Donna Sternberg’s 30 years of probing dance discovery

Dance · Ideas & Opinion

It’s an honor to celebrate with choreographer Donna Sternberg, this weekend, thirty years of steady dance making in Los Angeles — her keen and inquisitive nature knitting dance to the laura-2real world in unusual ways.

Sternberg founded her company in 1985, after working and touring with Donald Byrd, Mary Jane Eisenberg, Yen Lu Wong and Dance/LA, applying the tagline, “Discovery is our passion.”

Carving a niche by forging connective tissue between dance and science, the company seeks to convey how the process of discovery is transformative, using science is an inspiration.

We invited Sternberg to share her artistic statement with arts·meme.


lindsay 2I am passionate about discovery and interested in the “big questions” that deal with the human experience. I use science as a framework to give shape and structure to my artistic explorations and interpretations, drawing parallels and metaphors between science and human behavior. I am interested in exploring what scientific discovery means to the human endeavor on an affective level.

I use the abstract medium of dance as my tool, with the belief that dance has a language that can communicate emotions and psychological phenomenon and provide a visceral experience. I work diligently to acquire an understanding of the scientific concepts that serve as inspiration for my work, not for the purpose of explaining them as in a science lesson, but rather to convey through dance how the process of discovery transforms those who witness it.

I seek to enter into meaningful conversations with scientists, not as a scholar but as an individual with a keen interest in how the world works, and to form a bridge between science and society through my artistic interpretations. I am particularly drawn to collaborations with artists in other artistic disciplines to expand the scope and depth of my artistic endeavors.

ErinOver the past recent years my work has been inspired by:

  • The history of flight – Flight
  • Celestial mechanics – Orbiting
  • Quantum mechanics – Rage to Know
  • Environment – Lying on Iguanas
  • Quantum Entanglement – Quantum Entanglement
  • Perception and memory – Dis-Illusions
  • Plant biology – The Flowering of Desire
  • Dark Energy – Dark Energy
  • Drones and telematic avatar performers – Fly By
  • Architecture – The Architecture of Space

— choreographer Donna Sternberg, artistic statement

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