Chaos & Contingency is a unique performance based on the study of emergent mathematical patterns. Small variants initiate changes, patterns evolve and dissolve, revealing both simplicity and complexity within the piece. This pure dance piece integrates the award-winning company’s exquisitely fluid movement style, and its legacy for imaginative use of public spaces.

Created specifically for the Edinburgh International Science Festival the work was presented in 2013 in Scotland’s galleries and museums by an international cast of eight dancers from Scotland and China with music composed by Philip Pinsky. The performance is designed to be viewed from different angles, including from above and offers audiences alternative modes of viewing and experiencing dance.

“Claxton’s company of eight, combining dancers from Scotland and China, moved with an unforced stamina and precision that, like Philip Pinsky’s loopingly percussive score, captured its audiences” ★★★★ The Herald

“Chaos and Contingency is a thoughtful, beautifully created temporary exhibit, that asks questions about our relationship to science and about human variability”★★★★The Scotsman

“sensitive and subtle performances from the cast, building up tension with the growing swing of a pendulum, until they are leaping and spiralling, the energy barely contained within their bodies”★★★★ –

“It is hypnotic and kaleidoscopically lovely to watch, transformative and wonderful to see a free event which is as complex as it is ambitious” –ACROSStheARTS

“Chaos and Contingency is a technical triumph” –The Vile Blog

Chaos and Contingency is based on emergent theories and systems in mathematics such as The Game of Life and fractal patterning. The work was instigated in November 2010 with a Creative Development period when the company worked in collaboration with mathematician Professor David McCarthy (Edinburgh University) to develop a series of choreographic structures and patterns that could offer alternative modes of viewing for dance.

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