Ten Dance-Related TED Talks You Should Watch

Posted on June 14, 2011


If you have not yet had the pleasure of watching a TED talk, you are in for a treat. Over the years, the company has evolved in many ways, and today the presentations are available on an easily searchable database which is TED.com.

Discussion topics range from environmental sustainability to developments in technology, and speakers range from Al Gore to Birke Baehr, an 11 year-old with big ideas of how we can change the food system in America. After watching countless TED talks, I have compiled a list of my favorite dance-related presentations. Please do yourself a favor and watch them! I have included a brief description of each piece, but you will learn much more by watching the videos.

In no particular order because they are all great:

  1. The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers: In the Internet age, dance evolves – Watch the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (LXD) perform styles learned from various social networks and youtube videos where dancers around the world share information and techniques. 
  2. Ben Cameron: The true power of the performing arts – Cameron says that audience numbers are dwindling, but more and more people are beginning to participate in the arts. He argues that money invested in the arts will continue to positively affect other unrelated markets.
  3. Kenichi Ebina’s magic moves – Watch Ebina, a self-taught dancer, blend a variety of movement in a way that seems to defy previous expectations of the capabilities of the human body.
  4. Mallika Sarabhai: Dance to change the world – Sarabhai uses the language of dance to explain stories of societal and political problems in a way that people will listen.
  5. Nalini Nadkarni on conserving the canopy – Nadkarni uses dance, music, and other artistic expression to teach young people about the ecosystem which is reliant on treetops of the rainforest.
  6. Mae Jemison on teaching arts and sciences together – Jemison is skeptical that the education system is allowing for creativity and argues that we must begin to reintegrate art with science.
  7. Natasha Tasakos’ multimedia theatrical adventure – Tasakos shows us how theatre and dance can be transformed by new developments in technology including sound and light design.
  8. Ananda Shankar Jayant fights cancer with dance – Shankar focused on her practice of classical dance styles Bharatanatyam and Kuchipud to overcome breast cancer. She says that she tuned out of cancer and into the practice of dance.
  9. Pilobolus Performs “Symbiosis” – Watch the world-renowned dance company Pilobolus perform a an intricate duet called “Symbiosis” which highlights the vast potential of the human body.
  10. Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity – Robinson reminds us that public school systems around the world sustain a hierarchy of subjects taught in school with art being at the bottom. He questions why schools don’t teach students dance everyday.

I know the list is long, but I hope you took the time to watch some of these awesome TED talks!

Which were your favorites? Which did you learn the most from?

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Posted in: Education