the brain piece


The Brain Piece is a choreographed experience, a union of movement, film, neuroscience and sound, giving audiences an interactive and intuitive opportunity to engage with their minds in motion.

The Brain Piece premiered at New York Live Arts June 28th toJuly 1, 2017, has been performed at Dance Space in Washington, DC, NoD in Prague, Czech Republic and The Gallus Theater in Frankfurt, Germany. It will next be performed at the International Nanotechnology Summit in Braga, Portugal on October 16th, 2018. See us on their calendar here.


Dance of the Neurons has been selected for, Oklahoma Dance Film Festival, In/Motion Chicago's Dance Film Festival and Madeira Film Festival! 

The Brain Piece illuminates the “dance” that continuously takes place in our minds. The project creates tangible and interactive experiences. Dance, music, film, and words enliven the inner life of the brain through overlapping perceptual domains. Oberfelder wants the audience to experience dance as a language that goes directly to the brain. Part One, cerebral and sensorial, provides an immersive installation (Mind Matters/Head Space) leading into Part Two (World of the Brain), a performance in the theater.

Directed, written and choreographed by Jody Oberfelder, collaborators include three dancers: Mary Madsen, Pierre Guilbault, Hannah Wendel, and 24 dancer/docents, film co-director Eric Siegel, neuroscientist Dr. Weiji Ma, Cecilia Fontanesi, Ed Lein from The Allen Institute for Brain Research, composers Daniel Wohl, Sean Hagerty (New Music USA Grant recipients) Missy Mazzoli and Angelica Negron. Our dramaturg is Jessica Applebaum, lighting designer is Kate Bashore, and our stage manager is Anna McDunn.

Recent Performances

Gallus Theater
October 8th ,9th  2016
Frankfurt Germany
NOD Experimental Theater Festival  
October 15th, 2016
Prague, Czech Republic

Film Screenings
In the award winning “Dance of the Neurons”, co-directed by Jody and Eric Siegel, 24 dancers embody through movement metaphors: the birth of neurons, cell family formation, synapses, and neural pathways. Oberfelder consulted with Ed Lein from the Allen Institute for Brain Research, and Gary Marcus to evolve vocabulary. The musical score by Daniel Wohl, and funded by New Music USA, and used with permission of Schirmer Publishing. See the Dance of the Neurons trailer

Best Shorts Award of Recognition 2016  

First Prize
Brainwash  Drive-In/Bike-In/Walk-In Movie Festival July 22-30, 2016
Second Prize
Braga Festival Video Braga, Portugal April 2016  
Bryn Mawr Silver Screen Festival

Other Screenings 
Oakland Short, Short Film Festival  September 9, 2016
Cannes Short Film Festival September 14 – 17, 2016
Sila Festival, Magisano Calabria 2016
International Film Awards Berlin (ifab)  September 20-22, 2016
Indywood & All Lights India International Film Festival September 24-27, 2016
Northwest Screendance Exposition, Eugene, Oregon, October 11, 2016
San Francisco Dance Film Festival October 20-23, 2016  
Stonefair International Film Festival Nov 2016
Zed Fest Film Festival Nov. 1-3 2016  
Festival International de Film de Pau Nov. 2-6
Cape May Film Festival Nov. 11-13 2016
Cuacalorus Film Festival Nov. 9-13, 2016
Viten Filmfestival, Bergen, Norway November 11-13
Long Legs Short FilmsDCTVDance Films Association June 16 2015
Imagine Science Film Festival, The New School, October18, 2016
New York No LimitsThe Wild Project November 13 2015
FRAME: The London Dance Film Festival June 9-12 2016
Julien Dubuque International Film Festival April 21-24 2016
15th Annual Dance Camera West Dance Media Film Festival June 11th,16th,19th 2016, 
Sunderland Short Film Festival UK  June 30 - July 3
ADF (American Dance Festival) Movies for Movers July 7-10, 2016
Dance on Camera FestivalFeb 12 – 16 , 2016 Dance Films Association, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Philadelphia Screendance Festival  Feb. 16-20, 2016
Kinofilm, Manchester International Short Film & Animation Festival  February, 22nd -­ 28th2016
Fargo Film Festival March 15-29,  2016 Fargo, North Dakota
Worlding the Brain Symposium, Amsterdam, Netherlands March 17-20, 2016