An unseen force at work

An unseen force at work

Throbbing energy

An unseen force at work

Caught by unseen forces, the dancers of ‘QUANTUM’ moved vigorously — attracting and repelling each other. Even when stagnant, they continued to move. Acting as the elementary particles that make us and everything around, they throbbed with energy and sent bursts of motion around.

With its roots in particle and quantum physics, the dance performance was choreographed by Gilles Jobin, who spent three months at an art residency at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Part of the ‘Year of Swiss Innovation in India’ programme by the Embassy of Switzerland and Swissnex India, ‘QUANTUM’ was an excellent piece that was left open to interpretation — for the dancers and the audience. 

With uncanny synchronicity, even when they weren’t, dancers Stephanie Bayle, Ruth Childs, Susana Panades Diaz, Bruno Cezario, Stanisla Charre and Adriano Coletta took matters (pun intended) into their own hands and made easy complex theories of the sciences.

      Even the Higgs Boson made its appearance. Although it is popularly called the ‘God Particle’, CERN physicist Michael Doser and Dr B Ananthanarayan, professor and chairman for Centre for High Energy Physics (IISc), binned this term in a question and answer session post the performance. “There are no religious connotations to it or the piece. It is a misnomer,” said Michael.

Gilles also explored the popular phrase ‘Nothing comes from nothing’, as it stands when applied to physics. With the help of Feynman Diagrams and theories of illusiveness, he brought out the various mysteries that hold the universe together. As it was open to interpretation, everyone had their own theories.

With lumino-kinetic installations, in the shape of four over-head lamps, by Julius von Bismarck, the performance only grew more trance-like. The lamps, which began to move in synchronisation with the dancers and each other, found themselves misaligned and scattered, just like the particles.

Even light was not a constant thing. Gilles made it clear that the idea of being static or stagnant are anything but true. The particles, quanta and bosons are always in motion, moved by external forces that we cannot fully understand.

     Not only did Gilles look at the world at large but also one’s insides and the role particles play in each person. It was a magnetic piece (figuratively and literally) as the electrons, neutrons and protons danced to an unknown sound. 

The music was something else — Carla Scaletti developed a sound score from the Large Hadron Collider and it was a once-in-lifetime experience to listen to it.

The team included engineer Martin Schied, costumes designer Jean-Paul Lespagnard, sound producer Marie Predour, executive producer Sandbox Collective and scientific advisors Michael Doser, Nicholas Chanon and CERN physicists.

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