DSWG was established in 2004 and became a Townsend Center Working Group in 2005. We include practicing artists, undergraduate and graduate students, writers, critics, theorists, and Bay Area community members. The group is currently led by Olive Blackburn, Randi Evans and Bélgica L. del Río.
Our activities engage with practice, theory, performance, and pedagogy by hosting discussions, readings, showings of works-in-process, and maintaining a digital presence through our website and Facebook page. DSWG meets twice per month and sustains ongoing dialogue through blog posts and social media. Our meetings on the UC Berkeley campus have become vital events for scholars who are invested in questions concerning dance, embodiment, and choreography, and have fostered cross-campus conversations with students and faculty from Stanford, UC Davis, UCLA, and UC Santa Cruz.
After a decade of growth and establishment, we are looking to forward to developing more in-depth interdisciplinary activities. We are making a special commitment during the 2015-2106 academic year to focus on a theme of negotiating borders, particularly borders that develop between the Global South and other regions of the world, borders that are constructed between scholarship and art practice, and borders between academia and communities outside of university structures. These three sub-themes offer opportunities to examine how our research is in conversation with scholars and performers from a range of disciplines and how it activates questions about dance's relevance beyond the concert stage.
Connected to this theme, we are establishing collaborations with other Townsend Center Working Groups as well as Bay Area performance group SALTA, a feminist collective that brings together activist, scholarly, and artistic projects.