So what is emergence?

Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergent structures are patterns not created by a single event or rule. Nothing commands the system to form a pattern. Instead, the interaction of each part with its immediate surroundings causes a complex chain of processes leading to some order.

There are numerous examples of emergence that can be found in nature. A flock of birds moving effortlessly as one or a school of fish moving together  with such grace and coordination as though unified in a single thought.

In exploring the movement dancers create, emergence can readily be identified. Each dancer seems innately aware of not only their own body as it moves through space but that of all the others in the group as well.  And while most of the movement is orchestrated by underlying choreography and distinct counts, there does develop an emergence where the movement itself transcends this and takes on a life of its own.