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Choreography of the Moving Cell – Roundtable Discussion

Over the past year the Moving Cell Collaborative has been developing a working version of a “Cellular Catastrophe Arena” in which movement artists can safely recreate the environment found at the microscopic level of the cell. At this roundtable, collaborative participants present an interim report on the progress of the project that includes video by documentary film-maker Robert Hammel. Other participants include Carl Flink, professor of Dance at the University of Minnesota and artistic director of Black Label Movement, David Odde, professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, John Bohannon, who writes the regular feature “The Gonzo Scientist” for Science Magazine and initiated the Dance Your Ph.D. Contest, and award-winning dancer Eddie Oroyan.

This talk is also available as an audio download (.mp3 – 39.1 MB) and a video podcast (.m4v – 205.4 MB)

Catastrophic changes are constantly occurring inside the body, even at the subcellular level of self-assembled rods known as microtubules. Even as molecules violently collide, microtubules still form, but then ultimately collapse. The rise and fall of microtubules is essential to move chromosomes and to sustain a growing neuron. The Moving Cell project combines cell biology and dance, allowing catastrophe to be reenacted on a larger scale using real bodies in place of molecules and microtubules.

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