You would think only talented –and very flexible – human beings could recreate the works of Tchaikovsky.
But the dances in classic ballets such as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker show striking similarities to the evolutionary movement of exotic birds, according to new research.
The University of Cambridge’s Professor Nicky Clayton says the ballet-like movement of birds such as the Blue Manakin and the Lawes’s Parotia highlights a link between art and evolution.
Professor Clayton went on to treat over one hundred guests at Gell Street’s Humanities Research Institute to a fascinating discussion about the social behaviour, intelligence and dance credentials of members of the Crow family.
Her talk last week was the latest event in the University of Sheffield’s Arts-Science Encounters.
The programme brings together researchers from the university’s five faculties – as well as visiting academics – to stimulate debate about how knowledge is pursued in different fields of research.
Dr Jessica Dubow, co-director of the Arts-Science Encounters, said: “The… event represented everything that Sheffield’s Arts-Science Encounters is about; how all forms of creativity share the same roots in curiosity, wonder, and exploration.
“Last night, the science of bird behaviour came together with the beauty of dance in a wonderful mix which showed just how exciting real interdisciplinary thinking can be.”
The Arts Science Encounters events are free and open to the general public. The next is on April 27 entitled ‘The Science and Poetry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging’.