Title

Genus Miscere: The Discovery of Skin

Presenter Information

Katie Conrad

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Genus Miscere: The Discovery of Skin uses the framework of interracial pairing within dance to study the ideologies of race and the history of racial categorization. Tsiambwom Akuchu and I will use Contact Improvisation to embody the processes early scientists used to create a taxonomy of race. Contact Improvisation, founded in 1972 by Steve Paxton, attempted to create a non-hierarchical dance form based on a platform of equality that invited all humans to participate. This partner based dance is informed through constant yet shifting touch between bodies. This shared point of contact is achieved through physical touch, shared weight, and momentum. Together we will use Contact Improvisation as a platform to study the application of interracial touch before, during, and post slavery as well as into the 20th and 21st century. We will translate these "instances of touch," into movement. Part of our research into touch investigates the discredited theories of the early 18th century scientist, Carl Linnaeus, who believed races could be biologically distinguished based on measurements of the skull. To physically explore Linnaeus' research on race, Akuchu and I will use tactile investigation to discover every surface of our own and each other's skulls. The performance piece generated by this research will be performed in front of an audience at the Colby FRINGE Festival this upcoming April. Akuchu and I are curious about what questions are provoked for our audiences as they witness our two bodies moving together in this duet while navigating different social, cultural, and personal perspectives.

Category

Visual and Performing Arts (including Creative Writing)

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Apr 17th, 4:20 PM Apr 17th, 4:40 PM

Genus Miscere: The Discovery of Skin

UC 333

Genus Miscere: The Discovery of Skin uses the framework of interracial pairing within dance to study the ideologies of race and the history of racial categorization. Tsiambwom Akuchu and I will use Contact Improvisation to embody the processes early scientists used to create a taxonomy of race. Contact Improvisation, founded in 1972 by Steve Paxton, attempted to create a non-hierarchical dance form based on a platform of equality that invited all humans to participate. This partner based dance is informed through constant yet shifting touch between bodies. This shared point of contact is achieved through physical touch, shared weight, and momentum. Together we will use Contact Improvisation as a platform to study the application of interracial touch before, during, and post slavery as well as into the 20th and 21st century. We will translate these "instances of touch," into movement. Part of our research into touch investigates the discredited theories of the early 18th century scientist, Carl Linnaeus, who believed races could be biologically distinguished based on measurements of the skull. To physically explore Linnaeus' research on race, Akuchu and I will use tactile investigation to discover every surface of our own and each other's skulls. The performance piece generated by this research will be performed in front of an audience at the Colby FRINGE Festival this upcoming April. Akuchu and I are curious about what questions are provoked for our audiences as they witness our two bodies moving together in this duet while navigating different social, cultural, and personal perspectives.