TED Talk Thursdays – Pilobolus Perform “Symbiosis”

According to TED.com: For those of you not familiar with TED Talks here is a brief summery of them from www.ted.com:

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

I’ve been focusing the last few weeks on TED Talks on creative arts themes. Last week we looked at the new street dance forms growing around the globe, TED Talk Thursdays – The LXD: In the Internet age, dance evolves, and today I’d like to introduce you to, one of my favorite groups, Pilobolus. According to TED:

Pilobolus began as an experiment among three guys and one puzzled professor in a Dartmouth dance class back in 1970. It was survival of the giddiest, as the three non-dancers goofed around with the material they’d been given — themselves — and got entangled in science-inspired poses (think: “soft-belly protoplasmic thing”) and movements. From these humble, biological beginnings has emerged an innovative, unlikely and almost-uncategorizable dance company that combines athleticism, grace and humor with a profound sense of unity.

There really aren’t words to describe what Pilobolus does, except to say it is creativity itself. I hope you enjoy this performance.

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I look forward to your thoughts and comments!

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TED Talks Thursday – Bobby McFerrin Hacks Your Brain with Music

According to TED.com: For those of you not familiar with TED Talks here is a brief summery of them from www.ted.com:

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

For the next few weeks I want to concentrate on talks that focus on the creative arts, music, dance, etc. In today’s Talk, one of the Best of the Web series at TED (http://www.ted.com/talks/bobby_mcferrin_hacks_your_brain_with_music.html), in a 3-min performance from the World Science Festival, musician Bobby McFerrin uses the pentatonic scale to reveal one surprising result of the way our brains are wired. Having been a music teacher earlier in my life, I remember being taught that all children, in all cultures show this interesting phenomena, of using the notes of pentatonic scale in their first songs. (For those of you unfamiliar with the pentatonic scale, think of a scale made up of only 5 notes and those notes being the same as the black keys on a piano). To demonstate, remember being a child and teasing a friend by chanting  something like “Johnny’s got a girl friend.” Do you hear a tune that you would have sung that to? Most of you will and it will be made up of the notes of the pentatonic scale. We all seem to be hard wired with this scale. I have no idea why, but find it fascinating.

Remember as you watch this that this was happening at the World Science Festival. The audience were not musicians, but they all seemed naturally to be able to follow Bobby in creating a tune based on the pentatonic scale.

Fascinating, isn’t it? Makes you wonder in what other ways we are hard wired for the creative arts.

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I look forward to your thoughts and comments!

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