Dance of the Neurons


24 Dancers embody the birth of neurons. This work illustrates Oberfelder’s playful and inventive choreography for film. “Rube Goldberg Variations’ will similarly play with a science theme, bringing to light how things (and people) connect and fall apart.   Inspired by Rube Goldberg, the object artist, whose inventive contraptions and cartoons were a reaction to and product of the machine age–how things affect one another and what happens when things go awry. Physicist Ágnes Mócsy will serve as dramaturg collaborating the film. What do Rube’s Machines mean in the digital age? How can the pure physicality of dancers address physics as a metaphor for the creative and annihilating forces of the world? Timetable for “Rube Goldberg Variations” April 2020-June, December -December twice a week, with full cast of 4 dancers + Jody developing movment vocabulary. We fuse Bach’s Goldberg Variations, mathematical in structure with Frank London’s music sections. The piece begins as a contagion, with a trumpet blast setting us tumbling into space as dominos would fall, passing a shimmy, a twirl, a bounce, all accented by sound. The full cast in the film keeps the action going with all kinds of qualitative shifts, a marble rolling, a whack of a plank. This movement investigation harks back to Oberfelder’s earlier work, very raw and gymnastic. With this set of fine dancers: Emily Giovine, Maya Orchin, Mark Willis and Mei Yamanaka, we will create our own inventions that mostly work, but sometimes fail. Filming January 2020 at Paul Taylor Dane Studio in NYC (pro bono donation) February-May Editing and postproduction Funds will be used to pay 4 dancers and camera person/editor Ellen Maynard (Fleet) Editor/animator Eric Siegal (with whom Oberfelder collaborated for Dance of the Neurons, will provide additional pro bono editing. Bio I love making films; it makes our genre deeply accessible. Screendance takes the viewer deep inside an experience. It’s been five years since I’ve created a ‘big’ film. In the interim, I’ve made several self-portrait films and a few portraits of others. This intimate form, though not a large productions, allowed me to see tiny and pervasive movement stories in every environment and season, an breath with a temporal sense of humanity. I take joy in making forms that elucidate dynamics of human interplay. This next project, though with a small cast, will zone in how we as a tribe of dancers connect with and set off motional dizziness and calm. This new film will also be screened as part of a live performance, doubling the cast of live players. As a stand-alone film, Rube Goldberg Variations will take my art to then next level, capturing the inside workings of a physical universe with juicy, action driven dance. bio: Jody Oberfelder has created nine dance films: Dance of the Neurons, 4Chambers, Come Sit Stay, Head First, Duet, Chance Encounters, LineAge , Rapt, and Snew in addition to her extensive choreographic career as artistic director of Jody Oberfelder Projects (JOP). Her films have been shown in Womens Independent Film Festival (Hollywood CA Certificate of Merit) Indie Fest USA, Garden Grove, CA, Movies by Movers, Winston Salem NC , Light Assembly Video Art & Film Fest @ Art Basel Miami Beach, Dance on Camera Festival, Queens World Film Festival, (NYC) InShadow, VideodanceBA (Buenos Aires) InShadow (Lisbon) the SAN DIEGO/TIJUANA DANCEonFILM FESTIVAL, DTW’s Captured Series, Fear No Film Festival, (Utah Arts Festival), Green Bay Film Festival, Cape Fear Festival, NY No Limits Festival EDIT2008 4th International Dance Film Festival (Budapest), The Michael Fuchs Theatre at HBO, NAPOLI TEATRO FESTIVAL ITALIA”, Z-in-Motion (Helsinki,) Milano Doc Festival , Montage Video Dance Festival (South Africa) Visionfest Independent Film Festival Program, Festival Internacional de Videodanzal, ADF Dancing for the Camera, Dance Camera West, Moving Image Festival in Toronto. Come Sit Stay received a Diamond Award from the California 2011 Award Festival. Her film Duet was awarded a Dance Film Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Silver Award at the Dance on Camera Festival, and a Jurors Choice Award from the New York Film Expo. Oberfelder was recently honored in an evening of Experimental Films Virginia presented by Dance Films Association and the Taiwan Cultural Center. She, with co-director Eric Siegel, received two Emmys in Best Graphic Design and Best Directing for her work on ABC Nightline in Primetime: Brave New World. Oberfelder also creates live performances, theater, opera, installations and is the artistic director of Jody Oberfelder Projects


United States

Directed by:

Jody Oberfelder and Eric Siegel