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"Song of the Stars"

Written by Paul Sutter on Monday, 09 May 2016. Posted in From The Desk of...The Chief Scientist

You *may* have noticed or heard recently about "Song of the Stars". If you're still wondering what it was all about it, well then this message is for you. It was an experiment, really, to find new ways to communicate science. And not just communicate science to people who already like science, but to create an opportunity to share science with the not-so-fan-of-science crowd. In this case, with the very-much-fan-of-dance crowd.

The goal was simple: to tell the life stories of the stars with episodes brought to life through contemporary dance. By humanizing science - by giving drama and emotional weight to physical processes - we hoped to engage audiences in new ways and get them curious about the way the universe worked. To get them to understand and intuit phenomena that usually require hours of powering through arcane mathematics and jargon-filled texts. To get people to *enjoy* astrophysics.

I'm happy to report that our premiere at the Capitol Theatre a week ago was a success. Everything came together perfectly, from the choreography to the music to the stage direction to the lighting. When people came up to me after the performance and told me they cried in one episode or had chills in another, shortly after learning something new, I knew we had pulled it off.

Even though the live production has wrapped, we're not done yet, and COSI is playing a big role in the next phase: we're shooting the dances with specialized 360-degree cameras, and our very own Ty Owen will be creating a fulldome planetarium film for worldwide distribution. Astronomy plus dance, presented in an innovative immersive environment. Stay tuned!

About the Author

Paul Sutter

Paul Sutter

Paul Sutter is COSI's Chief Scientist. He is an astrophysicist and offers a wealth of knowledge about our universe. In addition to his COSI position, Paul Sutter is a Cosmological Researcher and Community Outreach Coordinator at The Ohio State University's Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics (CCAPP).