siwic day 3 – quantum physics & synchronised swimming

Another late start today, and not much in the way of dancing, only a 3 hour lecture on Quantum Physics from Dr. Michael Spira. It’s still us six choreographers, the dancers don’t arrive until tomorrow, so there’s a kind of smallness and intimacy which is going to get blown away shortly, and also an easy pace, plenty of time to hang out, which we are told by everyone will be a distant memory soon.

I dunno what to say about the lecture. It’s kinda like reading any book that popularises quantum physics: a bit of an introduction to the big names like Einstein, Bohr, Plank, Heisenburg and Schrödinger (minus his cat…), some talk on black holes, the limits of current maths and physics, the state of particle physics, quarks, gluons… in three hours you can’t really get as much as a book, but to have a physicist who like banging small things together at high speed tell you all about it makes it a little less abstract than reading say, Hawkings.

Anyway, it was fun, a bit strange, probably not at all useful for what we get up to this week. And it’s what you get when you ask Nigel what he wants to hear a lecture on. Next stop this week is a trip to see War of the Wrolds, which scared the crap out of me when I was like 8 or 9 listening to Orson Wells narrate the cataclysm. So maybe Nigel likes science-fiction. I wonder if he likes Iain M. Banks or China Miéville?

Lunch in the park beside Tanzhaus, plenty of swimsuit wearing Swiss getting a tan and frolicing in the river. A bit of dancing, more improvisation – the one where everyone tries to do what everyone else is doing but without one person leading or anyone following, like feedback or when you slosh water in a bathtub and then suddenly it plops over the rim like a fat turdish slug and floods the entire room. It got pretty fucking silly, and reminded me how much fun I have doing this stuff. It’s like being a kid forever.

Back to the park and everyone went for a swim. mmm… dancers in speedos and bikinis. The Wasserworks is very strange, like the whole river has been corralled and separated and sieved, passing by little bathing houses on either bank, the bed of the river increasingly steep and forcing the water ever faster until it roils in hundreds of eddies and whirlpools folding in on itself in strands and filaments like an incoming storm. It’s transfixing to watch, and even better to swim in.