What the Body Knows: Connecting Cells to Choreography


The Olio will be led by two teachers from the New School, Sasha Portyannikova, a visiting Fulbright Scholar from Russia, whose research focuses on body awareness and interventions in public spaces, and Think Olio teacher, Beau Rhee, an internationally exhibiting artist, designer, and choreographer.

This night will be made up of multiple exercises paired with conversations around theories of movement and the body. Each speaker will be taking a bit of a different angle and incorporating their own research and experiences.


Beau Rhee:

Body-Space. We exist in the world through our bodies, and our bodies exist supported by our environment / space. In this Olio, we will examine the body as both an active site and a membrane that absorbs and emanates socio-political meaning, as well as biological and ecological matter. Looking to philosophers, choreographers, biologists, and scientists, a web of ideas will give us a conceptual basis to understand what body-space means in our time today. 

Sasha Portyannikova:

Scientists, who study the digestive system have realized that the microbiome of guts influences our mental states, epigenetics shows that lifestyle choices and habits influence the work of our DNA, discovery of the fascia has shown that body meridians from traditional Chinese medicine really exist, and the discovery of mirror neurons helps explain how shamans could heal the bodies of their tribe members.

Our body operates at the cellular level in much more complex ways than we could have imagined and shouldn't be considered in the traditional sense of separated systems. The further physiologists investigate the human body the more they realize how deeply systems of organs connect rather than separate. Perception and experience of the body from the first person position is crucial and demanding and this is what we are going to explore.




Location: Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

The Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore boasts an elegant venue for our Friday night residency.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month



Other upcoming Olios


Jan 24

Living Room Salon | Tough Poetry in Dark Times

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jan 31

The Dangerous Pleasure of Art

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

Feb 1

Feb 2

OlioHouse | Our Stories, Our Bodies: Rape Culture in American History

Taught by Jamie Warren
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 6

Olio Seminar | Space, Time, & Work: Understanding Labor

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

Sign Up - $75

Feb 9

OlioHouse | The Love Symposium

Taught by Skye Cleary
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 15

A Good Friend is Hard to Find: Philosophy and Friendship

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 21

Living Room Salon | Music and Environmentalism

Taught by Kristy Barbacane
7 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Feb 22

The Circular Road: Art and the Religious Imagination

Taught by Michael Prettyman
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 25

What Would Buffy Do? Radical Feminism and the Slayer

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Neuehouse Madison Sq.

Sign Up - $20

Feb 28

Into the Mystic: Music & the Moving Image

Taught by Whitney George
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

May 17

Rethinking Refugee Trauma and Mental Health

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $20


Find out when we launch new classes!