RADICAL DEMOCRACY series – a few more lectures left!! (2/23-2/27)

FUNKY CHARISMA AND PROPHETS OF FUNK, a lecture with Kate Speer ’08

When: Monday, 2/23 at 10:30AM

Where: Lang Music 204

A PERsentation that presents an inside reading of David Dorfman’s PROPHETS OF FUNK, revealing how the work positions Funk composer and musician Sly Stewart as a charismatic prophet and transfers that charisma to the audience. By using the rhythms of Funk, Dorfman and the cast draw upon Pentecostal practices of testifying and transcendence, which are modes of receiving God on a personal level. Additionally, the work suggests that if charisma can be caught, like catching the spirit in Pentecostal worship, then there is the possibility for the audience to leave the theatre with their own charisma. Thus, this dance serves as an example for activists and artists alike that charisma is a potent and palatable method to shift their audience’s perspective so that it is in line with their message and to potentially ignite social change.

Kate Speer ’08 says of herself: “I am a dance artist who relishes a good beat that sends my sweaty, exhausted body into motion, who choreographs huge landscapes that crescendo into mountains and dissolve into streams, and who writes in order to open my mind to the body’s subtle, hidden meanings. Within the discipline of dance, I identify as a scholartist, a term that evokes a synthesis of choreography, performance, and scholarship. As a choreographer, I live at the intersection of social activism and artistic production by merging theatrical storytelling with athletic, momentum-based movement in order to engage the audience’s visceral and emotional capacities.”

Plus

BETWEEN APATHY AND ACTION, a lecture/discussion with Kate Speer ’08

When: Tuesday, 2/24 2:40 p.m.

Where: Lang Music 407

For this lecture in the RADICAL DEMOCRACY AND HUMANISM residency, Kate Speer ’08 will address how David Dorfman Dance uses dance as political activism. Since its formation in 1985, David Dorfman Dance has become one of the leading American modern dance companies known for politically relevant and community based works. By analyzing the choreographies of Disavowal (2008) and underground (2006) through the lens of activist art and protest theories, Dorfman’s work reveals a set of beliefs that are distinctly American, including democracy, individualism, and activism. Additionally, his works strive to encourage the audience to begin dialoguing, effectively employing democracy within the concert stage environment. Consequently, David Dorfman’s work aims to create active American citizens who are more critical of their actions in the world, perhaps even inspired to act after leaving the theater.

Kate Speer says of herself:”I am a dance artist who relishes a good beat that sends my sweaty, exhausted body into motion, who choreographs huge landscapes that crescendo into mountains and dissolve into streams, and who writes in order to open my mind to the body’s subtle, hidden meanings.
Within the discipline of dance, I identify as a scholartist, a term that evokes a synthesis of choreography, performance, and scholarship. As a choreographer, I live at the intersection of social activism and artistic production by merging theatrical storytelling with athletic, momentum-based movement in order to engage the audience’s visceral and emotional capacities.” http://www.katespeerdance.org/about.html

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