Empty Space: LASP’s Artist in Residence – Dance Films

Empty Space: LASP’s Artist in Residence – Dance Films

Below are a series of dance films, created by Alexandra Lockhart during her artist-in-residence period. Each film represents different pockets of LASP that deeply fed her inspiration. These films, as well as the live performance pieces she created, offer an embodiment of space physics, as well as a dedication to all the scientists and engineers who so generously shared their time, ample amounts knowledge, and excitement throughout the process.

Alexandra, originally from Boulder, Colorado, earned her BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance. She has worked professionally as a dancer, choreographer and teacher in New York City and Los Angeles, and has attended and performed at festivals throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. Alexandra is the founder of Move To Protect, an environmental dance organization, and has been granted residencies including Green Box Arts and The Arctic Circle Artist and Scientist Residency. 

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A film by: Alexandra Lockhart | Dancer, Choreographer

Description: An ode to space dust and the unique people who dedicate such passion and sensitivity to understanding the beholder of deep time and knowledge of the universe. Inspired by the truth that even within finely tuned engineered perfection, unknowns can appear in between. In this lab of extreme precision and systematic measurement, the human ability to adapt to chaos, implement ‘sanity checks’, problem solve, and utilize the sense of sound is celebrated.

Choreographed by following directions of the gas transfer process for the Pelletron accelerator as it preps to launch single dust particles at 100km/s to puff into plasma plumes.

For the dust whisperer.

Music composition: ‘Indigo Nocturne’ by Michael Wall

Special ‘Thank you’ to John Fontanese | PRA Instrument Engineering/NPL laboratory manager.

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A film by: Alexandra Lockhart | Dancer, Choreographer

Description: The enchanting transitional region of the Sun’s corona where impressive energy is unleashed, taking the form of a spiraling solar wind. Driven by magnetism and excited states, particles embark on expressionistic ventures through a fluid form where energetic, yet slinky conversations evolve multidimensionally.

A place where waves tell tales.

Choreographed based off of Encounter 9 data from the FIELDS instrument on Parker Solar Probe, identifying switchback regions.

Music composition: ‘Aware Again’ by Nathan Wheeler

Special ‘Thank you’ to Dr. David Malaspina and the LASP Parker Solar Probe research group.

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A film by: Alexandra Lockhart | Dancer, Choreographer

Description: Inspired by Dr. Mihály Horányi’s simulation of ‘The Dusty Ballerina Skirt’, this film features the elegant and energetic spiral of dust created as particles are ejected out into space from the vibrant volcanoes erupting on Jupiter’s Moon, Io. An exuberant example of centrifugal motion by the most volcanically active body in the solar system.

Music composition: ‘A Brief Encounter’ by Nathan Wheeler

Simulation video: Dr. Mihály Horányi

Special ‘Thank you’ to Dr. Mihály Horányi.

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A film by: Alexandra Lockhart | Dancer, Choreographer

Description: Turbulence, an elusive yet impactful phenomena embedded in space plasma. This film explores a realm that is constantly morphing, creating an illusion of any beginning or end, as well as any entrance or exit. Complex eddies and vortices cause confusion of where you came from and where you’re going. Hypnotized but this, one can easily get lost in, and obsessed with, the dimensional and contorting layers.

Data sonification: Ashlin Aronin
Sonfication of Encounter 8 data from the FIELDS Instrument on Parker Solar Probe

Visuals: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s Conceptual Image Lab/Lisa Poje Simulations by: Colby Haggerty (University of Chicago), Ashley Michini (University of Pennsylvania), Tulasi Parashar (University of Delaware)

Special ‘Thank you’ to Peter Tatum.

To see more of Alexandra’s work, please visit her website: www.aelockhart.com