Tue, Jun 4, 2024

6:30 PM – 9:30 PM PDT (GMT-7)

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Robert Cohen Theatre and Dance Studios # 120 (Beneath Claire Trevor Theatre)

University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, United States

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This event is an inclusive participatory.
Ever Seen Chemists Moving Like Chemical Reactions?

Three UCI professors – Gregory Weiss (Organic Chemistry), Cyrian Reed (Hip Hop Dance) and S. Ama Wray (Jazz Dance) will bring their classes together to participate in a collaborative event for students to co-create and re-interpret chemical reactivity.

With the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts as the host, the program’s embodied molecular syntheses will take place in Dance Studios 128 and 120, spaces directly below the university’s Claire Trevor Theatre. The spaces have been temporarily redesigned as Dance-Chemistry Labs by alumni Paloma Perez-Rojas and Bela DePalatis. Attendees will be invited to witness or participate, as a distinguished group of dancers, musicians and chemists fuse movement, music, light, and a sense of curiosity to bridge these art and science disciplines.

This FREESTYLE event embraces the time-proven approach to achieve a creative state, which is through improvisation. The languages of dance, specifically hip hop dance, will be used to provide the students with a foundation for innovation. Though the chemistry they invent might not ultimately prove successful, the process of bringing molecules together and imagining possible outcomes will provide students with an unusual tool for experimental thinking, rendering in a different, though tangible, form. Pre-and post-event surveys will assess student learning by participating students.

From a chemistry point of view, the goal is to encourage students to think outside the textbook about the chemistry of organic molecules and to metaphorically invent new reactions both covalent and non-covalent. Sophomore-level organic chemistry only gets students partway to such creativity. Together with the students of dance— the experience of scientific creativity will spark entry into uncharted territory with infinite possibilities. Ultimately, the undergraduate researchers seek to translate their own inhabitation of poetic movement into tangible innovations in chemistry and other STEM classes. For the dance students the experience will also be multilayered as they will encounter novelty during their transfer of knowledge to new bodies; they will also discern the foundations of the Chemistry of Life, as they collaborate with the chemistry students to build expressions of overlapping orbitals inherent to chemical reactivity and consider the central concept of molecular recognition as a tangible event. These effects will occur through the dancing body, animating musical dynamics brought to the event by a trio led by jazz saxophonist Matthew Nelson and DJ ACE.
Pre-register to join us for an assigned time between 6.30-9.30pm for a committed exploration of organic chemistry in motion. All bodies are welcome into this playful, investigative experience.

Co-sponsors: Department of Dance, Claire Trevor School of the Arts


Robert Cohen Theatre and Dance Studios # 120 (Beneath Claire Trevor Theatre)

University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, United States

Hosted By

Illuminations: The Chancellor's Arts & Culture Initiative | Website | View More Events

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