The Slowest Wave/Butoh and The Brain

Vangeline Theater/ New York Butoh Institute announces a free public showing of The
Slowest Wave/Butoh and The Brain, the culmination of an art-science performance-research
study, on February 10, 2023 at 6pm at University of Houston, Student Center South Theater,
4455 University Dr #103/203, Houston, TX. For more information and to RSVP, visit
https://butohandthebrain.eventbrite.com.
This showing is being offered as part of a new study investigating the brain dynamics of dancers
while they are performing Butoh, a postmodern dance style that originated in Japan, through the
use of electroencephalography (EEG) to record the participants’ brain waves. The study is a
collaboration between the New York-based Vangeline Theater dance company, the Laboratory
for Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems, IUCRC BRAIN Center, The Rockefeller
University, and the Neurobiology of Social Communication Lab (funded by the City University
of New York, Rockefeller University and New York University).
In collaboration with neuroscientists Sadye Paez and Constantina Theofanopoulou,
neuroengineer Jose ‘Pepe’ Contreras-Vidal, and composer Ray Sweeten, Vangeline
choreographed a 60-minute ensemble Butoh piece, which is uniquely informed by the protocol
established for a scientific pilot study researching the impact of Butoh on brain activity during
Butoh dancing. For the groundbreaking art-science study, dancers' brain activity will be recorded
at the University of Houston, Texas, with real-time visualization of the dancers' neural activity.
Results will then be disseminated in scientific journals.
Vangeline and Sweeten have built on a 20-year history of creative collaboration with a
soundscape that is informed by techniques of brainwave entrainment (techniques that affect
consciousness through sound). The Slowest Wave investigates through the use of scalp EEG how
brain waves during Butoh dancing compare to those emitted during other conscious or
unconscious motor behaviors, such as speaking or meditating. Moreover, the study will
elucidate the functional neural networks of the dancers and the neural synchrony within and
between them. This project is meant to foster connections and understanding between dancers,
artists, scientists, engineers, and audiences from around the world.

Badie Khaleghian designed live processing visuals driven by EEG brain data of five dancers.

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