Current Schedule

photo of EarthBodyHOME by Robbie Sweeny 

September 2015

Friday, September 18, 2015
Dwinelle Annex 126, 5-7pm

Reify, Re/earth, Re/member: Choreographic process as historical research in a culture of selective memory (or in a culture of forgetting)

Amara Tabor-Smith will speak about the process of making her project EarthBodyHOME, which premieres the following weekend at ODC (Thurs. September 24 at 8pm, Fri September 25 at 8pm, and Sat. September 26 at 8pm). 

EarthBodyHOME is an evening length multi-media dance theater piece inspired by the life, work and legacy of Cuban artist Ana Mendieta (1948-1985). Born in Cuba, Ana Mendieta was well known for her enigmatic "Earth Body" works, inspired by the goddesses of Afro-Cuban Santería and Taíno mythologies. Bay Area choreographer Amara Tabor-Smith, in collaboration with co-director Dohee Lee, composer Jackeline Rago, video artist Eric Koziol, performer/collaborators Zoe Klein, Laura Larry Arrington, Xandra Ibarra, and lighting designer Jose Maria Francos, will present a ritual based performance, bringing myths to life by weaving together a dream-like allegory of exile, spiritual longing, patriarchy in the art world, and a spirits return to mother earth. In a discussion hosted in collaboration with the Contemporary Art Working Group we will explore how historical research can enter into the choreographic process.

Readings will be distributed by email. Please send us an email if you wish to join our list:

For tickets to the performances that take place at ODC on September 24, 25, and 26, please follow this link.

Friday, September 25, 2015
Dwinelle Annex 126, 5-6:30pm

Dissertation/article writing workshop

These meetings will offer ways to approach research, writing, and peer feedback. We invite people to participate. Please come to this meeting if you are interested in being part of this group.

October 2015

Friday, October 2, 2015
Durham Studio Theater, 5-7pm

Raised from the Ashes: Cinderella, Ratmansky, and Soviet Ballet

Guest Speaker: Carrie Gaiser Casey

Cinderella choreographed by Alexi Ratmansky is presented by Cal Performances at Zellerbach Hall October 1 to 4, 2015

The first Cinderella to Prokofiev’s score was made in 1945 in Soviet Russia in an ideologically charged atmosphere on the heels of the Great Patriotic War (WWII). Alexei Ratmansky’s 2002 Cinderella for the Mariinsky continues this choreographer’s multifaceted engagement with the Soviet ballet legacy. This presentation will examine how Ratmansky’s choreography in Cinderella shifted the meaning of this ballet in dance historical and political terms.

Carrie Gaiser Casey received her PhD in Performance Studies in 2009 from UC Berkeley with a dissertation on female ballet company directors in the early twentieth century. She is currently 2015-2016 Resident Scholar at San Francisco Ballet and a lecturer in the LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) program at St. Mary’s College. Prior to her academic career, Carrie danced professionally with the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet and was a full scholarship student at the Kirov Academy in Washington DC.

Readings will be distributed by email. Please send us an email if you wish to join our list:

Monday, October 5, 2015
Durham Theater, 5:30

Tuesday October 6, 2015
Dwinelle Annex 126, 12:00

Dance Video Screening and Grad Student Lunch with Argentinean video-dance maker and curator, Silvina Szperling

Silvina Szperling, a video-dance maker, curator, journalist and professor based in Argentina, will share her work with our community. There is a screening of video-dance hosted by the Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies department on October 5 in Durham Theater on the Berkeley campus. 

The following day DSWG will host a lunch for interested graduate students at noon on October 6. If you would like to attend this discussion with Silvina on October 6, please send an email to Space is limited.

November 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
BCNM Commons, 2:00-3:30pm

Does information have a body?
In collaboration with the New Media Working Group

We will read Stefano Harney and Fred Moten’s The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study and an excerpt of How we became posthuman by N. Katherine Hayles. We will be focusing the discussion on what these texts offer us for thinking methodologically about performance/ cultural analysis.

For The Undercommons we suggest reading chapters "1: Politics Surrounded" and "2: The University and the Undercommons" :

For the Hayles, we suggest the section entitled "Incorporating Practices and Embodied Knowledge," pages 199 to 221, which is available as a pdf if you send an email to

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
ARC 205, 12:00-1:00pm

Luncheon conversation with Mayra Bonardin collaboration with Performance in the Americas Working Group

Join us in welcoming Argentinean choreographer Mayra Bonard in her residency with TDPS and Joe Goode. If you are interested in attending please RSVP to

More details regarding Bonard's residency can be found here.

Bio: Mayra Bonard is a dancer, performer, choreographer, director and studied classical and contemporary dance, theatre, playwrighting, martial arts, music, photography and philosophy. She is a founding member of El Descueve, an independent, prestigious and influential collective group of dance theater makers in Buenos Aires. Their work has had a strong impact on contemporary dance internationally as well as experimental local theater. Her interest has always resided in creating original work rather than performing preexisting works. Her pieces are a stellar example of a true blending of dance and theater. The pieces mix elements of contemporary dance, music, dance, theatre, and performance art. Her work is sensual, at times, comic, but, also very transformative in its emotionalism.

Friday, November 13, 2015
Dwinelle Annex 126, 5:00-7:00pm

Trajal Harrell: Histories and Geographies

A conversation with Trajal Harrell, a dancer and choreographer who has been active in artist-led curatorial and educational initiatives. During the spring semester, Cal Performances will present Harrell's "The Ghost of Montpellier Meets the Samurai," and we are fortunate to have this Paris-based artist join us as he visits the campus in preparation for these performances.


Friday, December 4, 2015
Dwinelle Annex 126, 5:00-7:00pm

Dissertation/article writing workshop

During this meeting, we will discuss the current projects of  Karen Silen and Olive Mckeon. Karen will present part of a chapter on pre-13th-century dance theory and practice, and Olive will present on a draft of a current chapter on the political economy of Anna Halprin's Parades and Changes. Please send us an email at if you wish to join this group and/or share drafts of writing projects.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Center for New Music (55 Taylor Street), 7:30-9:30pm

in collaboration with FRESH Festival 

Archiving Embodiment

A panel of three artists from FRESH 
(Debby Kajiyama, José Navarrete, and Anna Martine Whitehead) will offer a discussion of the wider artistic and social context surrounding the festival through the embodied histories of these dancer/choreographers. The conversation will open questions about their trajectories, influences, and training with all of its ramifications. Drawing on the work of Diana Taylor, we approach a discussion of bay area dance history through the repertoire of living artists, challenging the dominance of tangible archives and foregrounding the significance of embodied practices.


Debby Kajiyama is a San Francisco Bay Area native, and has been performing there since 1994. She has performed with Dandelion Dancetheater, June Watanabe in Company, ZACCHO Dance Theater, the Dance Brigade, and Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble. Debby's interests lie in the intersection of performance, cultural studies, and social change. She is a member of TsukimiKai, an intergenerational group of primarily Japanese American artists, activists, and scholars. In 2005, she traveled with TsukimiKai to Cuba to share Obon Festival folk dances and music, and to conduct oral histories of the Japanese Diaspora in Cuba. In 2009, she was the recipient of a Djerassi Resident Artists Program residency and a Silicon Valley Community Foundation fellowship. In 2010, Debby is proud to have helped create the video “Fredi’s Fourth of July,” for Crosswater Media which tells the story of a Salvadoran immigrant family in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2013, she was the recipient of an Alliance for California Traditional Arts Apprenticeship to study tsuzumi and taiko with Hiroyuki "Jimi" Nakagawa. She is the recipient of the 2014 The Della Davidson Prize.

José Navarrete is a native of México City where he was first exposed to theater and dance, choreographing and performing in parks, hospitals, and children's parties as a clown and dancer. He studied dance at the National Institute of Fine Arts in México, and has a B.A. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and M.F.A in Dance from Mills College. He has studied dance with Sara Shelton Mann, Taiko with Hiroyuki Nakagawa and Argentine Tango with Nora Dinzelbacher. In 2004, José was the recipient of a Bessie Schönberg residency at The Yard, and a Djerassi residency. José is the recipient of a CHIME Mentorship with Jess Curtis, and a CHIME Across Borders fellowship with Ralph Lemon. Navarrete has taught dance and performance to youth and adults in Mexico, and in the San Francisco Bay Area at Berkeley High School, Marin Academy, Cal State East Bay, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He currently teaches youth in Eastside Arts Alliance’s Guerilla Performing Group.


Monday, February 8, 2016
Dwinelle Annex 126, Time TBD

Dr. Clare Croft, author of "Dancers as Diplomats"

Clare Croft is a dance theorist, dance historian, and dramaturg. She is the author of the recently published book, Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange (Oxford 2015), and is the editor/curator of the hybrid print/Web project, Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance, which is forthcoming from Oxford in 2017. Her writing has appeared in academic journals, including Theatre Journal and Dance Research Journal, and she has been a regular contributor to daily newspapers, including The Washington Post (2002-2005) and the Austin American-Statesman. Croft is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in the Department of Dance where she teaches in the BFA programs in Dance and in Interarts and in the MFA Dance program. She holds a PhD from the University of Texas-Austin.

Dancers as Diplomats (Oxford University Press, 2015) chronicles the role of dance and dancers in American cultural diplomacy. In the early decades of the Cold War and the twenty-first century, American dancers toured the globe on tours sponsored by the US State Department. These tours shaped and sometimes re-imagined ideas of the United States in unexpected, often sensational circumstances--pirouetting in Moscow as the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolded and dancing in Burma shortly before the country held its first democratic elections.

Based on more than seventy interviews with dancers who traveled on the tours from the early decades of the Cold War through the post 9/11 era, the book looks at a wide range of American dance companies, among them New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Urban Bush Women, ODC/Dance, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, and the Trey McIntyre Project, among others.

Friday, February 19, 2016
Bancroft Dance Studios 5:00-7:00pm

Rachel Carrico & Latanya D. Tigner, "Why Yo' Feet Hurt? Doing Dance Research at the New Orleans Second Line"

Rachel and Latanya will share research on the aesthetic, political, and social dimensions of second lining, an African diaspora dance form rooted in New Orleans's black parading traditions.

Rachel Carrico is the 2015-16 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies in/and the Humanities at Stanford University. She holds a Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California–Riverside and an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU. Carrico's scholarship on New Orleans's parading traditions has been published in TDR: The Drama Review, TBS: The Black Scholar (forthcoming), awarded the Society of Dance History Scholars' Selma Jeanne Cohen Award, and supported by multiple grants. Carrico is also a contributor to New Orleans's Data News Weekly and a consultant for the forthcoming documentary film, Buckumpin', on New Orleans vernacular dance. She parades annually with the Ice Divas Social and Pleasure Club.

Latanya d. Tigner has performed professionally with Dimensions Dance Theater since 1986, holds a B.A. in PE/Dance and a M.A. in Arts Administration, coordinates Dimensions’ Rites of Passage program for youth and directs Dimensions Extensions Performance Ensemble. Latanya is one of four choreographers commissioned for Dimensions’ Down the Congo Line; her New Orleans contribution to Down the Congo Line was selected to appear in the internationally acclaimed San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in June 2013. Latanya has also presented her work in Black Choreographer’s Festival 2005, 2012 and 2013.

Second liners dance alongside the Dumaine Street Gang Social Aid and Pleasure Club during their anniversary parade on December 1, 2013. Photo by Rachel Carrico

Wednesday, February 24
4-6pm, Dwinelle Annex 211

Dissertation/article writing workshop

Join us for our second writing group to discuss the work of  Heather Rastovac and Nina Galin. Materials will be sent out the week prior. If you are interested in attending or sharing your work at a future event please email

MARCH 2016

Friday, March 4, 2016
Dwinelle Annex 126, 5:00-7:00pm

Political Economy, Race, and Performance
Guest speaker: Eunsong Angela Kim
Co-sponsored with the Contemporary Art Working Group

For this session, we will read and discuss an essay by contemporary art historian Eunsong Angela Kim on the work of Santiago Sierra titled “Neoliberal Aesthetics: 250 cm Line Tattooed on 6 Paid People."

Friday, March 11, 2016
Bancroft Dance Studio, 5:00-7:00pm

How Matters: On Methods, Movement and Theory-Practice Experiments

This session features scholar-artists on the role of choreographic experimentation in respective writing projects, and how performance practice informs the methodological approaches to distinct research questions. Speakers focus on their own project strategies for dancing and writing as overlapping techniques of critical dance studies. While the “what” of individual projects varies widely, presenters share a mutual concern with “how” to engage bodily with scholarly discourse.Investigating these questions in the session takes two forms. In the first hour, invited presenters reflect on their own embodied research experiments within the scope of their independent writing projects. In the second hour, we delve more deeply into the “how-tos” of performance practice as research through a movement lab. Participating attendees can experiment with various techniques of physicalizing the thinking on core aspects of their own projects.


Adanna Kai Jones on the wine and CaribBEING blood memories, focusing on public intimacy and cross cultural translations in relation to race, gender, sexuality and (trans)nationality; recent PhD graduate in Critical Dance Studies, Univers
ity of California, Riverside.

Meiver De la Cruz on dance as diaspora, sex/sexuality, ethnicity, race and passing; PhD Candidate Performance Studies, Northwestern;

Cynthia Ling Lee on queering, postcolo
niality, transnational collaboration in contemporary South Asian danceAssistant Professor of Dance with cross-appointment in Women's and Gender Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro;

Hannah Schwadron on Gender, Jewishness, and Improvisation
Assistant Professor of Dance, Florida State University;

Melissa Hudson Bell on Contemporary Dance, Food, and Audience Engagement
Dance Lecturer, Santa Clara University

APRIL 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016
Dwinelle Annex, ARC conference room


Well Contested Sites
Reggie Daniels, Ivan Corado-Vega, and Amie Dowling will discuss their dance and film projects.

Screening of the dance/theater film, Well Contested Sites, which explores the issue of mass incarceration and the complexity of experiences faced by those who are incarcerated in prisons, followed by a discussion.

Well Contested Sites


Reggie Daniels is a collaborator and featured performer in the dance/films Well Contested Sites and Separate Sentences. Reggie was born in San Francisco and graduated from Riordan High School and San Francisco City College. He completed his master's degree in May 2014 at USF in the School of Management and is in his second year of the Doctoral Degree Program in Education at USF. He is a Manalive Facilitator and case manager at the San Bruno County Jail and a Community Works employee. After struggling with the criminal justice system for fifteen years, Reggie discovered Roads to Recovery, an in-custody substance abuse program. This was followed by a year-long peer advocacy program called Manalive, a violence prevention program for men to organize against violence in their homes and communities. He hopes his story of transformation from violent survivor to community advocate will empower others to find peace through artistic expression. Reggie has been honored with the Black History Month Local Heroes Award and highlighted on KQED; in July 2012, he received the In the Trenches “Change Agent” Award from Bayview Hunter’s Point Multipurpose Senior Services.

Ivan M. Corado-Vega was born in El Salvador in 1975. He and his family immigrated to the United States in 1980 in response to the escalating civil war. They moved to San Francisco’s Mission District to reunite with family members. Ivan developed a drinking problem that led him to multiple arrests, a DUI conviction and a violent offense conviction with a 9-month sentence in the San Francisco County Jail. While in custody, he participated in the Resolve to Stop the Violence Program (RSVP). With the support of the program staff he developed a willingness to change by looking at the impact of his violence on his victims, family, community and himself. He made the decision to stop his violence and take action to find his authentic self and create a fulfillment plan for change. Currently, Ivan is a manalive program facilitator and works for Five Keys Charter Schools & Program in the Reentry Pod in SF County Jail #2 as a case manager.

Amie Dowling creates dance and theater for the stage, for film and in community settings. For the past 15 years, her work has considered the politics and representation of mass incarceration. Drawn by the way dance film can strike metaphors about confinement, control, vitality and impermanence, over the past several years Amie has moved towards film as a medium. Her film Well Contested Sites, a collaboration with Bay Area artists, some of whom were previously incarcerated, won the 2013 International Screen film prize. The next film, A Separate Sentence, is currently in production. Currently Amie is the Chair of the Performing Arts and Social Justice Department at the University of San Francisco and Artist in Residence in San Quentin Prison, where she collaborates with the Artistic Ensemble, a group of 20 men, in creating original works of movement and theater. Recently, Amie has received funding for her work from Creative Work Fund, Theater Bay Area, Puffin Foundation, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Fonds Soziokultur, and the Jesuit Foundation. She is a recipient of a choreography fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Friday, April 22, 2016
Dwinelle Annex 126, 6:00-8:00pm

Hilary Bryan: Laban Movement Analysis as Methodology

Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) continues to play a prominent role in dance departments and syllabi across the nation. This talk brings doctoral candidate Hilary Bryan, who uses LMA in her research and teaching, into conversation with the working group about Laban’s history, relevance, applications, and uses in the 21st century.

Bryan is certified in Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) by the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, New York. In 2007-08 she was artist in residence at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville Texas, creating four new choreographies and teaching choreography, somatics, modern dance, video dance, and LMA. She has also taught dance and LMA at University of California Davis, California State University East Bay, University of San Francisco, Moscow Institute of Therapeutic Arts, Russian Association of Dance Movement Therapy, TSEKH International Center for Dance and Performance (Moscow), Kiev National University of Culture and Art, La Manufacture Centre Chorégraphique Vendetta Mathea (Aurillac, France), and in the Integrated Movement Studies LMA certification programs, working closely with Peggy Hackney and Janice Meaden. Bryan adjudicated the International Competition of Contemporary Choreographers (Kiev, 2007) and is currently a doctoral candidate at UC Davis.

MAY 2016

Friday, May 13, 2016

Durham Theater, UC Berkeley

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3 Experimental Lecture Performances:

Lucy Lee Yim (Portland!):
The (Off)Pitch of a Bruise (a perpetually in progress affair)

Brianna Skellie & Chani Bockwinkel:
MFuckingA / Beiber

Dorian Gay:
Dorian Gay at UC Berkeley
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Blurring the line between scholarship and art practice, these lectures incorporate and veer from the conventions of academic presentations. They narrow the gap between the speaking about dance and the performing of dance, engaging us simultaneously as audience members and intellectual interlocutors.

Admission is your non-monetary donation to the FREE BAR & BOUTIQUE where everyone eats, drinks, and shops for free!

Suggested items: houseplants, herbs, erotica, shorts, lipstick, back massagers, soap, chocolate, loquats, dried fruit, sparkling water, nice pens.

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