KI Culture Day 10 November: Lose Yourself in Dance – Art & Science in Motion

Just a few days to go: the annual KI Culture Day takes place on Wednesday 10  November. You are most welcome to join!

Karolinska Institutet has no faculty of humanities or social sciences, no department of culture or aesthetics. We are a medical university, plain and simple. Why investing time in a Culture Day? I would argue that our status as a one-faculty university is exactly what makes the Culture Day so important. The Culture Day should help compensate for the lack of formal structures in the realm of culture and aesthetics and allow for an opportune piece of the culture-nature dialogue that is so extensive and commonplace in multi-faculty universities.

To understand

There is no dichotomy. Nature pervades culture and culture pervades nature. We need science to understand culture and we need culture to inspire science. My personal experience is that art kindles the quest for fresh scientific approaches, beyond the well-trodden path. As I pointed out in a previous blog, this is what happened to Niels Bohr, shall we believe Christophe Schinckus. In his paper entitled From Cubist Simultaneity to Quantum Complementarity he discusses how Niels Bohr might have been inspired by the cubist painter Jean Metzinger when he formulated the complementarity principle. The cubists allowed different perspectives of an object to hit the eye simultaneously from one and the same canvas, while in Bohr’s world, an electron could be both wave and particle at the same time. A striking parallel. A case of art and science being joined in entirely new ways of thinking.


“Lose Yourself in Dance – Art & Science in Motion”. This is what this year’s Culture Day will be all about. It is an appropriate topic at a university that is the proud home of researchers that have made great strides in understanding how movements are generated and controlled – and how movements are perturbed in neurological disease. The other side of the coin is how movements – as in dancing – can be used to benefit patients such as patients with Parkinsson’s disease. The latter topic is on the agenda for the upcoming Culture Day. A topic that is both timely and forward-looking.

 The upcoming Culture Day event will take place at Medicinska Föreningen (MF), Solna. In line with the main theme a special party bus with music and disco on board will bring the Huddinge staff and students directly to the MF door.

The Ballet Academy

The Ballet Academy of Stockholm will make a guest performance and the Academy´s Åsa Åström and KI´s Professor Per Svenningsson will talk about the above-mentioned project on dance and Parkinson’s disease. And there is more to come: The choreographer Benke Rydman (famous for spectacular performances at Dansens Hus), Mats Lekander and Andreas Olsson (both at KI) will discuss what we know about how the human brain perceives movements. I have been invited to take part in that discussion. There will be performances by staff and student ensembles including Stroket, Dragplåstret and Blåslaget.

Among the invited guests are Anna Duberg, presenting research on how dance can improve health for teenage girls with stress-related problems. Anna Starbrink – responsible for healthcare and culture in Region Stockholm – will also take part in this event. You can follow the event in real life at MF (registration needed) or via Live Streaming, using this link.

There will be an opportunity to mingle after the program with drinks, some light food and more dancing. More info can be found on KI’s web site.  

Welcome to KI’s Culture Day 2021!


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