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Synesthesia inspires Chocolate Heads performance

The Chocolate Heads, a group of Stanford student dancers, musicians, and visual and spoken-word artists, will be joining jazz bassist William Parker in a performance tonight at the Bing Concert Hall on the Stanford campus. The band brings performers together from different dance traditions to collaboratively create a multi-genre performance around a unifying theme. The theme for this upcoming performance is 'synesthesia.' As explained in a Stanford Report article:

For the performance, they are using the neurological condition known as synesthesia, where the senses are conjoined or mixed, to explore how spoken word can be dance and how movement can be music.

"The concept of the show is based on synesthesia and the human experience. You can expect to traverse through multiple worlds, including African dance, athletic football movement and pedestrian ballet," said student dancer Ben Cohn, referencing just a few of the numerous events the group will present in their upcoming performance.

The fulfillment of the concept is realized when the members of the movement band are able to immerse themselves in every sense of the dance and music experience. Second-year medical student and Heads dancer Bonnie Chien provides a synesthesia example: "In the pedestrian ballet piece, I try to maintain as much tension, focus and gaze through multiple sensory engagement, including the visual, tactile and auditory senses."

The Chocolate Heads with special guest William Parker will be performing at 8:00 p.m. at the Bing Concert Hall. It is sold out but the box office will be giving away any unclaimed tickets at 7:45 before the show.

You can see the movement band in action in a TedxStanford video from last August.

Photo by Toni Gauthier

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