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Ballet Des Moines show using art and dance to explain science

Ballet Des Moines' new show explores the concept of space and uses dance to help explain the process.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A new show from Ballet Des Moines, titled "Of Gravity and Light," is combining art and science. 

Thousands of students from across central Iowa got a glimpse of it.

"[It's] an interdisciplinary performance bringing together the science of space through the lens of music and movement," Blaire Massa, the CEO of Ballet Des Moines, said. 

The show had been in the works for over a year, coming together with help from teaching artists, scientists and choreographers to help people learn about space and science in a new way.  

Part of the performance included audience interaction. 

Massa noted that was important because it was an indicator of how other students would respond in the classroom to the lessons that were created to go along with the show. 

The curriculum is titled "Of Gravity and Light: Teaching the Science of Our Solar System Through Creativity and Curiosity." Massa described it as a modular science curriculum that meets National Middle School and Next Generation Science Standards.

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In addition to the music and movement helping to teach about the solar system, the curriculum would also come with hands-on activities and multimedia resources from NASA, GBH and PBS 

"If you try and understand the concept of gravity without feeling it in your body it's really even more difficult. So we're just tapping into those artistic ways to creatively understand the content," Massa said. 

"It's about building that confidence in our students and our youth to seek their own path and just be excited about what you're interested in and go for it."

The curriculum is expected to be launched statewide this coming fall. 

The full performance for "Of Gravity and Light" is Friday at 7 p.m. Ticket information can be found here.

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