Approaching the completion of my studies in dance and physics at UC Irvine, I experienced considerable anxiety regarding the direction of my future. I was not prepared to choose between physics and dance, but felt social pressure to do so, which led me into an exploration of how we make decisions.As I realized the necessity of accepting (even celebrating) uncertainty, I began to question whether or not I should‒ or even could‒ make a decision. If the processes in my brain are determined by interactions between particles according to the laws of physics? Do I have free will? Classical models of physics, which are fully deterministic, suggests not. Quantum mechanics, the first probabilistic theory in physics, leaves a little more room for mystery.
In order to investigate, I employed mathematical and improvisational methods to remove levels of decision-making from the choreographic process. For example, in one section, I exploited the mathematics of quantum mechanics in a program that I wrote in C to calculate the probabilities of different possible transitions between anatomical states. I structured another section according to exponential decay; dancers “dropped energy levels” by dropping out of phrase work into improvisation. I hope to more thoroughly explore this concept in future choreography and programming projects.