[PhiladelphiaDANCE.org Listserv] Press Release: The Black Magic of Living at Swarthmore College

Jeanette Honig jhonig1 at swarthmore.edu
Wed Jan 17 13:22:23 EST 2018


*Press Release: The Black Magic of Living at Swarthmore College*


Swarthmore, P.A. - January 12, 2018 - The William J. Cooper Foundation with
the Department of Music and Dance at Swarthmore College present artist-scholars
Thomas DeFrantz and Ni’Ja Whitson in a two-week series of dance
performances, master classes, and public conversations in response to the
poetry of Jean Toomer and Marlon Riggs at Swarthmore College.

The residency will include a presentation of DeFrantz’s dance work CANE, a
presentation of Whitson’s A Meditation on Tongues, master classes in
contemporary dance vocabularies, and discussions with the campus community
around historical and futuristic renderings of black contemporary
performance. CANE and Meditation examine the complex and endangered
terrains of black American life through history. Each work uses its own
mediated performance device as a tool of magical narrative rendering—visual
technology in the case of CANE, bodily ritual in the case of Meditation.

DeFrantz, professor and chair of African & African-American Studies at Duke
University, directs SLIPPAGE, a dance company that explores new technology
in live performance settings. Having taught courses about subjects from
dance to race in colleges across the country, DeFrantz combines his
interests in CANE, a piece based on Toomer’s novel that discusses Black
life in the U.S from colonial times to the Harlem Renaissance. CANE
utilizes visual technology and influences from ballet, modern, and African
dance to portray a non-linear view of Black American life through history.
Whitson, an interdisciplinary performer and writer who specializes in
indigenous African ritual and resistance forms, often portrays the
intersections of gender, sexuality, spirituality, and race through their
performances. A Meditation on Tongues retells Marlon Riggs’ Tongues Untied
– a film about Black and gay male identities during the HIV/AIDS pandemic –
through strenuous choreography emphasizing the physical and emotional labor
of being Black and queer in the U.S. The performance is a duet between
Whitson and another Black, gender non-conforming dancer, and moves through
multiple spaces in the LPAC.

For more information about the schedule of workshops, discussions, and
performances, visit https://www.swarthmore.edu/cooper-series/current-season.
All events are free and open to the public.

The William J. Cooper Foundation provides a varied program of lectures,
performances and exhibitions which enriches the academic work of Swarthmore
College. The Foundation was established by William J. Cooper who specified
that the income from his gift should be used "in bringing to the college
eminent citizens of this and other countries who are leaders in
statesmanship, education, the arts, sciences, learned professions and
business." Planning for next season is currently underway.

Thomas DeFrantz public conversation

Friday, Feb. 2, 5 p.m.

Lang Performing Arts Center, Cinema

CANE performance

Friday, Feb. 2, 8 p.m.

Lang Performing Arts Center, Frear Ensemble Theater

CANE performance

Saturday, Feb. 3, 8 p.m.

Lang Performing Arts Center, Frear Ensemble Theater

Public conversation between DeFrantz and Whitson

Sunday, Feb. 4, noon

Lang Performing Arts Center, Troy Dance Studio

Master class with Ni’Ja Whitson

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 4:30 p.m.

Lang Performing Arts Center, Troy Dance Studio

Master class with Ni’Ja Whitson

Thursday, Feb. 8, 4:30 p.m.

Lang Performing Arts Center, Troy Dance Studio

Ni’Ja Whitson public conversation

Friday, Feb. 9, 5 p.m.

Lang Performing Arts Center, Cinema

A Meditation on Tongues performance

Friday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m.

Lang Performing Arts Center, Frear Ensemble Theater

A Meditation on Tongues performance

Saturday, Feb. 10, 8 p.m.

Lang Performing Arts Center, Frear Ensemble Theater


-- 
Jenny Honig
Manager of Concert Programming, Production, and Publicity
Department of Music and Dance
Swarthmore College
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA  19081
610.957.6159 (Phone)
610.328.8551 (Fax)
jhonig1 at swarthmore.edu
Campus Address: Lang Music Building #405


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