The Fundamental Shared Essence of Dance and Mathematics
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Type of Work33 pages
ProgramCenter for Dance, Music, & Theatre
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This paper seeks to investigate the intricate, inherent relationship between dance and mathematics. Although perhaps not initially obvious to all, mathematics is apparent in all forms of dance. It manifests in a plethora of ways, such as musicality, geometry of the individual body and of bodies in space, and the repetition and patterning that allow differentiation between styles and movements. This paper will utilize the mathematical area known as group theory to analyze the innate dependence of dance on mathematics, looking at classical ballet as evidence and analyzing the work of Marius Petipa and specifically the Lilac Fairy Variation from the Prologue of The Sleeping Beauty. The fact that dance has a mathematical character to it is what has allowed it to build upon itself, to expand within and beyond structure, and to become a successful, ever-interesting field and art form. Mathematics and dance inherently share parallels, and these parallels are telling of an innate human need for both. Upon examination, it becomes evident that dance and mathematics, at their truest cores, have a shared fundamental essence of human nature.