First Meeting! Oct. 7, 2014

The Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies


Thomas F. DeFrantztommy-defrantz

Duke University Professor of Dance and African & African American Studies

Visiting Scholar in Theatre and Performance Studies at Stanford University

For Professor DeFrantz’s biography, please click here.

Talk: “Choreographing Alienation:  Dancing the Museum”

This talk explores the phenomenological distancing created by dance performances in the context of 21st-century museums as practiced by hired performers working for celebrity choreographers. The essay considers movement from modern to postmodern, contemporary, relational, and live art articulations of dance practice, and the embodied assumptions that surround each of these chronologically-based namings of dance. The essay considers the ‘high status’ of museum culture and the ‘trading up’ that encourages choreographers to work in the rarefied sites of museums, even as the ethical dimensions of hiring performers to work in these spaces goes under-critiqued.  Performances created by Deborah Hay, Tino Seghal, Merce Cunningham company, and Marina Abromovic are considered along axes of race, class, and location. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

5:00-7:00pm (Talk, Discussion, Dinner)

Memorial Auditorium, Room 125, Stanford University. To see a map and figure out directions, click here.

Free parking available on Memorial Drive

Note: This event is free, but please register by emailing Joanna Dee Das at

The Stanford Colloquium in Dance Studies is sponsored by the “Mellon Dance Studies in/and the Humanities” initiative and is generously funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Header image courtesy of Katherine Dunham Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


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