January, 10-14, 2018

MELT—Deconstructing Perceptions

photo by Lyse Ishimwe photo by Lyse Ishimwe

MELT—Deconstructing Perceptions

with Thomas F. DeFrantz and Jaamil Olawale Kosoko

January 10 – January 14, 2018

WED THU FRI SAT SUN 10am – 12pm

Studio G05 at Abrons Arts Center


Sessions will work with approaches to undercutting the ‘blink' that forces us to judge each other at first sight. Some questions: How can we engage choreographic structures that resist determining who we think others are? Can we expand the notion (offer more context or framing) of the 'blink', the 'gaze', 'perception' of self in relation to others? Come ready to read, perceive, observe and witness.

Schedule Breakdown:
Wednesday January 10: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko 
Thursday January 11: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
Friday January 12: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko & Thomas F. DeFrantz co-teach
Saturday and Sunday, January 13 and 14: Thomas F. DeFrantz


Thomas F. DeFrantz received the 2017 Outstanding Research in Dance award from the Dance Studies Association.  He is Professor of African and African American Studies at Duke University, and director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications. Books: Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance (University of Wisconsin Press, 2002), Dancing Revelations Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture (Oxford University Press, 2004), Black Performance Theory, co-edited with Anita Gonzalez (Duke University Press, 2014), Choreography and Corporeality: Relay in Motion, co-edited with Philipa Rothfield (Palgrave, 2016). Creative: 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.

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko is a Nigerian-American curator, poet, and performance artist. He is a 2017 Princeton Arts Fellow, 2017 Jerome artists in residence with Abrons Arts Center, a 2017 APAP Leadership Fellow, a 2015 American Express Leadership Fellow, a 2012 Live Arts Brewery Fellow as part of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, a 2011 Fellow as part of the DeVos Institute of Art Management at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and a graduate of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) at Wesleyan University where he received his Masters Degree in Curatorial Studies.

Kosoko has created original roles in the performance works of visual artist Nick Cave, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Keely Garfield Dance, Miguel Gutierrez and The Powerful People, and Headlong Dance Theater among others. Kosoko’s poems, interviews, and essays can be found published in The American Poetry Review, Poems Against War, The Dunes Review, Silo, Detroit Research v2, Dance Journal (PHL), the Broad Street Review (PHL), Movement Research Performance Journal, and Movement Research Critical Correspondence (NYC). He continues to guest teach, speak, and lecture internationally. His performance work #negrophobia is currently touring throughout Europe and his newest work Séancers will have its World Premiere at Abrons Arts Center in NYC, Dec. 6-9, 2017.

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