The Dancer's Body

September/October 2002
Directors: Andy King-Dabbs, Sarah Miller, Deborah May and Diana Hill

Winner of the Monaco overall Dance Screen Award, 2002

A landmark series for BBC2 written and presented by Deborah Bull, that broke new ground in creating a bridge between science and the performing arts. The three one hour programmes – A Machine that Dances, A Headful of Footsteps and Move like you Mean it – investigate the science behind dance, exploring how the human body adapts through training to develop the dancer's specific skills, and how audiences read meaning into movement.

The programmes included specially commissioned new work from Wayne McGregor and David Bintley, extracts from Don Quixote, Concerto, Symbiont(s), and Sleeping Beauty, and performances from Marianela Nunez, Akram Khan, Jonathan Cope, Ivan Putrov, Edward Watson, Thomas Edur, Alessandro Molin, Bill Shannon and Sir Anthony Dowell.

In sequences filmed at the Manchester velodrome (with now-Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton), Queen's Tennis Club, Heathrow's flight simulator, a US wedding, a swimming pool and Dr Michael Gresty's spinning chair, scientists and physiologists including Sarah Jayne Blakemore, Vilayanur Ramachandran, Semir Zeki and Yiannis Koutedakis illustrate how we interpret movement and why we get pleasure from watching dancers perform.

Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3

Episode 1