Danceworkbook, a series produced by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, documents the creative practice of living and working with dance.
“What if the ballerina could own up to her own monstrous identity?” —Susan Foster
In the third iteration of danceworkbook, Susan Foster! Susan Foster! Three Performed Lectures, Dr. Linda Caruso Haviland introduces three performed lectures by Dr. Susan Leigh Foster, presented at the Live Arts Studio in Philadelphia in 2011.
When Foster performs her lectures, she hurls herself around the auditorium, climbs over seats, attacks the podium. She explores the dancing body and the nature of movement by performing the topic she lectures about. After all, how can you truly communicate about the nature of performance without performing?
In her introduction to the danceworkbook, “Reading the Bodily Writing of Dance,” Dr. Linda Caruso Haviland writes, “The notion or act of ‘performing’ a ‘lecture’ already violates a rather neat dichotomy—isn’t a lecture generally somewhat bodily constrained so that nothing detracts from the value of the spoken text? Contrarily, Foster’s ‘performed lectures’ kick huge holes through this divide: they are clearly more than lectures in which gestures simply exceed an acceptable quota in number or propriety, but neither do they function as full dance works that integrate text as a primary choreographic element. These are lectures, first and foremost, with all the complex content and trajectory of a ‘normal’ academic lecture, but delivered by a bodied speaker who refuses to hold still, who is neither hemmed in by academic etiquette nor careful to avoid the inevitable, everyday human gesture that could distract from the all-important delivery of the sacrosanct text and its self-contained meaning.”
In the first iteration of the Center’s danceworkbook series, Philadelphia’s Headlong Dance Theater examines artistic process in collaboration with choreographer Tere O’Connor.
The Mississippi Blues Project featured eight exceptional blues musicians who made their regional debuts, all of whom were selected for their contributions to the genre and its continuing evolution as a vibrant folk art form.
Viji Rao developed three distinctive works to expand her artistic roots in South Indian dance, based on incarnations of the Hindu goddess Devi.
Peter Saul (b. 1934 in San Francisco) is a painter best known for his lush, satirical, Pop-Surrealist cartoon style, described by The New York Times as “an artist’s artist.”
As a presenting arts organization, the Painted Bride offers a wide range of work in music, dance, spoken word, and theater.
EgoPo Classic Theater transforms classic theater and literature into provocative performances, placing equal emphasis on text, vocals, and movement. Its
Rainey has performed with companies such as Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, and he was a soloist with Pennsylvania Ballet from 1999–2006.
In conjunction with the recent Center-funded retrospective, Trisha Brown: In the New Body, we invited author and art critic Douglas Crimp and MoMA PS1’s Peter Eleey to reflect on Brown’s influential choreographic practice.
Pennsylvania Ballet presented the American premiere of Mauro Bigonzetti’s Kazimir’s Colors, inspired by the Russian avant-garde painter Kazimir Malevich.
This free event includes film excerpts of Romeo Castellucci’s theater works, and a discussion with scholar and critic Tom Sellar about Castellucci’s approach.
As part of Bryn Mawr College’s ongoing retrospective, Trisha Brown: In the New Body, the Pennsylvania Ballet performs Brown’s O zlozony/O composite, becoming the first US ballet company to perform Brown’s choreography.
Dance and choreographer Megan Bridge co-directs < fidget >, a platform for her collaborative work with composer, designer, and musicologist Peter Price.