You’ve heard the saying, “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” What about dancing about the architecture of the brain? Former U.S. Ski Team member Amy Caron has plunged headlong into the field of neuroscience, but from the point of view of an artist, helping to initiate the emerging genre of “artscience,” which merges the two disciplines to create fertile new cross-pollinations.
From an art installation two years ago at the Women‘s Art Center here, Caron’s project Waves of Mu—based on newly discovered “mirror” neurons in the brain, cells that aid in social interaction—has grown into a multimedia dance piece that places the audience inside the workings of the cranium. Small groups of audience members are first let into a room in their socks to explore the interior environment physically. Then, in the theater proper, Caron as mad scientist with lab coat and clipboard directs her “research team” of performers.
The main stage extends into the audience, and the work is all about connectivity. The mirror neurons appear to provide a neurological basis for social connection and mirroring others’ behavior, and a whole host of human interactions might be explained by this burgeoning branch of brain-tacular barnstorming.
This Salt Lake City premiere takes the show full circle from a sojourn to New York City beginning in August 2008, and it has been commissioned by the Room Project of Performance Space 122, and receives support from the National Performance Network.
Dance Theatre Coalition: Amy Caron’s Waves of Mu @ Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 801-355-2787, April 3-4, 8 p.m. AmyCaron.com