What’s on : Lectures

Alexander Whitley in Conversation (York Mediale Festival)

2 Oct 2018
Start time
7:30 AM
Tempest Anderson Hall
Alexander Whitley
Alexander Whitley in Conversation (York Mediale Festival)

Event Information

Alexander Whitley in Conversation with Dr Hugh Mortimer (STFC)

Alexander Whitley is a London-based choreographer working at the cutting edge of British contemporary dance. As artistic director of Alexander Whitley Dance Company he has developed a reputation for a bold interdisciplinary approach to dance making, producing technologically innovative and thought provoking stage productions as well as exploring the creative possibilities being opened up by new digital platforms. He has also created work for several of the UK’s leading companies including the Royal Ballet, Rambert, Balletboyz, Candoco and Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Hosted by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society Alexander will be in conversation with Dr Hugh Mortimer about how his work has been inspired by science and in collaboration with scientists.

Dr Hugh Mortimer is a planetary scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and is passionate about the communication of space science and its role in inspiring and educating the next generation of scientists. Hugh has worked on many outreach projects that bring science and arts together.

Alex’s performances as part of Mediale can be seen here:

Alexander Whitley 8 minutes

Alexander Whitley Strange Stranger

Tickets for the event are available from the YPS office or online at:

Alexander Whitley in Conversation tickets

Member’s report

The presentation for which the YPS collaborated with York Mediale, was in the form of a discussion, rather than a lecture. Catherine Brophy chaired this informal event, while the scientist Hugh Mortimer, and the choreographer Alexander Whitley, explained how they had collaborated to produce the ballet “8 Minutes”, which had been performed a few days earlier. The time in the title is the time it takes for light to travel from the sun to earth, and spectacular images of the sun were projected on to the screen, to give us background

Mortimer was led to commission this collaboration with Whitley’s dance company by his desire to illustrate the way in which abstruse science can be explained through ordinary experience. He argues that this is especially true for children, but the two men gave us adults a vivid illustration of the principle ‘opposite charges attract, like charges repel’, with a short sequence of movement in which the scientist acquitted himself surprisingly well.

Margaret Leonard