Dramaturgical Ecologies, a Concordia-based multi-disciplinary group of artists and researchers interested in the ecologies of dramaturgical processes, invites you to attend the first event of the 5-part series, The ABCs of DE, in conversation with Seika Boye (University of Toronto) and Mélanie Demers (MAYDAY).
The series of five moderated events emerges from a desire to provoke conversations that are themselves movements between disciplines, concepts, scholars and practitioners, aiming to both generate and destabilize dialogue and reflection on black performance. The ABC's of DE addresses commonalities and/or tensions in and between the fields of dance dramaturgy and black performance studies. Focusing on how the concepts of ‘blackness’ and ‘dramaturgy’ (productively) rub up against one another, the conversations speak to how theories of blackness - and its fugitivity, opacity and expression - challenge performance dramaturgy’s implicit supposition that the performer’s body, and the resulting creative work, is a “neutral canvas” on which the dramaturgical process might unilaterally ascribe meaning.
Each event will highlight two primary “keywords”, placed in relationship and hopeful movement. This is less about asking our guests to engage with specific definitions but rather an invitation to generate movement between what the keywords evoke in their different practices and perspectives.
“Relationality” and “body-as-archive” are the keywords that anchor the conversation between Seika Boye's curatorial practice and research of black social dance in Canada, and Mélanie Demers’ experiences and creative strategies as a black woman choreographer of contemporary dance.
This first event will be moderated by Cadu Mello, Ph.D. student at Concordia University and research-assistant with Dramaturgical Ecologies.
Dramaturgical Ecologies is a three-year research-creation project, of which Angélique Willkie is principal investigator. Working at the intersection of dance dramaturgy and black performance studies, this project is supported by an interdisciplinary team of four Concordia and two affiliate artist-researcher assistants. The fundamental premise anchoring Dramaturgical Ecologies is that the body of the performer is not a blank canvas, but rather, a locus of personal, cultural and political signification. This interest is influenced by Angélique Willkie’s experiences as a Black, Jamaican-born and Canadian-based dance-artist and dramaturg with a 30-year career in European concert dance. Critically, the proposed series of events reflects a desire to provoke conversations that are themselves movements between disciplines, concepts, and individual scholars and practitioners, aiming to both generate and destabilize dialogue and reflection on black performance.