what were they thinking?
Audiences who saw a unique performance earlier this month didn’t have to imagine what was going on in the minds of the dancers on stage. was watching what was happening.
Professor Anthony Brandt of the Rice Shepherd School of Music and collaborators from Sam Houston State University, University of Houston, Noblemotion Dance Company and Musica present LiveWire, the first performance that combines dance, music and brains on April 9 Did. .
The creative experiment was conducted as part of the 2022 International Workshop on the Neural and Social Substrates of the Creative Movement held at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia. Performing to music written by Blunt, the dancers wore portable electroencephalograph caps that monitored their brains while dancing. All the while, a visualization of the data collected from the cap was displayed on the monitor and abstracted in the dance lighting design as well.
The term “livewired” was coined by neuroscientist David Eagleman in 1993 to state that our brains are not fixed in adulthood, but rather constantly reinventing themselves throughout life. Emphasize what you are building.
Each movement of Blunt’s quartet represents a different characteristic of brain behavior, from the more automatic to the more flexible. Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal’s lab — Brandt’s collaborator at UH — studies how dancers’ brains change from rehearsal to performance. Contreras-Vidal is also interested in the differences in neural activity between fixed movement and structured improvisation.
“This is a pioneering collaboration that is both artwork and experiment,” says Brandt. “On one side of the stage, the audience could see a visualization of his EEG data displayed on a monitor. The music and dance on the center stage demonstrate the flexibility of the brain through sound and movement. “
Brandt and his collaborators also presented “LiveWire” at the April 7 conference. Chris Fagundes, Associate Professor of Psychological Science, and Lydia Wu, a Graduate Student in Psychological Science, were also present at the conference to present their research on musical creativity. Elderly people with mild cognitive impairment.
Data collected from individuals will be analyzed in the coming months. The “LiveWire” presentation was made possible by support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Rice’s Undergraduate Initiative Fund.
More information on performance is available online. https://yourbrainanddance.egr.uh.edu .