Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MFA in Dance


The fields of dance and physics both utilize tools for communication that translate movement into two-dimensional formats to share and process information in new ways. This research highlights issues surrounding this process, including: what is gained and lost in translation in both fields; the role of objectivity and subjectivity in dance and science; and what interdisciplinary research can potentially mean for advancing communication tools and shifting biases about how knowledge is valued. Both physics and dance register philosophical shifts in the twentieth century, related to the shift away from determinism and a Cartesian mind-body divide, and towards the rise of indeterminacy seen in quantum mechanics and dancemaking practices. This includes the popularization of improvisation as a choreographic method. I conceptualize modern communication tools in science and dance in terms of their relationship to time: predictive/descriptive (like scientific models and dance scores) or preservative (like apparatuses of instrumentation and notation systems). Choreographers who are using these communication tools for various purposes within their practice follow the historical examples of Merce Cunningham’s improvisation strategies, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Trisha Brown’s scores, and William Forsythe’s digital notation system, Synchronous Objects for One Flat Thing Reproduced. Through investigation in the studio and the creation of a performance that showcases translation of dimensionality, my theoretical and practical research demonstrate the value of multiple forms of communication and lenses through which to make and view dance.

Included in

Dance Commons