Colaboratoria performance combines dance and science

The audience at the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall was part of more than just a dance performance Tuesday night – they were part of an experiment.

The graduate student and faculty dance concert presented Colaboratoria, an exposé on collaborations that occur in dance: between dancers, music, choreographers and science.

Students from Kinesiology 426: Choreography and Kinesiology 643: Dance Performance Analysis teamed up to present a program of entertaining dance routines that also measured psychophysiological data.

Some performers were asked to wear LifeShirts, ambulatory equipment that monitored the physiological and psychological responses of dancers, during rehearsals as well as before, during and after the performance.

Artistic director Paula Thomson said CSUN is one of the few places in the world that is researching this data, specifically looking at how stress levels affect performance and how performers feel when they are on stage.

“We found out that most performers, we do opera singers as well as dancers, are very happy on stage. In fact they’re more anxious before, in the wings, and in rehearsals,” Thomson said.

The program was presented in two acts including ensemble pieces and duos to a variety of music styles.

Vinita Ganesh, 21, CSUN kinesiology major, with a dance emphasis, and performer in the program has been a dancer for 16 years.

“[Dance] lets me express everything I have dwelling inside. It lets me express it…and do art with my body,” Ganesh said.

Since she was not wearing a LifeShirt, Ganesh explained what being on stage feels like.

“It feels like a rush. It’s like you want to laugh and cry at the same time, and you’re that happy, it’s like that for me,” Ganesh said.