When belly dance meets genetic mutations

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 29, 2015 22:02 IST

How about amalgamating dance, science and communication? How about using a form of dance to explain the cellular mechanism-the result is Bodystorming--an initiative which explores a concept in action, giving an experiential account of what it means to engage the body as a medium of thought and communication.

While we are quite familiar with brain storming- coming up with ideas rapidly in a group situation, we rarely think of doing the same with our bodies. What happens when we collectively throw ideas together spontaneously using our bodies?

This is what a 10 day long blend of science and arts at the National Centre of Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru which started from April 25 is exploring. Besides other dances, the sessions also feature the Black Label Movement (BLM), a dance company headed by Carl Flink from the University of Minnesota. There are 10 artists from the US and 8 dancers from India.

Using bodies and minds to construct and deconstruct models was a concept that was developed by the University of Minnesota. It provides visual information on why a model works or fails and streamlines the process of selecting a successful model. In India this kind of model is being used for the first time.

"The fundamental idea behind this initiative is to use simple interaction rules between dancers to simulate and understand biological processes, drawing from deeply inter-disciplinary roots. Bodystorming means thinking not with minds but bodies. Scientific questions will be investigated through improvised movements executed by dancers," says Dr Darius Koester, of NCBS.

"The main objective is to see how artists and scientists can use dance as a medium for exploring scientific ideas. We want to have this on a more regular and prolonged basis for effective scientific and artistic dialogue."

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