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Symposium on The Contemporary Performance of Sex, Gender and Embodiment: 1-5 p.m., Sat, Feb. 18

Anne Dalke's picture

In connection with the world premiere performances of Fort Blossom Revisited 2000/2012 by John Jasperse Company February 24-26, Bryn Mawr College will host a Symposium on The Contemporary Performance of Sex, Gender and Embodiment on Saturday February 18, 2012 from 1-5pm in the Hepburn Teaching Theater, Goodhart Hall. Admission is free and open to all.

Fort Blossom (2000), choreographed and designed by Jasperse, is a 40-minute work in which the audience is invited to examine contemporary notions of how we experience the body as both owners and spectators. Simultaneously shocking and beautiful, it is being revisited and expanded into a 60-minute piece with lead support from Bryn Mawr College, funded by The Pew of Center for Arts & Heritage through Dance Advance. The slow, sustained angling and partnering of nude dancers in Fort Blossom present direct and un-commodified experiences of the body alone and in relationship. Jasperse wrote that the work "sought to dilute the transgressive impact of the body--to allow us to perceptually acknowledge the body in all its facets as simultaneously special, even miraculous, and ordinary.” To reflect on the questions raised by Fort Blossom, Bryn Mawr hosts this one day Symposium with presentations, panel discussions and video viewings.

Presenting scholars and artists:

Ann Cooper Albright, (B.A. Bryn Mawr ‘81, Ph.D. New York University), is professor of dance and theater at Oberlin College and author of Choreographing Difference: the Body and Identity in Contemporary Dance (1997); coeditor of Moving History/Dancing Cultures (2001) and Taken By Surprise: Improvisation in Dance and Mind (2003), all from Wesleyan University Press.

Mark Broomfield, (Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies, University of California, Riverside) is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently writing “Bill T. Jones, Desmond Richardson, and Ronald K. Brown Performing Masculinities On- and Offstage,” examining African American dancer-choreographers who negotiate the performance, perception, and representation of the black male dancing body.

Linda Caruso-Haviland  (Ed.D. Temple University) is Associate Professor at Bryn Mawr College and the founder and Director of the Dance Program. She performed in New York and with Hellmut Gottschild's ZeroMoving Company. Her research has included preserving the work of significant Philadelphia dance artists through oral histories and video documentation and her present writing focuses on the rise of a professional class of dancers in turn of the century Philadelphia and on the role of bodiedness in both historiography and the archive.

Gregory Holt (B.A. Swarthmore College, Linguistics) is a Philadelphia choreographer and dancer whose short dance films made with Austrian collaborator and fellow queer artist An Kaler have been shown in festivals around the world, including the Body Navigation Festival in St. Petersburg and the 100* Berlin festival. He has led workshops on queer and gender queer masculinity at the NASCO (North American Students of Cooperation) Institute.

John Jasperse is Artistic Director/Choreographer of John Jasperse Company. His work has been presented by major festivals and presenting organizations in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Japan, and throughout Europe and honored with prestigious awards including a New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award and three prizes in the Rencontres Internationales Chorégraphiques de Bagnolet.

RoseAnne Spradlin is a choreographer based in New York. New York Times dance critic Claudia La Rocco wrote that Spradlin “has forged a gritty career out of painful, thorny explorations of the female form, feminism and society’s expectations toward women. Her pieces aren’t easy to watch (or, I gather, to make)…but her involvement in her subject matter and the depth of feeling and force she and her dancers bring to the table stays with you. Even when her dancers have clothes on, they’re naked.”


Amophrast's picture

Speaking of Gender and Performance...

On the evening of the same day (Saturday, February 18th), Rainbow Alliance is hosting a drag and burlesque show to be performed by Philadelphia locals Liberty City Kings and ScrewSmart in Goodhart Music Room. Doors at 7:30, show at 8PM. This event is open to members of the tri-co plus guests.