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Art, Science and Outreach

Science Outreach through Dance

I have worked with a number of Boston-based dance instructors and choreographers on public workshops that explore science though dance. Choreographer Courtney Peix and I also supervised one such workshop for high school students at the Boston Arts Academy. Courtney and dancers from her company (Contrapose Dance) taught the students how to make dances based on concepts and visuals on ocean science that I presented at the beginning of the day. These events encourage the embodiment of knowledge and intuition in students who might otherwise be alienated from science.

Courtney Peix with students at the Boston Arts Academy.


This project paired WHOI graduate students and staff scientists with outside artists. The artistic creations were displayed at the Boston of Museum of Science during Spring 2013, and at the New Bedford Art Museum during summer, 2014.  I was privileged to be able to work with dynamic weaver Anastasia Azure. Her woven sculptures and our photos attempted to capture some of the complex elements of chaotic mixing in ocean eddies.

An artistic rendition of an invariant torus. (Photo by L. Pratt and A. Azure)
Boston Museum of Science exhibit of Anastasia's chaos sculpture.
Artistic rendition of a chaotic region surrounding a twisted torus. (Photo by L. Pratt and A. Azure)


Enabled by outreach funding from the National Science Foundation, I was able to work with choreographer Courtney Peix, director of Contrapose Dance of Boston, to create an evening-length performance of modern dance motivated by the mysteries of the ocean.  This final piece was performed at the Boston University Dance Theather in November, 2014 to a full audiences.

During the making of HoverDive, Courtney and I ran several outreach programs, including a workshop in Woods Hole and a day-long program at the Boston Arts Academy.   The making of HoverDive is documented in a video made by Ari Daniel Shapiro and Amanda Kowalski.

Dancers Molly Schwartz and Maggie Foster from HoverDive. (L. Pratt photo)

Related Mutimedia

Dancers Maggie Foster, Nina Brindamour and Tony Tucker in Woods Hole. (Rebecca Forrester photo)
Workshop and performance in Woods Hole, July 2014. (Rebecca Forrester photo)