[dance-tech] Re: Sensordance / Lucy

  • From: "Johannes Birringer" <Johannes.Birringer@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 7 Oct 2006 12:33:28 +0100

hello all.

You ask yourself what's the story about Lucy?  Here comes..

Archaeologists and Palaeonthologists discovered the fossil remains of the 
Australopithecus afarensis in a ditch in Ethiopia (back in 1974). New research 
analysis has now been published [Nature 443, 268-269 (September 2006)] , 
following the palaeoanthropolgists' extensive examination of  skull,  inner ear 
of the skull remainder (location of proprioceptional system), shoulder and 
spine bones, finger bones, etc etc,

[anecdotal aside: the team of archaeologists in Ethiopia were listening to the 
Beatles during that dig ("Lucy in the Sky with Dianonds"), and so the team 
decided that it was a smart idea to name their found fossil remains of an early 
prehuman specimen "Lucy" . So our Australopithecus afarensis now performs under 
the name "Lucy."

Shocking result of the analysis of the performative input:     "Lucy" 
apparently was already bipedal and could walk upright (3.2 million years ago), 
and the PA [palaeo-anthropology] systems programmers can confirm this 
hypothesis with footprints (just two, not foot and hands, just feet) found 
imprinted/fossilized in volcanic ashes in Tansania, same species, roughly 3,6 
million years old, and the hypothesis of walking upright was carefully 
researched, as they looked at bone structures and the way bones were bent or 
straight etc.

In the latest findings (after another dig, where a 3-year old humanoid girl, 
another Australopithecus afarensis, was found in Ethiopia, just south of the 
"Lucy"-site, as the landscape is now called by PA), the scientists compared the 
skull, inner ear paths, and pelvis, of the new find, now called "Lucy"s 
daughter,"  and apparently they can project the hypothetical manner of walking 
upright  from the way in which the inner ear basal ganglia. and the shoulders 
and pelvis, legs and feet, and fingers were formed.  The findings are 
ambivalent but at least they now have a near-complete skeleton, revealing a 
strange mosaic of evolution of the species  ? "the upper limbs have 
characteristics of gorilla or chimp, whereas the lower limbs are made for 
walking upright like modern humans":

i.e.  at times, Lucy walked,  and at other times apparently she loved to move 
along, dangling and swinging from branches in trees, as in  "Crouching Tiger, 
Hidden Dragon" ? bamboo tree-style swinging/jumping. Lucy loved to fly into the 
air, like Ziyi Zhang, and see the world and the men below from a helicopter 
perspective.  Amazing, isn't it, our foremothers and their Amelia Earhart-like 

In other words, palaeoanthropology can tell us something about dance, movement 
behavior, and kung-fu proprioception (and we might speculate on the emotional 
and affective dimensions), just from the skull and bones. 

And the theory that Lucy desired to swing from trees, after all,  is 
corroborated by deep scan analysis (provided by The Institute for Evolutionary 
Anthropology, Leipzig)  that her hand apparently was more chimp-like (finger 
curvature from grabbing branches).  Interestingly, they came to this 
conclusion, even though only   o n e    finger has survived from the skeleton 
of Lucy's daugther. 

This is dance-science at its best, and I congratulate our colleagueas at the 
IEA Leipzig. 

Johannes Birringer

Attachment: Lucy_skull.jpeg
Description: Lucy_skull.jpeg

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