Dynamics of condensed systems

Diffusive Bodies - In the Interplay between Physics and Dance

Transdisciplinary research project
Cooperation partners: Katharina Holzweber, Institut für Physik, Uni Wien & Studiengang Tanz, Zeitgenössische Tanzpädagogik

Dancers are perfectionists in dealing with gravity. The dancer’s body is trained to execute swings, turns and weight shifts with high precision in a way that the resulting form of movement belongs either perfectly to a traditional dance style or, beyond that, is capable of intentionally breaking traditions with the dancer’s intuitive body knowledge of gravity. What is, if dancers and physicists get together and talk about topics, beyond classical mechanics, e.g. microscopic dynamics, entropy or diffusion?

The science project Diffusive Bodies, funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF and supervised by Katharina Holzweber (University of Vienna – Faculty of Physics) will address these questions together with the students of the department of Contemporary Dance Education. In particular dynamical processes on a microscopic scale will be physically debated and transferred to a conceptional level of dance. By diving into the atomic world of motion characterized by uncertainty, likelihood and fortuity, new improvisation approaches and movement qualities will arise eventually becoming the basis of a full-length dance piece. The collaboration project will be brought on stage in spring-time 2023.

Katharina Holzweber graduated in Contemporary Dance Education at the MUK Vienna in 2009 and is currently working as Praedoc in Physics at the University of Vienna. Her research field focuses on dynamical processes on a microscopic level in isotropic solids. Dance always plays an important role in her life, even when studying physics. For this reason she had ongoing dance engagements at the Bregenzer Festspiele and at the festival theater of St.Pölten, choreographed the opening gala of the state exhibition of Lower Austria, received art scholarships and art and culture funding for projects with
children and teens and is teaching dance in various music schools in Lower Austria. Already performed projects based on the interface between Physics and Dance, e.g. the Arts & Science project From Macro Cosmos To Micro Cosmos 2019, student workshops and further teacher training, have been the starting point to apply for her own scientific project with the title Diffusive Bodies at the Austrian Science Fund.


Science Communication: Physics x Dance

26/2/2023 at 6pm
27/2/2023 at 7pm

Location: Main Ceremonial Hall, University of Vienna (Universitätsring 1, 1010 Vienna)


Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UpRJiPNM-g

How could we transfer physical concepts like coherence, (dis-)continuity, superposition, absorption or diffusion into the language of dance?

How could we project physical observations from the microscopic world to the macro level of dancing bodies?

For this purpose, Katharina Holzweber, professional dancer and physicist, has accompanied 7 dancers and 5 dance students from the Music and Arts University of Vienna (MUK) in the winter term 2022/23 choreographically as well as scientifically to create a full-length dance piece on the basis of physical concepts and perspectives.

Concept/Scientific & Artistic Advice: Katharina Holzweber

Dance: Hannah Bolldorf, Bianca Braunesberger, Florian Decker, Christina Ebner, Kirin Espana, Patrick Gutensohn, Elisa Hauer, Varvara Kalupina, Simeon Ohlsen, Nicholas Sambou, Paulina Schabacker, Jana Würleitner

Sound Design: Maximilian Einfalt, Daniel Herzmanek, Thomas Nagl

Scientific & Artistic Supervision: Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Bogdan Sepiol and Univ.-Prof. Nikolaus Selimov

The Science Communication Project Diffusive Bodies WKP 161 is a cooperation project between the University of Vienna and the MUK and is funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF.

Further information concerning the event and the project: