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physics of dance

the grande battement

It is the physics of the human body that allows dancers to move in such graceful ways.  Shown here is an application of Lagrangian Mechanics applied to the movement known as the grande battement, a kick in the sagittal body plane. The picture overlay shows the movement of the leg and the control that the dancer must have of the rest of her body in order to perform the battement correctly.  If the dancer can not control his or her body correctly, the equations derived on the right hand side would not be correct.  The disciples of physics and dance might seem dissimilar, but they are in fact related and quite intertwined.  

Dancer pictured: Lisa Costello

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