Mind, body and dance performance lecture in London

Matthias Sperling - Now That We Know. Artwork - Victoria Ford. Image - Wellcome Trust Images
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London-based, Canadian-born choreographer and performer Matthias Sperling returns to Sadler’s Wells with Now That We Knowa performance lecture exploring a future relationship between mind and body, on Thursday 1 & Friday 2 November in the Lilian Baylis Studio.

Originally presented at Sadler’s Wells in 2016, Now That We Know continues Sperling’s exploration into a hypothetical future in which science has discovered precisely how our bodies give rise to our minds, and considers how dance and choreography could be expanded by this new understanding.

The show is accompanied by the Institute of Neurochoreography – First Open Congress, a playfully conceived symposium where artists and academics build on the themes explored in Now That We Know, on Friday 2 November at 2.30pm in the Lilian Baylis Studio.

Guest speakers including cognitive scientist Guido Orgs, artist and performance maker Choy Ka Fai, choreographer Colette Sadler, among others, envisage the first ‘official’ gathering for the fictional institute that Sperling imagines in the show.

Sperling’s artistic research is invested in close interactions with both contemporary visual arts and the brain sciences, and seeks to explore how changes in our conceptions of what we are affect what we can do.

Reflecting this back into his choreographic research, Sperling explores how changes in the cultural understanding of the limits and capacities of a body can expand the limits and capacities of choreography.

Born in Toronto in 1974, Sperling studied with the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre and went on to study philosophy at university in Canada before coming to the UK to complete his dance training with Transitions Dance Company at Laban.

He went on to dance with UK companies including Sadler’s Wells Associate Artists and Resident Companies, Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance and Matthew Bourne’s Adventures In Motion Pictures, before pursuing his own choreographic work. He was a Sadler’s Wells Summer University Artist from 2010-2014.

His works include performances in theatres, galleries and museums and include video works and exchanges that take place in public spaces and online.

His work has been presented at leading arts venues and dance festivals including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, Dance Umbrella, Nottdance in the UK, and in 15 other countries worldwide.

Sperling often collaborates with leading dance and visual artists, including Siobhan Davies, by whom he was most recently commissioned to create the solo Loop Atlas, presented in galleries including Barbican Curve, Tramway, Whitworth and Bluecoat.

He has also worked with artists Pablo Bronstein, Carlos Motta and Sadler’s Wells New Wave Associate Hetain Patel, and composers including Scanner and George Benjamin.

Now That We Know is supported by Arts Council England, Siobhan Davies Dance and Dance4. The symposium is also supported by Midlands3Cities.