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Watch Science in Motion as Dancers Don Brain Caps in Original Performance

Measuring the Brain through Art and Dance Jan. 19 and 20

By Laurie Fickman 713-743-8454

At first glance it seems a typically beautiful dance performance featuring the fusion of original music, and immersive projection design. But unlike anything you might expect, it also blends cutting edge neuro-engineering as dancers wear brain caps with computer interface technology that will project their brain movements onto a screen showing the level of inter-brain synchrony and other aspects of brain function.  

Off to the side, Jose Contreras-Vidal, a University of Houston engineer, and the team he leads a the UH BRAIN Center, measure electrical activity in the performers’ brains as they move in sync, perform intricate partnering, and execute complex choreography. 

 A mesmerizing display of science in motion, as the front dancer wears a brain cap and has her brain waves measured by University of Houston BRAIN engineers. Photo from the Live Wire Performance 2023. Courtesy: Lynn Lane. 

It's an elegant approach to observing the creative brain in a dynamic state. 

“This is the world premiere of a unique research collaboration at the intersection of dance, music and neuro-engineering,” said Contreras-Vidal, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the NSF IUCRC BRAIN Center. “We have also been invited to present this performance at a United Nations world meeting ‘AI for Good’ in Geneva, Switzerland in May 2024.” 

The performance, called Meeting of the Minds, is a collaboration between Musiqa and NobleMotion, known for their innovative collaborations, and Contreras-Vidal. The evening will feature music by Anthony Brandt, Badie Khaleghian, Marcus Maroney, and Karim Al-Zand and choreography by Andy and Dionne Noble. The group previously collaborated on LiveWire (Jan. 2022) which was wildly successful in Houston and reprised at the 2022 International Workshop on the Neural and Social Bases of Creative Movement at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Virginia. 

What: World premiere of Meeting of the Minds, an innovative collaboration between scientists, musicians and dancers who will wear EEG skull caps (brain caps), while performing new works. 

Who: Musiqa, NobleMotion Dance, Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal, director of the BRAIN Center at the University of Houston and professor of electrical and computer engineering 

When: Friday, Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m. Buy tickets here 

Where: Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH), 3400 Main Street, Houston TX 77002 

Details: Learn more about Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal here   
Learn more about the BRAIN Center here 

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