Math + Dance = Where Patterns Collide

Sponsored by Bryn Mawr College Department of Mathematics and Swarthmore College Dance Program. Supported by the Mellon Tri-College Creative Residencies Program.

A New Mathematical Performance Work with Dr. Karl Schaffer

Final Showing of Residency

Wednesday, September 26, 4:30 to 6:00 PM

4:30-5PM Participatory workshop of concepts

5-6PM Informal presentation of the work

Swarthmore College, Troy Dance Studio, Lang Performing Arts Center


Where Patterns Collide: Math & Dance
Mathematics and dance are linked in many beautiful and surprising ways: the geometry of the moving body, the symmetries of dancers arrayed across the stage, the rhythmic patterns of dance phrasing, the complex connections between dancers, the varied paths through space. In this interactive workshop we will examine the ways that choreographers employ mathematical concepts, both consciously and unconsciously, and see how mathematical questions sometimes arise within a dance. All are welcome.


Karl Schaffer is co-founder and co-artistic director of the Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble, which has toured throughout North America since 1988. They have received five National Endowment for the Arts grants for their artistic and educational work linking dance and mathematics. His most recent concert, “The Daughters of Hypatia” celebrates the lives, work, and struggles of great women mathematicians.  He teaches mathematics at De Anza College in California when not dancing. Contact KarlSchaffer:

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