I feel so incredibly lucky to be entering into a new year long process through the Studio Series residency program at New York Live Arts. Mark your calendars!
February 1 & 2, 2013
For more information and tickets, click here.
Come to this event I’m organizing through CLASS CLASS CLASS!!
There’s nothing neutral about bodies.
Sunday, April 3rd / 5-7 pm @ Brazil / 1182 Flushing / Brooklyn, NY / L to Jefferson Ave
In this discussion/workshop/group performance experience we will try to shed the idea of “neutral” within our moving/feeling/thinking/visible bodies. As performers, dancers, and people, we know what it is to look and be looked at, and to feel our own moving bodies; those experiences are sometimes painful, ecstatic, vulnerable, spiritual, boring, hot, frustrating and so on – but always transcend the performative state of “neutral”.
What does the dancing community mean when we say things like “find/remain/or return to neutral”? Perhaps it’s something to do with stability, presence, quiet, stillness, readiness, or just standing in parallel while looking forward. But what if (and more often) we don’t feel or connect to this sense of being “neutral”? What the hell would a “neutral body” look like and why would we seek such a thing? How does that relate to age, race, gender, ethnicity, ability, and sexuality, as well as numerous/endless cultural factors?
Instead let’s start here:
How we perceive, feel and move through this world is highly personal, political and anything but neutral. Rather than seek an impossible sense of neutrality within ourselves, let’s meet our bodies/minds wherever they’re at in any given moment. Let’s locate and move specificities within our unexpected bodies. Let’s talk body politics, and then bring it back to our real bodies/lived experience. Let’s dance together, watch each other and make something specific.
I hope that this event will inspire multiple kinds of questions about post-modern neutrality & dancing bodies. I invite you to add your experience, perspective, & questions to the mix.
About the format:
Jumping off of the idea that movement & group action/performance are rich forms of communication – equally as valid as verbal discourse, I hope there’s nothing neutral about bodies will open up new ways to envision “panels” & “discussions” about dance. Come prepared to talk, watch, listen & move.
L train to the Jefferson Stop, exit at the rear of the station. turn left out of the station, & make first left on Flushing. 1182 will be the red building on your left. BRAZIL is on the second floor
Lezlie Frye is a yogi, activist, performance artist, poet and scholar based in Brooklyn, NY. She was a company member of GIMP, a NY-based interdisciplinary dance project and a former member of SINS Invalid, San Francisco–based artist’s collective exploring dis/abled sexuality. In conjunction with yoga, movement work and performance, she leads workshops and teach-ins around the country. Frye is currently a doctoral student in the American Studies Program, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, at New York University. Her work explores embodiment and citizenship, with a critical focus on race, dis/ability, gender, and social justice.
Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, HeJin Jang is a multi-city based choreographer, performer, teacher, video artist and writer. American Dance Festival Faculty (Durham, ’09-10),SIWIC ensemble dancer (Switzerland. ’09), Movement Research Artist-In-Residency (New York, ’10-present), Recipient of NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artist (New York, ’10-present), Recipent of DanceWeb Fellowship (Vienna, ’11)www.hejinjangdance.com
niall moved to brooklyn from richmond, the birth place, and is constantly re-establishing a sense of a shifting self meandering through shifting spaces. niall has been surrounded by immeasurably impactive women for some time, arousing an expansive, non-static understanding of (queer) maleness and the performative complexities of gender. niall’s hair is growing and inside this act of growth resumes a quest for an ancient fable, hidden and unspoken. a link to revelation, the real and the fictive.
iele paloumpis is a trans/queer dance artist, choreographer & teacher. As an educator of 8 years, they have taught classes in movement improvisation and composition, as well as dance theory and critique. At the center of iele’s practice are ideas exploring body politics and artistic self-empowerment.
Marýa Wethers has been working as a dancer/performer and cultural worker in NYC for over 13 years. She has an ongoing interest in exploring issues around identity in her work as both a curator and performer. She curated the Out of Space @ BRIC Studio series for Danspace Project from 2003-2007, with a particular focus on work representing the perspectives and experiences of artists who are of color, queer, and/or female. She wrote the article “UnCHARTed Legacies: women of color in post-modern dance” for the 25th Anniversary Movement Research Performanace Journal (issue #27/28).Marýa is speaking with Daria Faïn on a Movement Research Studies Project panel about dancers who commission choreographers on May 18 at 7pm.
Last night I went to Movement Research at the Judson Church (as I do most Mondays) and was genuinely moved for the first time in quite sometime. Since MR showings at Judson are works in progress, not up for review – I must admit I feel a bit funny writing about what comes out of those performances. But at the same time, these showings are also meant to create a kind of dialog among the dance community, so why shouldn’t that conversation extend here? That’s my intention anyway.
It was the opening piece of the evening, Marya Wether’s (w)hole [ideas in process] , that sparked a call to move in me. I’m not just talking about emotionally “feeling moved” (although, it did that too). What I mean is to fucking MOVE! in the political and bodily sense of the word. As in a call to action to the folks at Movement Research and the dance community at large – it’s time to wake up and move our collective asses beyond a predominantly white lens.
There’s been a lot of talk about the need for racial diversity in MR programming ever since the overarching whitewash of performers in the fall 2010 festival TRULY MADLY DEEPLY. In fact, my partner, niv Acosta, wrote a letter to MR addressing the festival’s lack of racial diversity, but it’s still rather unclear as to what specific actions MR intends to take in order to ensure racial diversity in the future.
Thankfully last night, however, Marya Wether’s clearly focused our attention back to this very lack, simply by setting up her own row of chairs and flipping the perspective so to speak. In those chairs, Marya cast all people of color to sit and return the audience’s gaze as she danced throughout the space. Midway through the piece, the performers changed their seating arrangement by dragging their chairs downstage and turning their backs toward the audience. Thus, much of the audience’s view was obstructed as the bright Elena Gormley (who can’t be more than 9 years old) took Marya Wether’s place front & center to dance Blackbird – a piece choreographed by young Gormley herself. It was so powerful to witness this group of performers create, shift, and take back their own sense of space. I felt humbled and hopeful as I watched the performers see and be seen, and in short, declare subjecthood.
As the evening continued, a list of white choreographers followed, with casts of white performers filling Judson as usual. I looked around at the predominantly white audience (myself included), and Marya’s point was quite clear –
There is a big gaping ( )hole in the dance community that aligns itself with Movement Research, more blatantly – people of color are vastly underrepresented in this community. We have an immense need for the multiple perspectives of people of color to be frequently seen and heard. We will not be whole until we recognize this and make some substantial shifts.