Curationism: As with my other artistic and academic interests, my chief preoccupation as a curator centers on storytelling. I focus exclusively on contemporary works, and locate my practice in postcolonialist approaches to the field. Although I collaborate with a variety of transdisciplinary artists and performers working with a broad range of content, my own identity as a queer man fuels my interest in bringing other marginalized voices to the center in gallery and performance spaces.
Dancetheatre: I am developing a theoretical model to enhance my own artistic practice in making dancetheatre. It is my expectation that this model will also serve as a lens for scholarly examinations of historical works of dance theatre. Currently, I am examining the place of performative ritual and narrative in Africanist concert dance art as these choreographic elements evolved in the United States during the last century. Specifically, I am looking at the evolution of liminal (threshold) ritual and its relevance in the works of Katherine Dunham, Alvin Ailey, and Bill T. Jones; how that relates to narrative/storytelling, and the impact it has on marginalized communities (as audience or artist) during performance.
Embodied Research: This is an examination of physical research in the studio that may address choreographic, improvisation, and other dance training practices. I am interested in a) how we develop theoretical constructs and conduct movement-based research, b) how we apply or utilize our findings in teaching or artistic contexts, and c) how we adapt spoken or written language that conveys an approximation of the kinetic information discerned via these practices and investigations.
Interdisciplinary Collaboration: I am investigating ways of working across artistic platforms and methods of artmaking. This research has two basic foci: a) examination of historically significant collaborations between movement, visual, and sound-based artists, and b) contemporary collaboration with other artists in my own practice-led research/creative work.
My book, Introduction to Modern Dance Techniques (Princeton Book Company, 13 October 2011), is an examination of the development of modernist dance training practices from the early modern era through the late 1950s. It can be read as a comparative examination of nine modernist/early postmodernist training methodologies and bodies of choreography (Cunningham, Dunham, Graham, Hawkins, Horton, Humphrey, Limón, Nikolais/Louis, and Taylor). Tracing a departure from ballet in the late 1880s, I place the development of these systematic approaches to modernist dance preparation in anthro-historical/socio-cultural context. Just as I look at the ideation of each choreographer, I also consider politics, race, gender and economic concerns affecting training along the modernist timeline. The book includes practical studio materials illustrating various aspects of each training methodology. In addition to English, the text is also available in French and Italian translations.
Comments about Introduction to Modern Dance Techniques
“Well researched. Useful for students in understanding roots/influences of contemporary dance.”
Nada Diachenko, Co-Director, Department of Theatre and Dance,
University of Colorado, Boulder
“Informative, especially for beginning students.”
Nina Martin, Assistant Professor, Texas Christian University
“Much needed concepts in one volume for next generation teachers.”
Susan Kirchner, Chairperson, Dance Department, Towson University
“I believe every public school dance teacher should have a copy in her classroom.”
Pamela Sofras, Chair, Department of Dance, University of North Carolina, Charlotte