Mandarina Beer Cafè - 2nd Session


La Mandarina de Newton is pleased to invite you to the 2nd Mandarina Beer Cafè Session with the artist Iris Heitzinger!!


From La Mandarina de Newton we aim to contribute as citizens of Barcelona to create a space, the Mandarina Beer Cafès, where we can discuss the topics we are passionate about: science, art, technology, design and learning.


We have chosen a topic that motivates us a lot and that has to do with knowledge, memory and learning: The Body of Knowledge. That is, the kind of knowledge that originates from the fact that we have a body, we experience with that body and that body exists in a specific context.


During the different Beer Cafès sessions (several Fridays, to be defined) we will be exploring different ways of understanding the body, the knowledge and we will be contrasting different ways of understanding them, some will be more phenomenological, others more biological and others will be influenced by the artistic experience of the body and the movement.

The 2nd session will take place on Friday, January 30, at 7 pm, at the Mandarina Space.


GUEST / 2nd SESSION (30/01)
Iris Heitzinger, Artist, Dance and Performance


Link Evenbrite

/ 936.673.774


The first videos are already here! You have until April 30th!

A few months ago, we started the third edition of the international video contest Science of the City.

During this time, we have produced six sample videos in six different languages​​: Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and Italian, about varied themes, in order to inspire you. Here you can watch them:

In addition, some participants have already begun to send their videos. The very first one came from Cadiz and responded to the question: why do plants in the city flower in spring?

This one, came directly from Glasgow!

Have you started thinking about yours? Remember that you have time until April 30th!


Inspiraciencia awards ceremony

On Tuesday, April 30, at the Sagrada Familia’s Library, La Mandarina de Newton was at the awards ceremony of the III Scientific Writing Contest – Inspiraciencia, organized by CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), with the support of the FECYT and the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

La Mandarina de Newton participated as part of the event’s organization and also presented the contemporary dance piece ‘Transposicionals’, co-directed with Big Bouncers.

Inspiraciencia is a project of the Unit of Scientific Culture of the CSIC Delegation in Catalonia and the Institute of Science Materials of Barcelona (CSIC). It is a scientific writing contest opened to anyone interested in imagining Science through Literature. Participants can submit short stories or micro-stories in Catalan, Spanish or Galician, within one of the two contest categories, general public (over 18) or young public (under 18). The winners are selected by an official jury and by the public, which can vote on-line for the best text of each category, regardless of the language.

The third edition of Inspiraciencia count on the participation of more than 500 works. The 15 winning and 13 finalists texts were awarded at the event of this year. The ceremony was attended by Lluís Calvo (Institutional Coordinator CSIC in Catalonia) and Jordi Muñoz (Writing School of the Ateneu Barcelonès), and also by the partners of Inspiraciencia and the participants of the contest.

The ceremony ended with the dance performance, ‘Transposicionals’.

With this performance we wanted to offer the public the opportunity to experience a different way of interpreting and communicating science. Art and Dance were the ‘tools’ we chose for this night. As we referred in the previous post, the show is an improvisation performance of dance, inspired by fragments of some of the stories of this year’s edition of Inspiraciencia. The dancers movements play with the scientific concepts of each of the texts, which are projected on stage as part of the show.

You can check all the photos of the ceremony at our Facebook page.

You can also watch the event summary video we produced:


'Transposicionals' - dance, science and writing

On Tuesday April 30, 7 p.m. at the Sagrada Família’s Library, La Mandarina de Newton and the group of dancers Big Bouncers will present the contemporary dance piece ‘Transposicionals’, at the awards ceremony of the third edition of Inspiraciencia (Scientific Writing Contest), organized by CSIC and the support of FECYT. This is a dance performance co-directed by La Mandarina de Newton and Big Bouncers.

The performance is inspired by fragments of seven of the texts that participated in the contest. These are stories that explore concepts such as cloning, robotics, quantum mechanics, infinite, relativity, gravity and vacuum. The show that we will be presenting on the 30th, will be an improvisation performance of dance accompanied by an audiovisual work with the texts. The movements will play with the scientific concepts of the Inspiraciencia texts. We would like to offer to the audience a new experience, a different way of communicating science: through art and dance.

Do not miss it!

When: Tuesday April 30, 7 p.m.

Where: Auditorium of Sagrada Família’s Library.

Free activity, limited places


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, 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.

Photo Credit: Yoana Miguel

DIA ZERO (Day Zero)

On November 17th took place the opening of the work by choreographer and dancer Anna Rubirola DIA ZERO (Day Zero), within the program in Situ  Dance Festival, at Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona.

DIA ZERO is a piece that discusses destruction and the emptiness and silence it generates afterwards. It explores the trail of devastation and follows its consequences. It is a piece that approaches destruction from the physical body but it uses physical domestic resources and sound elements. Irene Lapuente, founder of La Mandarina de Newton, collaborated in this project as part of the scientific advisory group.

Photo credits: Alba Suñé

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.


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.


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.


Participative dance performances

Last automn, I participated for the first time, as an active spectator, in three different dance performances in Barcelona organized by the Mercat dels Flors. I will analyze in this post two of them which seemed interesting to me from the way they used the public participation. My objective is to analyze the elements used to implement the participative process and the contribution this new type of participative performances brings to the peforming arts creation and to its spectators.

The first performance, Hello!Earth (Projecte Barcelona), consisted in a route in a cityscape in Barcelona. A responsible took first our belongings that he kept away in a secret place. He only left us with our mobile and a plastic bracelet with a mobile number on it. Dressed up as rabbit from head to toe, the voice of an mp3, plus the participation of artists, guided us in the streets of the Poble Sec neighborghood. They made us run, jump, wag the tail, investigate the streets. We even traveled in the space inside a tippi which served as a space shuttle. Yes, yes, I swear! During the second part of the route, we took off our costume and started a trip trough our senses. In an unhabitated flat, bare feet, blindfolded eyes, we danced a moment with another unknown person. The end of the route finished in a bar, the group seated at a table, drinking to its first experience in a participative performance.

The second performance was the creation of Sra Polaroiska & Ruemaniak. A man with a black suit, slicked-back hair, who seemed to come from the 50′s, picked us up in front of the theater and took us to some sort of abandoned warehouse, where he asked us to get on a car. Two people, layed on the floor as if they were dead, under the other car parked next to our, got up and started moving in a dislocated way. The radio of our car switched on by itself. Another woman appeared behing some construction work and headed towards us. That is how the story started. We observed with curiousity and silently these characters who seemed to come from another world. I did not understand what was going on but it did not matter. I liked their strangeness, how they moved and danced under country music. I liked the Far West’s clothes of the 50′s and 60′s with the cowboy boots. At some point, they blindfolfed our eyes, did to us small massages on the hands and shoulders and we danced with them. What a moment! I did not want this moment to stop. Then, the man with the black suit drove us outside the warehouse. He told us to be discreet about what had happened. Before he left, he gave us an envelop to each of us. Inside was a polaroid photo of mi with a gun pointed at my tempe. I had not dreamed, it was true. Hallelujah!

The two performances share the following elements:

  • The “mystery” is a core element in each performance because it prepares the sensivity level of the spectators, which is key in the participative process. It is reflected in the following form: the spectator does not know what the performance and his participation consist in, he is informed at the last minute of the meeting point.

  • Performance site-specific
  • Movement-based performance: the body is the central point of the performance. Everything is designed from the body, around the body and for the body.

  • The public is protagonist: the spectator experiences, feels and makesThe stage does not exist in such wayReduced group of spectators: 6 and 3 peopleThere are more artists than spectatorsMutlidisciplinary approach: there is a mix of different artistic disciplines to create the performances.The public is in touch with the artists: he does with the artists
  • Use of a lot of objects during the performances: the objects in common were the mp3, photos and music

  • A souvenir is offered at the end of the performances: a free drink, a photo

It’s interesting to see how each performance exploited these elements, the emphasis put on each one to answer to the objective. The Hello!Earth project aimed to give the opportunity to the public to discover its environment with other eyes. Sra Polaroiska & Ruemaniak made enter the public in the performance.

“Dance! – you can’t stop the revolution” of Hello!Earth (Projecte Barcelona) was an unexpected route developed specially for Barcelona, that relied on the participation of the artists, citizens and spectators from Barcelona. The artists participated in the design of the route to make appear the social context of the city. The neighborhood of Poble Sec offered its houses that served as stages. And the collective experience of the spectators was the peformance itself. It was a cocreation participative process: all the actors involved in the performance contributed to its design, its development and its content.

“Apuntes sobre animales, encuentros y autopistas” of Sra Polaroiska & Ruemaniak created an experience-piece for the spectator who entered as a protagonist in the story that was unfolding. It was like if the spectator entered as a protagonist in the course a movie. The form of participation used was, what we call at A+C+C CoCreació, interactive (read this post). As a public, we did not create content, neither influence the performance. Our intervention was framed: the actors knew what they were going to ask us to do and at which moment.

In the two performances, the protagonist spectator played the games.

In Hello!Earth, the design of the route favored the interaction within the group. Also to compensate a probable feeling of anxiety generated by the ignorance of what was going to happen, the spectators remained together most of the time.

On the contrary, there was no communicatin among the spectators of Sra Polaroiska y Ruemaniak. It was not the aim of the performance. Additional factors intimidated the public: there were more artists than public participating during the performance, the artists knew what was going on, not the spectators.

It’s interesting to see as well the color of the component mystery in each performance. The mystery in Hello!Eart was a surprise. With the costume, you knew you were going to have a laugh. The costume is a tool to forget oneself and allows to see things another way. The route reminded a bit of a gymkhana, something recreational, like a tresure hunt.

The mystery of Sra Polaroiska & Ruemaniak was more worrying. On one hand, the public had more information about the performance but on the other hand, this same information was somewhat disturbing: the synopsis of the performance described unusual characters and situation. Listen to Country music is also unusual for people from Barcelona. The dislocated moves of the dancers gave a sensation of uneasiness. And the man with the black suit spoke to us with an emphatic voice.

At the end of the performance, we commented that we all liked it, especially the moment of the blindfolded eyes. I think now that this is because there were so many strange things in this peformance, that dancing with blindfolded eyes allowed us to let it go.

I don’t know if Hello!Earth made me see my environment in another way. I was not able to fully relax with the costume, so I never let it go totally I suppose. The unfolding of the performance was like a serie of activities without transitions between each one. It brought me back to the reality between each activity and I was not able to see my environment with new eyes. However, the performance left me with good feelings.

The project of Sra Polaroiska & Ruemaniak filled me with enthusiasm. Even if I did not participate in the creation of the content, it allowed me to let it go and enter in the story, be in another world. The closed stage offered more intimacy than the streets. The experience of the spectator during the performance was fluid. The collective Sra Polaroiska & Ruemaniak used the elements of the performance with more strength and answered to its objective with accuracy.

We see that the objective, the components and the design of the project will determine the type of participation of the public. It will be key to condition the state of mind of the public to favor its participation: its senses must be awake and available to react and respond to the project’s proposal. The public must have an optimal experience.

I think participation offers to the public a unique and more intense experience that just sitting in a theater. The artists through participation have an intimate communication with their public and can make innovative proposals. Each participative show is for the artists a unique and different experience everytime, which enriches them as professionals.



Credit of photography: Colectivo Sra Polaroiska & Ruemaniak


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