Something in the Way You Move

A Scientific Dance Evening (With a Fun Experiment)

Join us for an exciting evening of science and dance on May 25th, when the Institute hosts two talks on dance and the brain by University of Glasgow (UK) professor Dr. Emily Cross and Luisa Sancho Escanero, Designated Artistic Director at the Dance Company Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern, and an experimental performance by the Italian dancer and choreographer Vincenzo Minervini from Kassel Staatstheater. Audience members will be invited to take part in a small experiment about the perception of dance.

The evening will be moderated by MPIEA researcher Dr Julia F Christensen, co-author of Dancing is the Best Medicine (Greystone Books 2021; published by Rowohlt as Tanzen ist die beste Medizin), together with the internationally renowned pianist and new Director of the Institute’s Department of Cognitive Neuropsychology, Prof. Dr. Fredrik Ullén.

The event will take place May 25, at 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt’s Westend neighborhood and will be streamed live via Zoom. Please join us by:

  • Registering for the on-site event per e-mail:
  • Registering for the livestreamed Zoom event with this link.

Speakers and Hosts

Emily Cross

Emily S. Cross is a cognitive and social neuroscientist who directs the Social Brain in Action research laboratory, based jointly at the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development at Western Sydney University in Australia.

Luisa Sancho Escanero

Luisa has had international dance career, working with important contemporary choreographers. She is the artistic director of the dance company at Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern, as of summer 2022. She holds a Master in Theater Sciences and currently intending to pursue a PhD in Dance Sciences.

Vincenzo Minervini

The Italian Vincenzo Minervini completed his dance training at the "Scuola del Balletto di Toscana" and danced in the Junior Company of the school choreographies by Eugenio Scigliano, Arianna Benedetti and Fabrizio Monteverde. From 2019 until 2021 he was a member of TANZLIN.Z at Landestheater Linz and joined the Kassel ensemble in the season 2021/2022.

Julia F. Christensen

Julia is a former dancer and now psychologist/neuroscientist studying how dance expertise affects emotional sensitivity. She is the co-author of Dancing is the Best Medicine (Greystone Books 2021; published by Rowohlt as Tanzen ist die beste Medizin).

Fredrik Ullén

As new Director of the Institute’s Department of Cognitive Neuropsychology, the primary objective of Fredrik’s research concerns the neural mechanisms underlying the acquisition of musical skills and creativity. Fredrik is also an internationally acclaimed concert pianist. His discography currently includes 25 titles, including a recording of the complete piano works of György Ligeti and a recent complete recording of Sorabji’s "Transcendental Studies", one of the largest cycles written for solo piano.

Important Information

Please note: For infection control measures, all participants on site must wear a mask (medical /FFP2).

Something in the Way You Move will be held in English. Participation is free of charge. On the day of the event, participation in the experiment is entirely voluntary. During the first 20 minutes of the evening, Vincenzo Minervini will dance several short sequences and audience members will be asked to answer some questions about the performance. A QR code will be provided and audience members can access the questions online via their own smart phones. If needed, tablets can also be provided by the MPIEA for the event. No dance experience required. Just have fun!


The Zoom livestreamed event will be recorded and made available to the public on the MPIEA’s Vimeo and Youtube channels. Please note the Data Protection Information Regarding Zoom Webinars.

Please note that the event at the Institute (Grüneburgweg 14, 60320 Frankfurt) and its audience will also be documented via photo and video/audio recording. These photos recordings will be used by the MPI for Empirical Aesthetics for the documentation and communication of its work. / Bitte beachten Sie, dass die Veranstaltung im Grüneburgweg 14, 60320 Frankfurt und ihr Publikum fotografisch und per Video/Ton aufgezeichnet werden. Diese Aufzeichnungen werden vom MPI für empirische Ästhetik gespeichert und zur Dokumentation und Kommunikation seiner Arbeit verwendet.