Barkin/Selissen Project's "An Evening of Math and Dance"
Barkin/Selissen Project's An Evening of Math and Dance
featuring the NYC Premiere of BSP's
Differential Cohomology: Dance of the Diagram
Hosted by Heather Berlin with special guest Ira Flatow
Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 at
The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College
"Mixing STEM and movement, Barkin/Selissen's work explores new ways to blend math and dance
and opens new possibilities for connection between the left and right brain..."
Kyla Barkin and Aaron Selissen's New York City-based contemporary dance company, Barkin/Selissen Project, commemorate their thirteenth anniversary with a special celebratory presentation of An Evening of Math and Dance on April 29 and April 30 at 8:00pm at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College. Tickets start at $28 and are available now.
This production will feature the long-awaited NYC premiere of one of the company's signature pieces, Differential Cohomology: Dance of the Diagram featuring specially-commissioned pre-recorded music from Sirius String Quartet. Participating dancers for this performance include Kara Chan (Dance Magazine "25 to Watch" in 2020), Fumihiro Kikuchi, Sumire Ishige, Lindsay Harwell, Michael Bishop, Amanda Sommers, Molly Gray, Julia Discenza, Brianna Rivera, Kisara Nonaka, Mark Willis and Ellie Swainhart.
An Evening of Math and Dance, made possible by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, will include the NYC premiere of Dance of the Diagram, followed by an open panel discussion featuring important figures from the worlds of both math and dance, including Barkin, Selissen, and their original patron for this work, the celebrated mathematician and philanthropist James Simons. Simons' research and published papers mark him as one of the primary names in the field of cohomology and his inspiration and support acted as the catalyst for the creation of this dance. The conversation will be moderated by cognitive neuroscientist and television personality (Startalk All-Star with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Science Goes to the Movies, Superhuman Showdown) Heather Berlin. On the Friday 4/29 show, Berlin will be joined by special guest, Ira Flatow, the host and producer of Public Radio International's popular show Science Friday. This post-show discussion will include a deeper dive into the mechanics of both motion and mathematics and a behind-the-scenes look at the creative and analytical intersections that illuminated a pathway to this groundbreaking work.
For more information about Barkin/Selissen Project, complete dancer and speaker bios and headshots, to speak about James Simons' relationship with the arts and discuss in greater detail how this unlikely collective of creative minds have built an innovative expression of mathematical science through kinetic art, please contact John Seroff at John@Greenhousepublicity.com.
The fields of math and dance might seem to be on different ends of the spectrum. We are taught from a young age that math does not allow for creativity, that dance cannot mark time to the rigors of equations and that the left and right brain are unsuited to sing in harmony. Dance of the Diagram, with its innovative and spirited rethinking of math in movement, puts the lie to this stereotype. Instead of slavishly executing didactic forms, Barkin and Selissen have fully integrated the hidden joy within an understanding of these complex mathematical notions and rendered computation as a soaring expression of human grace.
The mathematical field of differential cohomology expands upon the topological science of homology to assign precise values to points within two-dimensional and three-dimensional space. In execution, Dance of the Diagram brings this math to startlingly nuanced life as dancers reference esoteric algebraic principles to contract, expand and redraw concepts with their bodies and on the stage. This is a dance that finds its narrative within theory, lighting the way to greater understanding, even for those of us who would consider ourselves mathematically challenged.
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