Spring 2016 News

The Decolonial Fortune-Teller,” photo by Cynthia Ling Lee

“This spring we are delighted to welcome back our founding member, Shyamala Moorty, from her sabbatical.  We are happy that Shyamala has taken the time to be with her beloved baby, Roshan, and we are thankful to have her warmth, creativity, and positive spirit actively feed our process again.

Post Natyam Collective members are engaged in a wide variety of entwined creative, scholarly, and teaching work this spring, much of it related to our Reimagining Citizenship exchange on citizenship and its exclusions.  In Greensboro, Cynthia is enjoying teaching an interdisciplinary praxis-based course on feminist and queer performance-making at UNCG.  She also continues work on blood run, her ongoing project exploring her Han colonizer and plains indigenous heritages.  Over the next several months, she will share elements of blood run in the form of theory-practice artist talks, collaborative think tanks, audience interactions, and performative papers in academic and artistic contexts in Greensboro, Berkeley, Miami, and New York.  She is looking forward to performances of blood run at the BOOM! Festival in April in Charlotte, North Carolina and as part of a shared show entitled more than, less than with Meena at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, California in June.  Meena’s work in more than, less than reflects her continuing year-long attempt to make dances related to issues of anti-Blackness in South Asian communities.  Meena is also creating a multi-channel video installation for d. Sabela grimes’ newest dance-theater work, Electrogynous, on Blackness and gender fluidity.

In Salzburg, Sandra is working on a project titled “Dance and Migration” at the University of Salzburg, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF; WKP 32).  In addition, based on her research as part of the recently completed Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project “Traversing the Contemporary (pl)” (P_24190_G15) she will be presenting two joint lecture-performances on “Traversing the Contemporary: Intertwined Practices of Contemporary Dance in Germany” in collaboration with Johanna Devi and Claudia Jeschke at Tanzkongress in Hannover in June. She and her friend and colleague Siglinde Lang have been awarded a prize in the FutureLab competition in Salzburg, for the concept of a festival titled 7Hoch2 (72).  Meanwhile, Shyamala continues teaching yoga at West LA College and performing “Indian Mythology and Me” in elementary schools with Sheetal Gandhi and Ulka Simone Mohanty.  She is also working with a team of dance educators to create a curriculum for a UC Irvine study to prove that ESL (English as a Second Language) learners grasp science better through the medium of dance and visual arts.


Summary

Presentations:

1. Berkeley, USA.  11 March 2016: Cynthia presents at the Dance Studies Working Group at UC Berkeley.

2. Berkeley, USA.  12 March 2016: Cynthia performs “The Decolonial Fortune-teller” at the Gutsy Series

3. Pasadena, USA. 12 March 2016: Meena performs “untitled” at the Hi, Solo #2 Series at ARC Pasadena.

4. Charlotte, USA.  8-10 April 2016: Cynthia Ling Lee performs blood run at BOOM! Festival.

5. Miami, USA.  29 April 2016: Cynthia gives a performative paper at the Association for Asian American Studies Annual Conference.

6. New York, USA.  23-26 May 2016: Cynthia participates in Field Studies 2016: Dance Research Lab. 

7. Santa Monica, USA.  17-18 June 2016: Cynthia Ling Lee and Meena Murugesan of the Post Natyam Collective perform more than, less than at Highways Performance Space.

8. Hannover, Germany. 18. June 2016: Sandra Chatterjee, in collaboration with Johanna Devi and Claudia Jeschke present lecture-performances titled “Traversing the Contemporary: Intertwined Practices of Contemporary Dance in Germany” at Tanzkongress.

Classes

1. Morgantown, USA.  19 March 2016: Cynthia teaches a text-movement improvisation workshop at the ACDA Mid-Atlantic Conference.


Details

1. Berkeley, USA.  11 March 2016: Cynthia participates in Dance Studies Working Group at UC Berkeley.

How Matters: On Methods, Movement and Theory-Practice Experiments

This session features scholar-artists Melissa Hudson Bell, Meiver De la Cruz, Adanna Kai Jones, Cynthia Ling Lee, and Hannah Schwadron on the role of choreographic experimentation in their respective writing projects, and how performance practice informs the methodological approaches to distinct research questions. Speakers focus on their own project strategies for dancing and writing as overlapping techniques of critical dance studies. While the “what” of individual projects varies widely, presenters share a mutual concern with “how” to engage bodily with scholarly discourse. Investigating these questions in the session takes two forms. In the first hour, invited presenters reflect on their own embodied research experiments within the scope of their independent writing projects. In the second hour, we delve more deeply into the “how-tos” of performance practice as research through a movement lab. Participating attendees can experiment with various techniques of physicalizing the thinking on core aspects of their own projects.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Bancroft Dance Studio, 5:00-7:00pm

http://dancestudiesworkinggroup.blogspot.com/

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2.  Berkeley, USA.  12 March 2016: Cynthia performs “The Decolonial Fortune-teller” at the Gutsy Series.

Cynthia will perform “The Decolonial Fortune-teller” as part of the Gutsy Series.  “The Decolonial Fortune-teller” is part of Cynthia’s  ongoing project, blood run, and is inspired by Atayal writer Walis Nokan’s poem, “The Chinese Animal Zodiac for Aborigines.”

Part dance showcase, part potluck party, part culinary workshop, the Gutsy Series investigates what happens when people gather to share food and dance performance in a salon-style setting.  This installation of the series, entitled One Bite, features “one bite” movement studies by choreographers gathering from across the country, including Abigail Hosein’s ahdanco, Adanna Kai Jones and Melissa Templeton, Cynthia Ling Lee, Hannah Schwadron, Laura Bodt, and Melissa Hudson Bell.  These small bites of dance will be accompanied by one-bite hors d-ouvres and other tasting elements prepared by two amazing chefs from Napa Valley, Gina Hudson and Ted Hullinger. This pair will be on hand to discuss the art and science behind crafting a satisfying single bite.

Space is extremely limited. Donations (suggested $15-$55) will be collected at the event – all proceeds go towards covering costs of event and paying artists for their work.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-gutsy-series-one-bite-tickets-22339659523

Saturday, March 12, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 5:30 PM (PST)

The Green Yogi – 1642 Martin Luther King Junior Way, Berkeley, CA 94709

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 3.Pasadena, USA. 12 March 2016: Meena performs “untitled” at the Hi, Solo #2 Series at ARC Pasadena.

In this series of 3-minute new solos, Meena attempts to create a conversation between her bharata natyam trained feet and Black Studies scholar Fred Moten’s words.

March 12, 2016

8:30pm PST, ARC Pasadena

1158 East Colorado Blvd. CA 91106

https://www.facebook.com/events/963181140434016/

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4. Charlotte, USA.  8-10 April 2016: Cynthia Ling Lee performs blood run at BOOM! Festival.

In blood run, Cynthia Ling Lee investigates her Taiwanese indigenous and Han Chinese colonizer heritages within the context of larger political histories.  Part ritual, part performance art, part colonial history inscribed on the body, her work asks: “What is the difference between an immigrant and a colonizer?” “How do the colonizer and colonized live inside the same body?” “When does survival require disappearance?”  blood run asks what hidden histories are contained in the body, while acknowledging the impossibility of fully reclaiming what has been lost.

April 9 at 1:30 and 7 pm, April 10 at 4:30 pm

Open Door Studios
1318-D Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205

(Schedule is still in flux; please double-check website to confirm times and venue.)

http://boomcharlotte.org/

https://www.facebook.com/boomcharlotte?fref=ts

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5. Miami, USA.  29 April 2016: Cynthia gives a performative paper at the Association for Asian American Studies Annual Conference.

Cynthia will present a performative paper on her project, blood run, as part of a panel, “Performing Queer Colonial Exchange: Making Visible Histories of Erasure” at the 2016 Association for Asian American Studies conference, entitled “Gateways, Ports and Portals: Re-imagining Points of Departure for Asian American Studies.”

Cynthia Ling Lee, Thao Nguyen and Mana Hayakawa present a panel on “Performing Queer Colonial Exchange: Making Visible Histories of Erasure.”  They ask: when does survival require disappearance? Why are colonial histories closeted alongside queer strategies of resistance? How can intersections of postcolonial and queer theory in relation to the performing body open up new gateways for Asian American studies? This panel examines how colonialism and racism operate to not only obscure histories of violence but also silence queer forms of resistance. Drawing on José Esteban Muñoz’s concept of ephemeral evidence that insists on the inclusion of marginalized subjects’ (often invisible) nontraditional archives, panelists address how queer performers challenge colonial histories to imaginatively re-trace what has disappeared and been forgotten from our collective memory. Working with archival traces and fragmented memories, panelists draw on subaltern critiques of history and queer temporalities to trouble hegemonic concepts of linear time. Focusing on processes of unequal cultural exchange, we will grapple with how the disclosure of colonial histories can invite queered readings of cultural appropriation, assimilation and resistance. In her performance, blood run, Lee queers Confucianism and questions assimilation through imaginatively grappling with her family’s forgotten history of Taiwanese indigenous heritage alongside their Han colonizer heritage. Nguyen’s comic performance, Buddha Wasn’t Fat, confronts the commodification and fetishization of Budai and the erasure of Buddha as she attempts to understand the operations of hegemonic forgetfulness and queer memory. Hayakawa patches together interviews and photographs of 1940s San Francisco nightlife to remember the life of a Chinese American drag queen.

Inspired by the city of Miami’s nickname – “the gateway to Latin America” – the 2016 AAAS conference, “Gateways, Ports and Portals: Re-imagining Points of Departure for Asian American Studies,” asks participants to consider how forms of movement, transit, and exchange have shaped Asian America. If Asian American Studies has been frequently conceived as an intellectual, institutional, and political point of arrival, how would identifying alternative points of departure reconfigure our conceptions of the field? How might relocating origins and destinations not only change our notions of what the field is, and what it might become, but also the “gateways, ports, and portals” that enable our research, teaching, and activism?

Conference Dates: April 28-30, 2016

Hilton Miami Downtown, 1601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

Cynthia’s panel will be on Friday, April 29: 8-9:30 am in the Symphony Ballroom IV.

http://aaastudies.org/2015-aaas-conference/

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6. New York, USA.  23-26 May 2016: Cynthia participates in Field Studies 2016: DanceResearch Lab.

Field Studies is a creative development lab designed for emerging artist/scholars to workshop new projects with peer mentorship.  Over the course of three days, up to ten participants engage in independent and collaborative studio practice that culminates in two evenings of public performance and discussion in a low-tech studio forum. In addition to studio explorations, participants engage in writing cafes designed to support the advancement of individual writing agendas for creative use and publication.

Work in-Progress Showing on May 25, 7-9 pm

Chez Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City

Additional performance May 26 evening (to be confirmed)

http://www.hannahschwadrondance.com/field-studies/

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7.  Santa Monica, USA.  17-18 June 2016: Cynthia Ling Lee and Meena Murugesan perform more than, less than at Highways Performance Space.

How do we decide who has the right to be a full citizen, and by extension, to be treated as fully human?  In this shared evening of interdisciplinary multimedia dance-work, we speak to lost indigenous ancestors, poetically re-purpose colonial archives, and imagine what allyship might look like in a continuing struggle against anti-Blackness.  The phrase more than, less than is inspired by Fred Moten’s theoretical ideas.

Cynthia Ling Lee investigates her Taiwanese indigenous and Han Chinese colonizer heritages within the context of larger political histories.  Part ritual, part performance art, part colonial history inscribed on the body, her work asks: “What is the difference between an immigrant and a colonizer?” “How do the colonizer and colonized live inside the same body?” “When does survival require disappearance?”  blood run asks what hidden histories are contained in the body, while acknowledging the impossibility of fully reclaiming what has been lost.

Meena Murugesan attempts to be in conversation with issues of anti-Blackness, police brutality towards Black communities in the US, and questions of allyship for non-Black bodies. In collaboration with d. Sabela Grimes, Carole Kim, and PostNatyam Collective, Meena creates a poetic multi-media performance that is part obsession, part failure, and part hope.

The work in more than, less than is being developed through Reimagining Citizenship, an online exchange between members of the Post Natyam Collective on citizenship and its exclusions.

June 17-18, 2016, 8:30 pm

highwaysperformance.org

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8. Hannover, Germany. 18. June 2016: Sandra Chatterjee, in collaboration with Johanna Devi and Claudia Jeschke present lecture-performances titled “Traversing the Contemporary: Intertwined Practices of Contemporary Dance in Germany” at Tanzkongress.

The program and registration information will be online on 12th April 2016 at

http://www.tanzkongress.de/en/home.html

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Teaching

1.Morgantown, USA.  19 March 2016: Cynthia teaches a text-movement improvisation workshop at the ACDA Mid-Atlantic Conference.

the thinking body, the dancing word
What are the myriad ways that language and dance can interact in the improvisational “now”? This workshop intersects the text-movement improvisational practices of Logomotion, developed by seminal American postmodern improviser Simone Forti, and abhinaya as rooted in the North Indian classical dance form of kathak. Logomotion explores the improvisational art of speaking and moving at the same time, while abhinaya typically consists of a dancer using gestures and facial expression to improvise multiple emotional variations on a poetic song text.   In the class, we will improvise talking dances, sensorial writings, and gestural translations of text that engage with the following questions: How do you move differently when you are actively thinking at the same time? What bodily memories are embedded in our bones, tissue, and sinew?  How does the meaning of text shift as we transform its emotional colors, shape-shift narrative, and add layers of subtext? What non-linear leaps of faith, imagistic fragments, sonic-driven logics, and full-fledged narrative worlds emerge from the thinking-dancing body?

March 19, 9:30-11 am
The Great Hall @ MEC
West Virginia University
School of Theatre & Dance
Creative Arts Center
1 Fine Arts Drive
Morgantown, West Virginia 26506-6111
conference website: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/default.aspx?EventID=1734682