Ballet: Swan Lake

iLuminate technology (video 2:58) – software tool that enables performers, choreographers, engineers, technicians, stylists and artistic directors to produce customized wireless lighting programs to produce lighting effects choreographed with dance moves.


  • choreography
  • music
  • set design, lighting
  • costumes

Physics + Ballet (video 4:16)
Spinning forever – The third act of Swan Lake is considered one of the most difficult in the balletic cannon, requiring a dancer to twirl around 32 consecutive times. How its accomplished is as much a feat of physics as it is athleticism.

Fouetté en tournant

Staying in momentum for a full 30 seconds takes a couple of small but important considerations on the part of the dancer. First and foremost is keeping a consistent center of gravity and straight turning axis—otherwise all that momentum will throw her off balance on onto the floor.


What’s the problem?
Engineering Dance – Lina Colucci uses her engineering interests to develop a new ballet shoe, A better ballet pointe shoe after two centuries of the same design. With designers from IDEO and Nike, Colucci helped develop the DANZA shoe. Colucci blended her love of dance with her engineering skills to improve the safety, comfort, and ergonomics of the pointe shoe. New York City Ballet “Pointe Shoes” (video 5:45) The story of ballet shoes, from the factory to the stage.
That’s engineering

  • resonance – in a ballerina’s turns, parts that oscillate in rhythm are capable of highly energy-efficient fluctuations, a physical phenomenon

Engineering ideas

  • oscillate, torque, tension