(OK: Bear with me, guys. This is a little complicated to explain, but the payoff is SO COOL.)
Have you ever heard of fractals? They're super-intricate structures whose parts are little baby copies of their wholes—so they look the same, no matter how much you zoom in on them. Kind of mind-boggling idea, right? Infinite sameness, no matter how close up you get?
Recently, Aatish Bhatia, a science writer at Wired and engineering educator at Princeton, had a realization: Trees are fractal-like, because each tree branch is essentially a little copy of the larger tree.
For example, this looks like a whole tree—but it's actually just a single branch. (photo Aatish Bhatia/Wired)
If that doesn't make sense to you, Bhatia gets deeper into the science of it here. But if you're too impatient for all that, here's what you really need to know: Bhatia decided he wanted to make an animated, "dancing" fractal tree using computer code.
And the result is mesmerizing:
If you're looking for a great way to procrastinate, go lose a few hours playing around with the interactive version of his tree.
But Bhatia's experiment actually gets even cooler—and dancier. He decided he wanted to control the movements of his tree with a human body rather than a mouse. To do that, he used a Kinect sensor bar, which allows a dancer to animate the tree as she waves her arms around. Or, as Bhatia more scientifically puts it, "The physical space that her body inhabits is mapped onto an abstract mathematical space"—i.e., the fractal tree code.
How neat is that?
Because every dance is better with a soundtrack, Bhatia set the finished product to music. Take a look!
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
We also want you to
get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.
Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.