year marks the 5th annual international “Dance Your PhD” contest, sponsored by Science magazine. Those eligible are PhD candidates whose studies fit, if only loosely, under the contest’s categories of physics, chemistry, biology or social science. They must make video submissions. While the solo and group dance submissions are not limited to any particular genre, the goal is to express the significance of a PhD thesis through movement, so the style has been deemed “interpretive dance.”
Scientific ideas can get pretty complex for those of us who don’t frequent the library or laboratory. That’s why this contest works for everybody. Viewers of the videos might grasp a tricky concept once they’ve seen it presented from a different angle. Scientists, who engage in mostly left-brain problem solving, can embrace this opportunity for right-brain thinking and exploring a new art form. The winner of each category will be awarded a $500 cash prize, and the overall winner receives an additional $500. It’s safe to hypothesize that this marriage of science and dance will promote interdisciplinary collaboration and yield positive results, only to be replicated each year. Entries are due October 1, 2013. Click here to apply!
Take a look at last year's winning entry, about creating a strong but light aluminum super-alloy!
Photo: Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research
After having spent a lifetime looking at ourselves in the mirror, constantly appraising, who of us wouldn't want to take a dance class in the dark? Two Australian dance students, Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett, had the same thought in 2009 when they founded No Lights No Lycra, a global dance community that offers dancers and nondancers alike the chance to get their groove on in a dark space, where there's no light, no Lycra, no technique, no teacher and no steps to learn. It's just a place to lose yourself in the music and find your own dance mojo. The event became so popular that it spread past its Melbourne beginnings, first throughout Australia and now, globally.
Four incredible educators: Joanne Chapman, Claudio Muñoz, Pamela VanGilder and Kathleen Isaac foster their students' love of dance, whether instilling artistry, offering rigorous training or giving special needs students an outlet through movement.
When Jennie Somogyi retired from New York City Ballet, she found herself in high demand as a teacher. Parents called, texted and persisted. "I don't even know how some of them got my contact information," she says with a laugh. But Somogyi, who departed from NYCB in 2015 after a 22-year career, hadn't made any definitive plans for the next stage of her life. "I just like to see how things move me," she says. She discovered, though, that she enjoyed the process of giving private lessons and seeing the rapid progress students could make. Over time, she realized that teaching was something she wanted rather than needed.
Does your studio slow down when the weather warms up? If you don't offer a summer session, June through August can be a cash-flow challenge. One popular—and easy—strategy is to offer weeklong camps instead. We spoke to three professionals to learn how they make summer camp work.
This week Ballet Hispánico launched its first ChoreoLaB workshop, a summer intensive intended to better prepare aspiring professional dancers—with more than just excellent technique. Artistic director Eduardo Vilaro wanted to create a program that bridges the school and the company, to help dancers transitioning into the professional world and better hone their skills.