danceworkbook: Susan Foster! Susan Foster! Three Performed Lectures

Susan Foster. Photo from the “Susan Foster! Susan Foster! Three Performed Lectures” danceworkbook, courtesy of Jorge Cousineau.

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?

1/2: Susan Foster. Photo from the “Susan Foster! Susan Foster! Three Performed Lectures” danceworkbook, courtesy of Jorge Cousineau.
2/2: Susan Foster. Photo from the “Susan Foster! Susan Foster! Three Performed Lectures” danceworkbook, courtesy of Jorge Cousineau.

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.”

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Grants & Grantees

Wyck—a house, garden, and farm in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia—served as the ancestral home to a Quaker Philadelphia family for over nine generations.

Directing My Dancers/Directing Myself allowed Nichole Canuso to reevaluate her choreographic practice, mentoring under U.K.-based dancer Wendy Houstoun.

The University of Pennsylvania Libraries, in collaboration with the Wharton Esherick Museum and the Architectural Archives at the University of Pennsylvania, presented the first major examination of Esherick’s work and artistic development in over 50 years.

Ain Gordon presents recordings from the Historical Society’s Fryer collection and discusses his upcoming play.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Ralph Lemon, Artistic Director of Cross Performance, is a dancer, choreographer, writer, and visual artist dedicated to cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary work.

LIVE REMIX is a three-part event guest curated by Tom Sellar, including a discussion with director Ivo van Hove, part of a series of programming related to the Center-funded performance of Ivo van Hove’s work After the Rehearsal/Persona.

Grants & Grantees

Mufulu Kingambo Gilonda is a dance artist and a 2004 Pew Fellow in folk and traditional arts.

Grants & Grantees

David Brick is a dance artist, a founder of Headlong Dance Theater, and a 2006 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

In 2005 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 66 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

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Grants & Grantees

Established in 2004, Jazz Bridge is a hybrid nonprofit organization joining performance presentation with professional support services for regional jazz and blues artists.

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is pleased to share our new project grant application guidelines for the 2015 grant cycle.