Ballet dancers’ grace and beauty of movement is awe inspiring. They seem to float across the stage as if gravity doesn’t exist for them, but the laws of physics govern ballet dancers’ movements just as much as they determine how the rest of us move throughout our day. Dancers have learned how to use physics concepts such as force, impulse, inertia, and conservation of angular momentum to harness the energy created by their bodies and channel it into artful jumps and turns that wow audiences.
But how do these concepts work? How do the countless hours of practice help dancers use physics to their advantage? How do these forces differ in their effect on regular audience members? At this Science Pub we will have live performances by dancers from Oregon Ballet Theatre, help from physicists from PSU, and audience participation, all of which will help define and demonstrate how the laws of physics can be used to create the art of dance.
The presenters are Ralf Widenhorn, PhD, a researcher and professor of physics at Portland State University; and Anne Mueller, is the artistic coordinator and a former principal dancer for the Oregon Ballet Theatre. Dr. Widenhorn will assisted by PhD students Lester Lampert, William Porter and Justin Dunlap, all of whom are members of n the leadership team of the Science Outreach Society (S.O.S.), a non-profit organization run by volunteers, PSU students, and faculty to bring science education to Portland communities and people of all ages.
The science begins at 7 p.m. but arrive early to secure your beer, grub, and a seat! There’s a $5.00 suggested donation/cover charge. Minors with adults are welcome, otherwise this event is 21 and over.