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The Exhibition which transforms your mind, body and soul
Thinking with the Body at Wellcome Collection, from Wellcome Collection blog
After visiting "Thinking with the Body" at the Wellcome Collection your perception of dance and art is never going to be the same. This exhibition is thought provoking, engaging and worth visiting more than once.
I hadn't planned to visit "Thinking with the Body" exhibition at the Wellcome Collection. It just happened. I was taking a relaxing stroll from Angel towards Goodge Street and as I was passing Euston station I thought to step in to the Wellcome Collection to see what's on. The lady at the reception directed me to the 5th floor, which was hosting the exhibition "Thinking with the Body" about dance choreographer Wayne McGregor and his company Random Dance, who merge dance, art, technology, visual arts and science in the dance act. The exhibition is a multimedia mix with lots of videos, exercises engaging the visitors, pictures and displays helping to move into another dimension of understanding the body. It is a journey into interdisciplinary dance.
The exhibition starts at the lifts which take you to the main floor. There hangs a poster encouraging visitors to exercise before they get to the main part. One of the exercise instructions says to imagine a letter in 3D and try to start moving along its shape. It provokes your mind, imagination and creativity. It also sets your mind on what you are going to see. The exhibition contains different videos showing McGregor talking about his philosophy of dance and approach to choreography, McGregor practicing with the dancers, and also David Kirsch talking about science and dance. I am not the biggest fan of watching videos at exhibitions but these are engaging and interesting. While watching dancers you are curious about what's going to be their next movement. Most of the videos were shot during the run-up to the group's first performance 'Atomos' at Sadler's Wells.
One part of the exhibition presents choreographic thinking tools, a set of exercises helping to see reality in a different way and develop your thinking. There are different categories and one of them is entitled "Recontextualise", which means to place the objects in different environments than their usual ones. Again, it causes you to think outside the box and also to get to know yourself better.
When we think about dance we usually picture ourselves with friends in the night club or a "Dancing with the Stars" type of dance. If it is supposed to have more artistic dimension, we see traditional ballet. After visiting the exhibition you start thinking differently. For me, dance suddenly has appeared as a way of communication and expression of inner self. In the dancers trying to understand themselves and the choreographer I saw philosophers, thinkers and creators. The simplicity of their clothes helped to see only dance and movement, which is their own signature.