Complexity in Science and Dance
The disciplines of science and dance both require us to make sense of complex information. For example, to develop a paper like this one on infantile spasms . I researched what infantile spasms are, their symptoms, what causes them, and the treatments available. Once I had this information, I contextualized the research that was done by various teams in light of current knowledge about infantile spasms. Scientists work with complex (and sometimes contrary) information all the time; we are trained to make order of the (sometimes messy) information that is in front of us. For example, we learn how to critically appraise source documents to check the validity of a certain statement, how to scientifically and objectively appraise such documents, and as the case may be, acknowledge the limitations of the data and evidence.
In Bharatanatyam too, we are presented with a lot of information; these include the words and melody of the music, the movement patterns, the history, philosophy, and even the symbolism of the choreography, and the history and philosophy behind a certain piece. Once we have learned the piece and are thinking of presenting it on stage, we still have to think about the dimensions of the stage, the color scheme of our costume, and how the piece may work with the space and music (either recorded or live). While training plays a big role in how we perceive and respond to complexity for highly skilled and technically demanding fields such as science or dance, we all deal with complexity all the time. In the images below taken as part of a public performance at the Goddard Riverside Community Arts Program, you can see the audience focusing their attention, learning and understanding the meaning of the slokam I am showing, and replicating my actions.
Exploring Animal Imagery through Dance and Neuroscience at the Sirovich center
I am so honored to bring Creatures on the Move to the Sirovich Center for Balanced Living for Brain Awareness Week 2023. Inspired by the movement diversity of animals, whether it’s the sinuous movement of a snake, a raptor soaring in the sky, or a leaping squirrel, the study of animal movement is filled with joy, wonder, and delight.I will guide participants through gentle warm-ups of the fingers, arms, and legs, followed by thinking of the animals around us to re-create their movement in dance. Sloka will also talk about how the brains of the animals make their specific movements possible. This even is perfect for adults of all ages, parents, dancers and dance educators as well as early childhood educators. The workshop brings my love of neuroscience and creative aging, and is titled "Creatures on the Move: Exploring Animals Through Neuroscience." A link to the event can be found here. This program is part of a bigger initiative called "Healthy Brain, Healthy You" at the Sirovich Center.
Approximately 20 older adults came to the session!
My name is Sloka. I am a neuroscientist and dancer; you can find more about me here.