Research Seminar with PROFESSOR SUSAN MANNING at Surrey Wednesday 28th May 2014



‘Reggie Wilson and the Making of Moses(es)’  

Wednesday 28th May 2014

5:00 – 6:00 pm

University of Surrey

Building: Lecture Theatre Block, Room: J (LTJ)

Abstract: In this lecture dance historian and dramaturge Susan Manning introduces the choreographer Reggie Wilson, whose latest work ‘Moses(es)’ premiered at the Next Wave Festival in December 2013. Through travel and ethnographic research, Wilson incorporates performance practices of the African diaspora into his choreography, and in so doing updates the research-to-performance methodology of Zora Neale Hurston, Katherine Dunham and Pearl Primus from mid-century. At the same time he freely borrows movement material and compositional devices from a wide range of sources, blurring the distinction between black dance and modern dance and challenging spectators to recognize the global circulation of American and African cultures. In this lecture, Manning reflects on how her encounter with Reggie Wilson has compelled her to see dance history in new ways.

Biography:  Susan Manning is an internationally recognized historian of modern dance.  A Professor of English, Theatre and Performance Studies at Northwestern University, she has authored ‘Ecstasy and the Demon: the Dances of Mary Wigman and Modern Dance’, ‘Negro Dance: Race in Motion’; coedited ‘New German Dance Studies’; and curated ‘Danses noires/blanche Amérique’ at the Centre national de la danse in Paris. She currently serves as Principal Investigator for the Mellon-funded initiative, “Dance Studies in/and the Humanities.” Susan Manning had never worked as a dramaturge until Reggie Wilson invited her to work on ‘Moses(es)’, and she is thrilled that he did, for she has immensely enjoyed collaborating on the creative research and documentation for the project. She is currently a fellow at the International Research Center in Berlin, where she is completing a series of essays on Reggie Wilson and ‘Moses(es)’ for publication in TDR: A Journal of Performance Studies.

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