L_ENTES, nominated to DansaCat 2012 Awards

The Dansacat 2012 Awards (Premis Dansacat), are organized by the Association of Dance Professionals of Catalonia (APdC). Their goal is to give recognition and promote the work of  dance professionals in Catalonia.

La Mandarina de Newton provided scientific advice during the conceptualization and development of the piece L_ENTES by coreographers Iris Heitzinger and Natalia Jiménez. We are happy to know that it has been shortlisted and nominated for the third edition of the Dansacat Awards, in the “New Talents” category. It was selected because of the quality of the performance and for being a multidisciplinary creation. Also because it included science in the project as well as the fact that it used non-conventional spaces for performance.

Winners will be chosen by popular vote, that can be case at the association’s website, www.dansacat.org. The voting process started on November 28th and will end on December 16th.  Prizes will be awarded on December 20th, in the opening of the piece ‘Little me” by Lali Ayguadé.

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Photo Credit: Yoana Miguel
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L_ENTES, the official trailer!

We have already talked about the project L_ENTES, an artistic project based on contemporary dance. It has been directed by the dancers and coreographers Iris Heitzinger and Natalia Jimenez. La Mandarina de Newton has collaborated as a scientific advisor.

L_ENTES is a dance performance that plays with science and mathematics to talk about time, space, light, sound and perception. It premiered on May 11th during the NEO Festival in Barcelona. Now you can enjoy the official trailer!

L_ENTES – official trailer from L_ENTES on Vimeo.

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Dance and NeuroScience

On Tuesday January 17th I attended the lecture “Dancing as an expression of choreographic thought of physical intelligence” by Scott Delahunta at CosmoCaixa. The presentation was part of the cycle “The brain invades the city”.

Schott Delahunta is trained as a dancer,but his research is not just focused on the artistic sphere but in the area of processes and experiences. His interest is about the mind (not the brain) of dancers and choreographers. He is interested in how they eventually create their pieces and other things.

Delahunta says that the relationship between dance and science goes beyond the motor system. Dance and science also are related through Cognitive Psychology.

For a long time, it was believed that knowledge was only created through words and language. However, Delahunta has discovered that there are other key factors in this process of knowledge creation. In order to reach his own conclusions he has worked with or studied choreographers and companies from different countries such as Malpelo, Wayne McGregor o Trisha Brown.

Ideas in movement change and evolve constantly. Dance is the expression of emotions and thoughts. Perhaps there is no clear-cut distinction between thinking and doing. Delahunta remarks that the doing also has thinking. He speaks of “choreographic thinking” and suggests that there is an emergence of a collective mind when a group of dances are performing a set piece or an improvised one. In a piece where several dances take part, the relationships between them are very important. This suggests the idea of a collective mind. It is in the connections between the dancers that the mind of the piece is located.

Delahunta commented that the questions that dancers ask themselves are very similar to the questions of the scientists ask. For that reason, he believes that both worlds are not so far apart.

He got interested in the different ways in which dancers annotated dance. He asked himself how dancers’ notebooks and each of their pages could become for a dancer an extension of his or her own body. The annotations that dancers create are related to a type of knowledge that is inside the body itself. In fact, dancers have to externalize and represent a great deal of knowledge that is in their inside.

Delahunta and his collaborators have carried out projects related to the previous topics and also published several scientific articles about these issues. For example:

  • Choreography and cognition (AtaXia 2004)
  • Chroreographic Thinking Tools: The goal of this project was to augment the creative process. The idea was to study the stimuli for the minds of the dances in order to help them understand their own creative processes and increase their imagination.
  • The choreographer language agent
  • Improvisation technologies: a tool for the analitycal dance eye 1994/1999. (William Forsythe: Improvisation Technologies. A Tool for the Analytical Dance Eye. CD-ROM and booklet with a text by Roslyn Sulcas. Stuttgart, 1999 – ISBN 3-7757-0850-2)
  • Synchronous objects for one flat thing beta, reproduced by William Forsythe

Delahunta explained several creativity techniques used by different choreographers. He also remarked that in contemporary dance, choreographers no longer mark the steps for dancers but, instead, design processes of creation and it is the dancers themselves who actually compose the piece. In this way, everything is richer and dancers find the whole experience more fulfilling.

Some tasks to stimulate creativity:

  • Visualize images
  • Remember melodies
  • To try to translate acoustic images into visual images.
  • The 27 points of a cube (Trisha Brown Locus) –> 27 point –> 27 letters => words –> emotions –> movement. (It goes way beyond the aesthetic form. With this technique one creates new spaces)

Delahunta pointed to reference sources were a wealth of creative techniques can be found:

To know more you can consult:

You will find other lectures and presentations by Scott Delahunta on Youtube.

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The project L_ENTES is born

L_ENTES is an artistic project. It is a contemporary dance performance ideated and directed by Iris Heitzinger and Natalia Jiménez. La Mandarina de Newton S.L. works as a scientific advisor.

The project is based on the meeting of four different disciplines: dance and movement as a global language of the body, science and mathematics with an special approach to the concepts of classical mechanics, optics and relativistic physics, lighting as an art and sound.

Our main axis is our investigation on human perception. In the foreground of the meeting with the public, we put the body in motion.

In all processes of creation in performing arts the concepts of space, time, light, sound and movement are intrinsic. They usually serve as vehicles of expression. This time however, we have directed our focus towards these items consciously. They have become the main protagonists.

These four concepts are present not only in performing arts, but in our day to day. They help us to create our perception of the environment. We came out with the following questions: What do we perceive? How do we perceive? Where is the line between reality and illusion? What can cause reactions in the viewer when he/she is invited to explore the boundary between the natural and the artificial, nature and art?

We offer a new experience to the public. We draw the attention of the spectator to his or her current experience. We offer the possibility to perceive a known environment with a new look and we create a link between art and a community space, habitat.

It is often more artifice than nature around us. That is why we believe that the latest concept is less experienced. So we want to offer a new experience that extends the natural perception through art to the public.

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