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Dancing a construct of the mind.

October 11, 2010
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My Stroke of Insight, written by Jill Bolte Taylor, is about her experience of having a stroke. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist, whose book inspired a dance choreography remarkable for its fluidity and complexity. The performance is entitled, Orbo Novo the New World, and is created by notable dance designer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui with the Cedar Lake Ballet.

In the beginning of the piece, performers recite passages from the book. They describe how the stroke was experienced, and then relate how the brain is divided into two hemispheres. The right side focuses on present and immediate experience, creating a harmony with all experienced information, whereas the left distinguishes past and future, thus providing the individual with a personal temporal identity.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui uses this text to jumpstart a mesmerizing ballet that explores the duality between the internal and the external experience, and uses giant moveable lattice pieces to dynamically alter the stage architecture. The highly athletic movement utilizes a plethora of diverse techniques, wringing a sprawling twisting acrobatic style from the dancers who populate the work in a series of blended duets and flowing sequences.

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