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(photo by Julie Lemberger)

Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects explores the human heart in immersive, interactive work on Governors Island (photo by Julie Lemberger)

Governors Island, Officers House #15
Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21, free with advance RSVP, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm. 2:30, 4:00, 5:30

New York City-based choreographer and filmmaker Jody Oberfelder takes twelve lucky people on a fascinating trip in and around the human heart in her wonderful new multimedia, interactive work, 4Chambers. The immersive, site-specific piece takes place inside Officers’ House #15 on Governors Island, where six dancers (Michele Jongeneel, Mary Madsen, Zachary Denison, Jake Szczypek, Joey Kipp, and Mercedes Searer) lead a dozen people through a series of rooms (Film Chamber, Physical Chamber, Synapse Chamber, Pulsing Chamber), each one examining a different aspect of the body’s central organ. Using film, movement, sound, visual art, and touch, Oberfelder investigates the many functions of the heart, from its core responsibility as a blood-pumping muscle to its romantic relationship with love. The sixty-minute piece also gets educational in an “Artery of Knowledge” section where text and video offer further insight. The show is beautifully paced, echoing the work done by the heart itself, going from a restful period to one filled with frantic activity as the dancers run around, bounce off walls, and fall to the ground. Be warned: You will be touched by the performers, both literally and figuratively, particularly in a pas-de-deux in which you can become as involved as you are comfortable with being. It’s amazing to consider that the same dancers are doing this five times a day, but that also reveals the vast capabilities of the heart. Admission is free, but advance RSVP is required; 4Chambers continues this Saturday and Sunday at 11:30, 1:00, 2:30, 4:00, and 5:30. (While you’re on Governors Island, be sure to also check out the always fun Figment art project, LMCC’s Terrerform ONE: Governors Hook Urbaneering exhibit, the charming Fête Paradiso: A Festival of Vintage Carousels and Carnival Rides, the New-York Historical Society’s “WWII & NYC: Photography and Propaganda,” and other special art shows, family-friendly activities, and live performances, most of which are free.)

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