FREE (bookings essential)

Join us for a conversation with Thomas DeFrantz and Philipa Rothfield DANCING BLACK - SOCIAL AND POLITICAL GESTURES followed by the launch of their new book: CHOREOGRAPHY AND CORPOREALITY: RELAY IN MOTION 

Date: Saturday, 16 December
Time: 6-8pm
Where: Dancehouse, SKYLAB

BOOK NOW (free but bookings essential)
Limited seats available - priority for Dancehouse members


_IN CONVERSATION - Thomas DeFrantz & Philipa Rothfield

Thomas DeFrantz and Philipa Rothfield, long time collaborators and friends, will discuss the aesthetics and politics of black dance in DeFrantz' work. DeFrantz is able to tease out the many forms of black social dance, their role within the black community, their ability to create a richer cultural present, while moving towards an Afrofuture. He has developed a notion of corporeal orature, as a way of looking at black dancing, opening up its queer potential to displace the limitations of gender and sexuality. DeFrantz also writes on black performance. He has written a prize-winning book on Alvin Ailey, as well as edited a number of collections on black performance. In this casual discussion, DeFrantz and Rothfield will canvass notions of black dance in the US and African diaspora, while thinking through its relevance and example for other kinds of setting, such as here in Australia. We will invite our audience to participate in thinking through these issues for an Australian context, which has its own specific makeup, history and culture, and its own colonial history which may offer the notion of blackness a different though related set of concerns.


BOOK LAUNCH - In partnership with University of Melbourne
Edited by Dr. Philipa Rothfield & Dr. Thomas deFrantz

This book renews thinking about the moving body by drawing on dance practice and performance from across the world. Eighteen internationally recognised scholars show how dance can challenge our thoughts and feelings about our own and other cultures, our emotions and prejudices, and our sense of public and private space. In so doing, they offer a multi-layered response to ideas of affect and emotion, culture and politics, and ultimately, the place of dance and art itself within society.


The book can be purchased at the book launch.


Thomas DeFrantz is a leader in the field of black dance in the US. He is a dancer, in tap and multi-media forms of performance, director of Slippage, Performance, Culture, Technology, and professor of African and African-American, feminist studies and dance at Duke University, USA. He has performed on the proscenium arch stage, in museum spaces, in university classrooms and in living rooms, mixing up performance, with a queer refashioning of thought towards a better future. His writings span the breadth of black dance, social dance, concert performance, local and diasporic dance, seeking ways to affirm and enhance the lives of the black community.  He convenes the Black Performance Theory working group. In 2013, working with Takiyah Nur Amin, he founded the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance, a growing consortium of 200 researchers, and in 2015 acted as Dance Curator for the National Black Arts Festival, 2015. His performance work includes Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts; Monk's Mood: A Performance Meditation on the Life and Music of Thelonious Monk, performed in Botswana, France, South Africa, and New York City; fastDANCEpast, created for the Detroit Institute for the Arts and reperformed at the Crystal Bridges Museum November 2016;reVerse-gesture-reVIEW commissioned by the Nasher Museum in response to the work of Kara Walker, January, 2017. He has just received the 2017 Outstanding Research in Dance award from the Dance Studies Association.

Philipa Rothfield is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy program, La Trobe University. She is a dance reviewer for RealTime arts magazine and Momm magazine, Korea. She is co-convenor of the Choreography and Corporeality working group, International Federation of Theatre Research. She has been dancing on and off for some decades. As a philosopher, she writes on French philosophy, political philosophy, feminism and postmodernism, specialising in philosophy of the body. She is currently writing a book on dance and philosophy. She has published on dance in relation to Merleau-Ponty, Whitehead, Nietzsche, Klossowski and Ravaisson. She is Dancehouse's Creative Advisor.


Photo courtesy of Thomas DeFrantz