Barbara Angeline, NYU/Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
"Empowering Dancers: Adjusting Authoritarian Pedagogy in Dance Technique Class Without Losing Technique"
Most dance educators would agree that creativity, emotional expression and thinking skills should be nurtured through dance. Yet, when it comes to technique classes, we often slide into a “skill and drill” teaching strategy. Dance teachers who rely solely on authoritarian teaching methods communicate an unspoken lesson: “Good” dancers are silent, obedient dance practitioners. This lecture-demonstration will explore activities that cultivate critical thinking and communication in the context of a dance technique class. Educational theories will be practically applied to peer-driven exercises and creative methods that dance educators can use to amplify their students’ individual voices while enhancing technical skills.
Mair Culbreth, Ohio State University
“Autoethnography: Exploring Critical/Queer/Political/Feminist Theoretical Practices in Dance”
Autoethnographical research, writing and method connect the personal to the socio-cultural. With a critical theory framework and choreography as the data set; I employ a cultural-content-analysis of movement and concept, critical reflection through writing and a methodological challenge to “Other-ing”. Through the inquiry, I aim to question power dynamics through roles of choreographer-teacher-performer-collaborator. Engaging autoethnography throughout the choreographic process addresses multiplicity of identities in my role as researcher/artist providing a framework for the creative iterative process, revealing how we experience and re-experience identity. An investigation of the ways in which theory, practice and embodied methodology interact and inform each other provides insight, critical reflection and agency. Consideration of gender/hetero-normative values supports a platform for questions of embodiment, performance, identity and transgressive practices in dance.
Sarah Dahnke, NYU/ITP
"Everybody, Everybody! How technology can help choreographers create environments that break down barriers between the audience and performer"
“Interactive performance” has become a hot, marketable phrase in the dance world, as audiences gain shorter attention spans and more of our world is saturated with high-tech user experiences. But what is an interactive performance, and does interactivity necessarily make a performance better? How can choreographers use technology to their benefit to create more engaging performances? In this lecture/demonstration, dance artist Sarah Dahnke will discuss and demonstrate the various interactive performance tools she has created and discuss the importance of intentional technological integration. Sarah has created a variety of interactive dance projects that allow viewers to participate in a playful manner then “accidentally” end up transitioning from audience member to performer.
Annie Friedensen, NYU/Gallatin School of Individualized Study
"TranscenDance: Change, Continuity, and Cultural Politics of African Dance in the United States"
African dance has a history of resiliency throughout transitions in context and practice. This paper interrogates continuity in both form and function of African dance in the U.S. and shows how African dance pedagogy, with its focus on tradition, in combination with the symbolic power of Africa in the imaginary of practitioners, keeps the dance vibrant, relevant, and "authentic" throughout two historical transitions in the dance. I show how African dance pedagogy reflects the cultural politics of the social contexts in which it exists yet also allows for African dance’s coherence and consistency as a vital expressive force across contexts.
Kate Insolia, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne
“Dance and the Elimination of Racism”
In this lecture presentation we will look at the compelling need to seek anti-racist agendas in contemporary dance curricula. Dance has a keen ability to humanize and is an essential part of evaluating postmodern and postcolonial economies and cultures. By prioritizing the elimination of racism in dance curricula, it is my belief, dance artists and educators will be more effective in working together and realizing our dreams of utopia that our dancing, teaching, and choreography fights for everyday.
Young Sun Lee, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"Homer & Apple"
My creative process, in Homer and Apple, can be explained in terms of transition that involves transformation and translation. The piece was originated from a memory of a conversation with someone and a difficulty of communication among people. The idea was transformed and translated to a poem, a dance, a film, another body, and photos. The creative process can be likened to a liberal translation between mediums, and I to a translator. As I present the works, each audience becomes another translator of my works, and the audience’s translation may provide another creative resource for my later creation.
Adam McKinney, NYU/Gallatin School of Individualized Study
“Transitions: From Professional Dancer to Running My Own Company”
After dancing professionally for fifteen years with such companies as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bejart Ballet Lausanne, and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, McKinney shifts his focus to start his own arts organization - DNAWORKS. DNAWORKS is an arts and service organization committed to creating projects and programs about identity, culture, and heritage. He has since led community dance work in Canada, Ghana, Hungary, Israel, the U.S, and South Africa. In this multimedia presentation, McKinney reflects on his own personal transition from full-time performing dance artist to co-Director of his own arts organization.
Elliot Gordon Mercer, NYU/Tisch Department of Performance Studies
"Pedestrian Scrambles: Transitioning Simone Forti's Scramble (1970)"
Conference attendees are invited to watch and/or participate in the reinvention of Simone Forti's 1970 dance constructionScramble. Inspired by the process of learning to drive on the Los Angeles freeway system, Scramble explores transitions in pacing, intensity, and natural responses to unexpected contact while moving in a small area. The 2010 reinvention of this piece transitions Forti's score to the intersection of Broadway and Washington Place, where the dance will be performed during each of the intersection’s all-direction crosswalk signals over the course of one hour. Persons of all movement abilities are encouraged to participate. Participants may arrive and leave at any time.
Mara Penrose, Ohio State University
"Focused Mischief: Generating Movement through Impossible Scores"
A process of generating movement with creative Laban dance notation scores repurposes and challenges this system of movement description and preservation. I challenge the Laban system, which traditionally fixes only certain elements of determinate movement. I propose a recoupment of this comprehensive, and surprisingly open system through scores of impossible execution. Booklets of scores (circulated as part of the presentation) ask readers to return to their bodies in order to construct each dance and force a subjective, process-oriented approach to reading dance scores. In doing so, these scores affirm the inherent embodiment in the act of reading and the primacy of the qualitative.
Nicole 'Coco' Roberge, Elliot Gordon Mercer, NYU/Tisch Department of Performance Studies
"Transitions and Translations: Reinventing Site-Specific Performance"
This presentation analyses the practice of recreating and reconstructing site-specific performance from the 1960s and 70s. We have spent the past six months reinventing dance pieces by Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, Anna Halprin, Simone Forti, Allan Kaprow, and Yoko Ono. These reinventions explore translations from one body to another, one space and time to another, and one movement score to another. Transitioning these dances into contemporary contexts opens up new ways of engaging with dance history and performance theory. The performance spaces used for these reinventions are outdoor public sites around downtown Manhattan. These embodied tributes reinvigorate the ideas and ideals of experimental dance.
Ellen Rooney, Bowling Green State University, Department of Theater and Film
"Emotion Scaling: Transitions in the Praxis of Physical Acting Training and Dance"
Emotion Scales are basic acting exercises based on neuro-scientific principles. The lecture outlines principles from neuroscience and performance theory including classic 20th century emotion theories from James Lange, Walter Cannon, and Robert Plutick and performance theory from the basic emotions of the ancient textNatrasastra, to contemporary techniques such as Suzan Bloche “Alba Emotions” and Richard Schechner “Rasa boxes”. The demonstration performs examples of basic Scales via three modes of intensity, physicality, and vocal techniques. Basic performance skills of emotion are applicable to both dancing and acting training. Emotion affects performance memory, interpretations and meaning, physicality and style, and eventually, the transition to audience perception.
Candice Salyers, Texas Woman’s University
This solo uses slow movement to create an extended moment of transition that moves through and beyond limited, limiting, and static boundaries erected to contain the body. It explores ways in which the continually shifting terrain of female dancing bodies can provide a site and process for expanding limited perceptions of the body as both subject and object. Informed by Rosi Braidotti’s concept of “nomadic subjects,” this work stems from inquiry into how female performers are able to know ourselves and to offer ourselves to be known by an audience, not through objectified external characteristics, but through physical transitions and transformations.