Movement of butterflies
We love butterflies for their color and joyful spirit. Butterflies are amazing creatures; we have all heard of the monarch butterflies flying as many as 2,000 miles to migrate to warmer climes, using geomagnetic cues. Sadly, a recent study just declared monarch butterflies as an endangered species .
For my dance world, butterflies provide an endless source of inspiration as far as the color combinations they exhibit - for example, how would these colors of blue and black look in a Bharatanatyam costume?
Butterfly bodies are different from those of birds, as they lack the rounded profile which provides lift to move through the air. Butterfly wings are short, wide, very large, and flat. Butterflies have evolved a unique way of moving through air called “cupping and clapping”. The flexible wings of the butterfly help it create a propulsive “clap” mechanism and moves it forward. The wings have a downstroke as well, which helps support their weight . A butterfly can also rotate its body in flight to control the direction of its flight . You can find a slow-motion video of a butterfly moving its wings here.
To the left, there is a video of a butterfly on one of my walks; to the right is my attempt of recreating its movements with my hands.
What does the butterfly symbolize to you?
My name is Sloka. I am a neuroscientist and dancer; you can find more about me here.