Nature India | Indigenus

Dance your Science: Where did Indians come from?

Nature India‘s most recent and most creative foray into science communication is through a format called dance-narration. At the beautiful confluence of science and arts, these dance-narration productions are a unique new way of science story telling using the rich medium of traditional Indian performing arts.

We recently did a couple of experiments with the format and found that it won hands-down in terms of audience engagement and in conveying complex science ideas through a simple science-led script, dance expressions and music.

Here’s a piece we executed at the 10th Anniversary celebrations of Nature India on 16 April 16 2018. This dance narration tries to trace the origin of human life in India through a review of recent population genetics studies in the country. The troupe consisted of a trained classical Odishi dancer, a trained keyboard player and a science journalist.

The medium of dance and music allow the science story to become more personal and thus immediately understandable. Not surprisingly, this dance narration video is one of the most viewed, shared and liked content on our social media channels.

The script for the narration is culled from scientific studies, just like any journalistic science story. Some popular elements of science writing – drawing analogies, describing the human side of science, or contextualizing data and numbers – are used to enliven the script. Voice modulation and music variations are used to highlight the important points of the story and to add drama and excitement to the narrative.

We look forward to your feedback on this new experiment. Nature India hopes to bring to you many more dance narrations from various scientific disciplines in the near future.

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