Jody Oberfelder Projects

The Brain Piece

New York Live Arts Theater
Jun 28 at 7:30 pm Jun 29-Jul 1 at 7 pm & 9 pm
Students $25 General $35
Opening night benefit $200
Choreographer and dancer Jody Oberfelder, creator of 4Chambers, a dance about the human heart, is now taking on the brain. The Brain Piece, presented June 28-July 1, at New York Live Arts, is part installation and part proscenium performance, designed to allow audiences to have an intimate experience with their own minds and bodies. Only 72 audience members at a time are invited, yielding a personalized and engaging experience.

Performed by Oberfelder with Mary Madsen, Pierre Guilbault, and Hannah Wendel, and 10 dancer docents, The Brain Piece evokes tangible and interactive experiences, where dance, music, visual art, film, and words enliven the inner life of the brain through overlapping perceptual domains. With set design by Juergen Riehm (with Penelope Phy and Tine Kindermann), lighting design by Kate Bashore, and film by Eric Siegel and Oberfelder, her new work invites the audience to be part of an immersive cerebral and sensorial installation, leading spectators through various spaces, each dedicated to one aspect of the brain.

Entering the intellectual and sensorial world of The Brain Piece, the audience has access to a heightened subjective experience of the brain. The piece celebrates the brain’s neuroplasticity, the ability to form connections. “My new work illuminates the “dance” that continuously takes place in our minds,” states Oberfelder. “By watching and participating in the piece, the audience will experience their brains moving, dancing, working and playing, and understand dance as a language that goes directly to the brain.”

Oberfelder and Siegel created the short film Dance of the Neurons, presented as part of the performance, by consulting with Ed Lein, a neuroscientist at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. Neuroscientists Dr. Weiji Ma and Cecilia Fontanesi consulted on the project as well. The music for the piece was written by the composers and sound designers Daniel Wohl, Sean Hagerty, Missy Mazzoli, Andy Akiho, Almeda Beynon, and Angelica Negron. Our dramaturg is Jessica Applebaum.

PLEASE NOTE: Part One is experience based and involves moving through spaces. If you require wheelchair accessibility, or have other considerations, please contact the New York Live Arts staff at (212) 691-6500 or We recommend sensible attire and traveling light.