The Role of Dance in Society

Wheeldon: I think ballet is a sort of-- I might have to talk more in general terms I think about dance, really. Dance is a way, is a meeting place for so much. You know, when you put together a performance, you are bringing in design elements, you’re sometimes bringing in narrative elements, and you’re combining that with music, with lights, and it’s the one art form that really kind of brings all the other art forms together. So it’s a great meeting place. It creates a lot of interesting dialogues between choreographer, composer, designer. So in that respect, it’s kind of, it can be sort of a wonderful kind of meeting point for different minds, and all coming from different disciplines. I think it’s an art form that helps people, if they open themselves to it, to understand how much you can communicate through movements, and it seems, feels to me like it’s a very healing art form. You know, we live in a pretty turbulent time, and there’s just something very delicate and gentle, and gosh, it’s so, you know, I feel so much for it, and I wish I could express more through words, but it’s a very difficult question to answer. I think kids need to be exposed to dance, again, because of how much it combines the different art forms. I wish there was more dance in schools. I wish there was more music in schools. I think one of the big mistakes of this country is to take those things away from the education system just because it encourages the brain to work in a very, you know, in a very broad way. Dance is not just about movement. It’s about music, and music is not just about music. It’s about numbers, and dance is a language, music is a language. Therefore, you know, it’s connected to speech, and to learning languages, and it just seems to me crazy that people don’t see this. People don’t see how kids that are exposed to the arts early on will grow up to be better people. Dance can touch the soul, it can affect you in a way I think that, I don’t know. We’re getting into really deep waters here. I’m getting into deep waters. My Sudafed is starting to wear off.

Recorded on: 5/22/08

Cutting children’s art programs is stunting the future, says Christopher Wheeldon.

‘Designer baby’ book trilogy explores the moral dilemmas humans may soon create

How would the ability to genetically customize children change society? Sci-fi author Eugene Clark explores the future on our horizon in Volume I of the "Genetic Pressure" series.

Surprising Science
  • A new sci-fi book series called "Genetic Pressure" explores the scientific and moral implications of a world with a burgeoning designer baby industry.
  • It's currently illegal to implant genetically edited human embryos in most nations, but designer babies may someday become widespread.
  • While gene-editing technology could help humans eliminate genetic diseases, some in the scientific community fear it may also usher in a new era of eugenics.
Keep reading Show less

What is the ‘self’? The 3 layers of your identity.

Answering the question of who you are is not an easy task. Let's unpack what culture, philosophy, and neuroscience have to say.

  • Who am I? It's a question that humans have grappled with since the dawn of time, and most of us are no closer to an answer.
  • Trying to pin down what makes you you depends on which school of thought you prescribe to. Some argue that the self is an illusion, while others believe that finding one's "true self" is about sincerity and authenticity.
  • In this video, author Gish Jen, Harvard professor Michael Puett, psychotherapist Mark Epstein, and neuroscientist Sam Harris discuss three layers of the self, looking through the lens of culture, philosophy, and neuroscience.
Keep reading Show less

Discovery of two giant radio galaxies hints at more to come

The newly discovered galaxies are 62x bigger than the Milky Way.

I. Heywood, University of Oxford / Rhodes University / South African Radio Astronomy Observatory / CC BY 4.0.
Surprising Science
  • Two recently discovered radio galaxies are among the largest objects in the cosmos.
  • The discovery implies that radio galaxies are more common than previously thought.
  • The discovery was made while creating a radio map of the sky with a small part of a new radio array.
Keep reading Show less

Massive 'Darth Vader' isopod found lurking in the Indian Ocean

The father of all giant sea bugs was recently discovered off the coast of Java.

SJADE 2018
Surprising Science
  • A new species of isopod with a resemblance to a certain Sith lord was just discovered.
  • It is the first known giant isopod from the Indian Ocean.
  • The finding extends the list of giant isopods even further.
Keep reading Show less

The secret life of maladaptive daydreaming

Daydreaming can be a pleasant pastime, but people who suffer from maladaptive daydreamers are trapped by their fantasies.

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Mind & Brain
  • Maladaptive daydreamers can experience intricate, vivid daydreams for hours a day.
  • This addiction can result in disassociation from vital life tasks and relationships.
  • Psychologists, online communities, and social pipelines are spreading awareness and hope for many.
  • Keep reading Show less