Monday, July 10, 2017

IMPRESSIONS: Jody Oberfelder Projects’ "The Brain Piece"

Hannah Wendel, Pierre Guilbault, and Mary Madsen in Jody Oberfelder's The Brain Piece at New York Live Arts. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

Every day, beneath our skin, a delicate ballet performed by our organs unfolds. Working with each other and independently, these body parts keep us alive and in pursuit of life. Yet their processes can remain unfamiliar, even unnoticeable, to us.

Choreographer Jody Oberfelder has been on a kick bringing these biological structures to the stage. After studying them intensely and dialoguing with experts, she creates a dance that explores an organ’s real and metaphorical form and function.

Several years ago, she premiered 4Chambers, a site-specific immersive performance dedicated to the heart. The experience, equally exhilarating and discomfiting, allowed a small audience to follow dancer-docents through four “chambers” and two “arteries.” Each space required participation, whether it be dancing with a performer or answering deeply personal questions.

Now she’s back with The Brain Piece, which received its debut at New York Live Arts. Unlike 4Chambers’ almost claustrophobic linkage of person to material, The Brain Piece is . . . 

To read the balance of my review, please visit The Dance Enthusiast.