Dance is a way of expressing and transmitting thoughts, feelings, ideas, desires, emotions to others … Both bees and humans use dance to tell a story.
Much is known about the dance of the bees, since the austrian Karl von Frisch in 1944 confirmed that honey bees, returning to the hive, communicated their partners the pollen and nectar-rich flowers locations they had found, using a consistent body language in a curious dance, who performed outside or inside the hive, horizontally in the entrance or vertically in the honey combs. The dance was circular if the source of nectar was for less than 50 meters distance and they dance like an 8 for longer distances. If the bee dances an 8 figure, also indicates the direction and not only the distance. With the honey they regurgitate to their partners, they will detail the kind of flower aroma, to avoid missing the proper flower.
Humans have incorporate bee´s behaviour to art. And have been contemporary dance and modern dance which have created a myriad of works inspired by the world of bees. The following are a only a selection.
– Life of the Bee, choreographed by Doris Humphrey (1895-1958). After a career as a dancer and choreographer, she worked in the company Humpfrey- Weidmann and then with José Limón, where he worked as artistic director. Influenced by the book by Maurice Maeterlinck (1929), this work represents the activity of a beehive and the selection of a new queen, giving a dramatic approach to dance with the struggle to overcome between new and old queens. Doris was seduced by the social organization of bees, believes that the perfect cooperation is in the interest of group survival. «Life of the Bee» featured dancers glided across the stage, knees and elbows akimbo; worker bees, buzzing with anxiety about Queen unborn, heat the wax with their wings to facilitate cell output, ending the piece with the murder of a «Queen Bee» by another young rival in a duel to death.
– The kiss of the bee. Dance-theater production created by a very large team, combining contemporary, flamenco and dances of the Amazon region of Brazil and Colombia. The result is a work where with interacting dancers they mimic bees.
– BEEHAVE (2014). More dance theater. Choreographed by Antonia Katrandjieva and Valentina Priolo. It is promoted as a contemporary ritual to honor the bees by the interdisciplinary work and explores the behavior of honey bees. Overground Physical Theatre Company with this iconic dance, confirms that with swarm intelligence and the ability to work synergistically, people can make decisions aligned with our inner purpose and collective needs of our planet. A history of analogies between humans and bees, which illuminate to 4 urban human brains who are to be born and take their role in life.