Astro on Tap Talk: How to Choreograph Space

September 2019

A personal favourite in my public talks.

At this colloquial conference of Montreal-based astrophysicists, I shared my idea to convert any simple-enough Lagrangian into human movement. This flow was inspired by my research presented at the 2019 Women in Physics Conference, where I presented this poster.

Here were my main points:

  1. Dance and dance notation offer physics an entirely new way to engage with our intuition and understanding of movement. This is not to say the current method of teaching in physics is bad--it could simply be greatly enriched by this knowledge.

  2. Physics and its beautiful, elegant theories have a lot to offer to dance as well. While, there is currently a lot of stigma about math/physics in the dance community, these subjects contain a wealth of inspiration for choreography.

  3. A physicist can describe practically any motion with a Lagrangian, whether it be an atom or a black hole.

  4. A dancer can describe practically any human motion with Laban notation. Laban efforts are specifically interesting as they capture the fundamental intention of motion

  5. We have the equations to take in any cartesian position/velocity data and output the Laban efforts.

  6. With some scaling and energy conservation adjustments, we can read the Laban efforts of any physical system and build a choreography from them. Thus, we can virtually dance any system in the universe.