PERMISSION TO DANCE – QUEERNIQUE with Shannon Stewart
PERMISSION TO DANCE or REAL DANCE CLASS FOR FAKE DANCERS or QUEERNIQUE is just a dance class–with a warm up, some exercises and even a little bit of choreography. It celebrates the ritual of coming together to be in our bodies learning things. It takes inspiration from queer theory and feminism to make sense of the practices we do or can do. PTD is a warm-up for understanding how knowledge is processed and living in our bodies. We use it to open up a nonlinear communication practice between thoughts/movement but also to queer and reclaim the rituals that are familiar to us within the context of a dance class.
WHAT DOES THIS BODY MAKE? with Shannon Stewart
How do we conceive of self and body? What scripts are at work? What role does our perception play? How does gender and identity perform itself at the perceptual level? How do these things implicate “other” and design they ways we relate to ourselves, each other and environment? What tools for transformation are available to disrupt patterns and make new ones?
During this class we will use our individual and group body to make and unmake ourselves. Working with disorientation, quick shifts of attention, endurance and group dynamics, we will move away from language and towards embodied comprehension. We will push to the edges but also question “edge” as a boundary or distinction between ourselves, others and the space we occupy. We volley between performer and witness. Is it a spiritual transformation? Is it subtle drag performance? Is it quietly radical?
In WDTBM, we use somatic exercises adapted to engage questions about how we construct our bodies and how they are constructed. Proposals are seeded from queer, feminist, and critical race theory that exemplify and disrupt the way identity is embodied. This work is supported through reading and discussion and through composing and decomposing performances.
Shannon Stewart is a choreographic artist who splits her time between New Orleans and Europe. Her company Screaming Traps explores the intersection of dance practices, embodied identities and social choreographies. For Shannon, the body’s participation in everyday life, social systems, and how we know ourselves is an opportunity for choreographic research. Simultaneously, the practice of dance rituals is a potential for un-training, retraining, making and unmaking. She’s proposed an open source method called Body Based Theory Practice and presented this research in dance symposiums in the US and Europe. Her work has been presented in theatres, bars, parades, river banks, living rooms, film screens and galleries, and reluctantly but often on the internet.
image: Sarrah Danzinger