dance

The Mirror Has Six Billion Faces

Multimedia Dance Theater Performance, at the Performática Festival, Peubla, Mexico, 2009, and at the Redfield Theater, University of Nevada Reno, 2009.



The Mirror Has Six Billion Faces was a collaboration with Kristin Heavey, Artistic Director of Element Dance Theater, and the dancers Cari Cunningham and Rick Southerland. It was inspired by the article How the Mind Works: Revelations, by Israel Rosenfield and Edward Ziff, published in the New York Review of Books. The article discussed mirror neurons:

“The importance of body image and motor activity for perception, physical movement, and thought is suggested by the recent discovery of ‘mirror neurons’ by Giacomo Rizzolatti and his colleagues. They observed that the neurons that fired when a monkey grasped an object also fired when the monkey watched a scientist grasp the same object. The monkey apparently understood the action of the experimenter because the activity within its brain was similar when the monkey was observing the experimenter and when the monkey was grasping the object. What was surprising was that the same neurons that produced ‘motor actions,’ i.e., actions involving muscular movement, were active when the monkey was perceiving those actions performed by others.”


mirror-6-billion-tiles


In the performance, the two dancers mirrored and refracted each others’ movements. A large video projection both showed prior footage of the dancers’ bodies, their symmetry tweaked by interlacing the image with its own flipped reflection, and live footage of the dancers, interlaced so that at times the two bodies seemed to inhabit each other.