Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis




Dance-Physiological aspects, Quantum theory, Art and science, Dance, Science, Art, Quantum mechanics


As it continues to evolve, this thesis is becoming a study of visualization, perception, and finding ways to imagine and understand that which we cannot see or comprehend. I am combining quantum mechanics and dance in a choreographic dance thesis inspired by quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is the study of physical properties at the atomic level. To do this, I have been exploring the beauty in quantum mechanics and dance as well as studying historical and contemporary scientists, choreographers, and artists. I have been investigating the dichotomy between science and dance using dance as a way to explore and illuminate the concepts of quantum mechanics. Though trying to make sense of the paradoxes that exist, I have embarked on an investigation of the unknown: studying what is lost in communication and the overall weirdness of the world as described by quantum mechanics. My thesis also includes a brief historical study of the Renaissance for a concrete comparison to a time period where science and art established a symbiosis. Accurate geometric representation in art originated during this time. This form of artistic representation was necessary for the scientific revolution, which begins at the end of the Renaissance; accurate drawings became a way to depict complex scientific concepts. I have been looking at the artistic processes and works of artists and scientists such as Leonardo da Vinci, and Galileo to study the coexistence of art and science. In my thesis this has been relevant as a way to study people's methods of interpreting the unknown and understanding that which we cannot see. In a sense, both dance and science are ways of studying that which is concrete but simultaneously unknown—life. I am using dance, rather than math, as a tool for investigating the 4 bizarre world defined by quantum mechanics, and seeing what new ideas are revealed in the process. The goal of this thesis is not to discount the beauty and usefulness of math, but rather to expand upon these concepts from a different perspective in an attempt to further illuminate the subject. Quantum mechanics is based on the principle of superposition—that something exists in all states at once but upon measurement gives rise to only one. The live performance aspect of dance ties in perfectly with quantum mechanics in that the dance is only there for a moment and when talking about the dance, information is lost. To begin investigating the ties between quantum mechanics and dance, I first explored how other contemporary artists and choreographers incorporate science into their work. This provided guidance while allowing my own artistic process to slowly unfold. I am embarking on a creative journey, asking questions of my aesthetic, studying visualization and what art allows us to see, understanding beauty as a perception and grappling with the paradoxes that exist.




38 p. Honors project-Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 37-38)