This is part of a series of posts inspired by the Royal Society’s One Culture festival of literature and the arts.
Guest post by Emily Roberts, Royal Society Events Officer
I’ve always been a fan of dance and as a trained scientist I was very excited to hear about an event with Mark Baldwin, Artistic Director of the Rambert Dance Company and Professor Nicky Clayton FRS, Professor of Comparative Cognition at the University of Cambridge, as part of the One Culture literary festival. It seems science and dance are not so dissimilar after all, both involving a creative flair for experimentation to see what works and what doesn’t.
It seems it all started in 2005 when the IOP commissioned the Rambert Dance Company to construct a performance expressing Einstein’s theories to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s death. Since this successful performance, the Rambert Dance Company has based many of their dances on science.
Nicky Clayton has always been a fan of dance ever since she was young, however when she started studying the psychology of animal movement she didn’t think the two would ever coincide. However the more she studied birds, in particular, the more she realised how much their movements could be interpreted as a dance. She used this knowledge and features of the theory of Natural Selection to work with the Rambert Dance Company to produce the Comedy of Change for Charles Darwin’s 200th anniversary of his birth in 2009. This was the first collaboration between Mark Baldwin and Nicky Clayton which has flourished into a very successful partnership.
Since then they have worked on Seven for a secret a performance based on the movement of children that will be performed later this year and they will soon be writing a book together about their work.
I had the chance to ask them a few questions about their work together – click here to see what they said.