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Diasporic Bodies, Grounding Freedom: The black/African Dancing Body, Restoration, and Activism with Lela Aisha Jones

Join us for a talk and discussion with Lela Aisha Jones
Monday, March 20th
7:10 to 8:15pm     Goodhart Music Room

Lela is an ABD candidate in Dance at Texas Women’s University and is a candidate here for the Consortium on Faculty Diversity fellowship. She is also an active artist and an artist activist who intertwines personal history, diasporic movement, social commentary, and interdisciplinary methods, drawing from, in her words, “the individual and collective lived experiences of blackness.” In the Fall, Lela took her work to the streets as an initiator and the lead organizer for marches and social actions through Dancing for Justice Philadelphia in solidarity with the movement concerning Black lives. More recently, Lela spent several weeks in South Africa teaching and performing with the Same Story Different Countries Project directed by Dr. Lynnette Overby at the University of Delaware and in New Zealand where she worked with artist & scholar Ojeya Cruz Banks exploring embodiment ideas around race, land, and diaspora.

Lela is the founder of FlyGround, her creative home where, in solo and in collaboration, she cultivates her diasporic movement practice and artistry.  Her recent work includes Native Portals: Release Mourning Clearing (2016). Jones says this work “unravels and reinterprets black diasporic experiences of activism, witnessing, testifying, and restoration to investigate processing continual cycles of trauma.  She will be co-presenting Lynching and Love, March 16th at the Painted Bride, which will show a documentary film by Megan Bridge chronicling her correspondence with Lela, interweaving that with Bridge’s responses to Jones and company’s performance of the work. This will be followed by two nights of performances of The body Wails/The Body Restores by Lela and Vershawn Sanders Ward, a work that weaves contemporary reflections on the race, womanhood, trauma, history, and their various intersections. There will be a pre-show reception with the artists at 5pm on the 18th and pre-show talks by Dr. Brenda Dixon-Gottschild on both evenings. Lela is a 2016 PEW fellow 2015 Leeway Foundation Transformation awardee, an artist in residence at the Community Education Center in Philadelphia, an incubated artist at Headlong Dance Theater, and a recipient of a 2013 Dance/USA Philadelphia Rocky Award. She received her MFA in dance from Florida State University. In addition to the awards and honors listed above, Lela is also a member of the inaugural 2015 Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellows designed by leaders at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in NYC.

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Magnetic Spaces: Dancing in Partnership A Workshop with guest artists Marion Ramirez and Jungwoong Kim

Tuesday and Thursday,
March 21 and 23

4:10-5:30  PEM STUDIO

Magnetic Spaces: Dancing in Partnership

A Workshop with guest artists Marion Ramirez and Jungwoong Kim

Grounded in their practice of Contact Improvisation and other dance and arts forms, Marion and Jungwoong will guide our students in exploring giving into and challenging gravity, looking at ways of resonating with the rhythm and melody of the other dancers and their kinesphere, and playing with how to be in synch while indulging in opposition or riding a common wave. Coming in and out of physical contact, in and out of shared weight, these practices have the potential to inspire clarity of communication, generated in the elasticity in the space between the bodies. Open to students in any dance technique at the intermediate level and up.

Marion Ramirez is a Puerto Rican dance artist, dedicated to the art of improvisation and inspired by collaborative process. From a young age she was immersed in the Puerto Rican artistic community in San Juan, studying and performing forms such as pantomime, flamenco, ballet, theater, Latin American social dances, modern and postmodern dance with inspiring experimental choreographers. She graduated from the Laban Center in London, UK with a BFA in choreography, and more recently she was a University Fellow at Temple University where she completed an MFA in Dance with a focus in Community Arts.  She has performed with choreographers Yvonne Maier, Sally Silvers, Noemi Segarra, Merian Soto, Petra Bravo, Myrna Renaud, Lizzy Le Quesne, Jean Abreu among others. With her partner, Jungwoong Kim, she has collaborated in numerous site specific performance projects including Kim’s recent project, SaltSoul, Ramirez’s most recent work Musa Paradisiaca was performed at Conwell Theater in Philadelphia and Pregones Theater in New York and her community arts project Caperucita Roja and The Big Bad Wolf was performed at the

Willie Torres Boxing Gym in North Philadelphia.  Ramirez has taught at Drexel University, Temple Univeristy, and Universidad Sagrado Corazon in Puerto Rico among other institutions.

Jungwoong Kim was born and raised in South Korea and had extensive training in martial arts and Korean traditional dance and ritual, both of which strongly inform his artistic vision and aesthetic. After graduating from Korea National University of the Arts in Seoul with a BFA in choreography, he performed and toured throughout Korea and Asia with the award-winning dance/theater group Trust Dance Company, and with other ensembles. Jungwoong’s choreographic and collaborative works were presented at the National Theater of Korea and supported by the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture.  Kim studied contact Improvisation and choreography in New York on an Arts Council of Korea award   and later studied with composer Pauline Oliveros.  He is presently an artist-in-residence at Asian Arts Initiative and a Pew Center for Arts & Heritage multi-year grant awardee for his project, SaltSoul. He has taught for University of the Arts, the University of Richmond, Korea National University of the Arts, and Chonbuk National University among other institutions

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FREE (or inexpensive) DANCE EVENTS upcoming. . .

LOTS of performances going on in the next two weeks; some free and some very affordable with the $10 rebate you receive from the Dance Program’s Dance Flip/DanceTrip project when you bring us your receipt(eligibility=enrolled in any Dance Program course this fall or spring).  Lela Aisha Jones is our Consortium for Faculty Diversity fellowship candidate and Kyle Clark is choreographer for this semester’s Hip-hop Ensemble.

Friday, March 17, 2017 at 8 p.m at Swarthmore College
The Cambrians
performing CLOVER
LPAC Pearson-Hall Theater (Main Stage) contact Tara Webb, 610-328-8260, for information.           FREE Admission

Also. . . .   Masterclasses:
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @11:30AM Int/Adv Ballet
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 4:30PM Choreography
Thursday, March 16, 2017 @11:20AM Int Cuban Contemporary
All in the LPAC Boyer Dance Studio.

The Cambrians is an intimate contemporary dance and storytelling venture whose dancers collaborate and builds its works in different geographical locations that networks and tours outwards from those creative loci. At Swat they will be performing Clover which the Chicago Tribune selected as “one of the top 10 dance performances of 2015.


Thursday through Saturday, March 16 — March 18 at The Painted Bride

Lela Aisha Jones and colleagues present three days of performances and workshops at the Painted Bride, 2nd and Vine, Philadelphia 215-925-9914





Thursday, March 16 at 8pm   Film Screening: LYNCHING&LOVE(2012) –PAY WHAT YOU CAN
This filmed version interprets first exposures to noose lynching as experienced by the artists in the work, offers embodied renditions of the contemporary experiences of U.S. blackness/womaness.

Friday March 17 & Saturday March 18 at 6pm –FREE
Brenda Dixon Gottschild (Solo Work): RACE IS THE PLACE IS THE SPACE
Referencing the Aunt Jemima stereotype to set the stage and through performative, embodied lecture, Brenda Dixon Gottschild travels into the present via her Afro-expressionistic interpretation of selected poems.

Friday March 17 & Saturday March 18 at 8pm   –$20 in advance/$25 day of show
This work weaves together contemporary reflections on the tumultuous events surrounding racial confrontations in Philadelphia, South Africa, and North Carolina. The trauma of the past, unresolved and unprocessed, continues to re-occur in our future.

PLUS additional FREE or Pay what you can workshops on Thursday and FridayClick here for full information


Friday & Saturday, March 17 & 18 at 7pm, March 18 at 2pm at Suzanne Roberts Theatre   Broad and Lombard, center city Philly
Just Sole! Street Dance Theater in THE LIFE OF A JUST SOLE$15 through ( ) or contact

Choreographer Kyle “JustSole” Clark, his wife and co-choreographer, Dinita aka “Princess Di”, and the Just Sole! Street Dance Theater Company, take audiences on a jubilant journey through the multi-layered, dynamic spectrum of interpretative street dance — house, locking, popping, and street social dances — in a physical autobiography of the personal, artistic and spiritual journey.


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DAVID NEUMANN/Advanced Beginner Group in performance

I Understand Everything Better
Thursday, Friday, Saturday  February 23, 24, 25  8 PM Hepburn Teaching Theatre, Goodhart
FREE admission           Running time: 75 minutes

 How often do you get to see the work of an artist whose work is honored by both the worlds of science and the worlds of art? David Neumann is BOTH a SETI Institute Artist-in-Residence AND his work, I Understand Everything Better, which he will perform at BMC, won two Bessie awards, the highest accolade given to contemporary dance in the US.  Emerging from tragedies of nature—the death of his parents and Hurricane Sandy—Neumann and his dancers/performers, costumed and traveling through a cosmically disheveled and surreal set, explore big, unanswerable questions in a work that mixes dance and theater; Kabuki, Noh,and modern dance; text, music, and movement and addresses chaos, letting go, cleaning up, going o–in all of their multiple meanings.

Among the unanimously positive reviews are:

“deeply felt and deeply moving” work that examines “ruthlessly, elemental forces”  Gia Kourlas, NY Times

“beautiful. . . .[Neumann] is an elegantly hilarious dancer” Helen Shaw, Time Out NY

“a richly collaged sampler of movement styles that runs from modern American dance to classical Japanese theater” Claudia La Rocco, Art Forum

PLUS. . .                                                                                    

PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP with David Neumann / Advanced Beginner Group
SAT . FEB 25 . 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
McPherson Auditorium, Goodhart Hall
Free and open to all levels of experience with limited enrollment, please click link below to register
A free workshop for student and professional theater makers and dancers
engaging practices central to the creation of Neumann‘s own hybrid
performance pieces. Participants will work together to create short pieces
as a way to investigate multi-disciplinary work. No one needs expertise in
any of the forms mentioned, just healthy doses of curiosity and some courage.

Roundtable with David Neumann / Advanced Beginner Group
SUN . FEB 26 . 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Dorothy Vernon Room, New Dorm
Attendance is free with limited seating, please click below to reserve your space.
Brunch will be available, free for Tri-Co community with a meal plan, $11
for all others, cash only.
This open roundtable will engage David Neumann / Advanced Beginner Group and
participants in questions related to contemporary arts pract

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At Swarthmore with Sydney Dance Company
Master Class with the company. . .

Thursday, February 23, 2017 4:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Lang Performing Arts Center – LPAC Troy Dance Studio
Take class with members of the most renowned contemporary dance company in Australia.





At Bryn Mawr with David Neumann
PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP with David Neumann / Advanced Beginner Group
SAT . FEB 25 . 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
McPherson Auditorium, Goodhart Hall

Free and open to all levels of experience with limited enrollment, please click link below to register
A free workshop for student and professional theater makers and dancers
engaging practices central to the creation of Neumann‘s own hybrid
performance pieces. Participants will work together to create short pieces
as a way to investigate multi-disciplinary work. No one needs expertise in
any of the forms mentioned, just healthy doses of curiosity and some courage

Posted in EVENTS.


Faculty Dance Concert

Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 pm
Hepburn Teaching Theater
FREE admission

Five accomplished choreographers, some performing solo and some with company members in forms from ballet to modern to hip hop.

Independent choreographer Megan Mazarick who has performed internationally will present a solo, Monster, that she developed in Egypt in which she remixes the metaphor of “hero vs. villan” using movement that appears pixilated and digitized. Hip hop dancer and choreographer Kyle Clark and director of Just Sole Street Dance will bring his company. Freelance dancer Michelle Stortz will perform Portrait/Meet, a dance made from “found” movement by acclaimed choreographer Susan Rethorst.  KC Chun-Manning will join forces with BMC alum Camilla Dely in a new duet with live Bulgarian songs and shruti box. DanceSpora’s Felicia Cruz will premiere a contemporary ballet duet.

The program offers the campus community and the public an opportunity to see the range and depth at the college and in the area. Free, varied and certain to be interesting.

Refreshments follow.

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Class schedule for the Spring and all the information you need is up on the DANCE WEB PAGE. Click here.  You can register now on BIONIC if you are taking classes for academic credit.  Classes for Physical Education Credit register in January during the first week back.  Auditions for Ensembles start on the first day of classes, January 17!

We have several faculty returning including Linda Mintzer and Denise D’Angelo in ballet, Corinne Karon in Tap, Donna Reinhart and Bob Butryn for the Swing dance half of Social Dance. Ramaa Ramesh will return for the Classical Indian half of Gesture of Dance joined by new instructor Lauren Ouano Yeremian who will teach Hula. We’re also delighted that Bethany Formica, still relatively new to our Program, will return to teach the Advanced Modern class and Marie Brown joins us for the first time and will teach the Intermediate Modern class. Felicia Cruz will be teaching the second half of Advanced Ballet.





The Ensemble line-up is as follows:
We MeredithBallettightergroupthumbwelcome back Meredith Rainey, who set a ballet piece on our students for the 2015 Concert


Megan Mazarick who made a piece for us for the 2013 Concert. Mazarick group thumbBoth are highly regarded choreographers in Philadelphia and beyond and we’re delighted that they are back with us.
Kyle “JustSole” Clark will make a Hip-hop piece for our bi-co dancers. Besides a toddler at home, Kyle has been keeping busy in the last year or so by competing in and winning, with his wife Dinita/Princess Di, the House Dance Category at “Juste Debout” an international competition in Paris, and by being invited by the ALVIN AILEY company to set a hip-hop piece on their second compankyleAileythumby! (see left for a section from Kyle’s piece)  Rev. Nia Eubanks-Dixon will return to choreograph the African Ensemble, planning to explore South African Gumboot dancing. In the Spring concert, April 21 and 22, these works will join a Modern Ensemble by Mady Cantor and a Jazz work by Shannon Murphy already in progress.  CHECK OUT ALL of our faculty on the PEOPLE page of the DANCE WEB SITE.

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Dance Program Field Trip – Pennsylvania Ballet

PA Ballet 2

The Dance Program is sponsoring a trip to see the Pennsylvania Ballet on Friday, November 11 at the Merriam Theater in Center City Philadelphia. The company will be doing three works: Square Dance by legendary choreographer George Balanchine, a new work by local phenom Brian Sanders, and The Third Light by British choreographer David Dawson (“…amazing feats of physical elasticity, unexpected musical arrangements, and innovative integration of light.) It will be a varied and exciting program and I hope you can join in!

Tickets are available at an unusually low group ticket price of $18. They are in the side orchestra, a good location.  The Dance Program will cover the cost of van transportation, which will leave Pem Arch at 7:00 pm for the 8:00 show.
If interested, email Mady Cantor right away, and then bring your money (check payable to BMC or cash) to my office in Goodhart 104B. Have it in an envelope and slide under my door. Be sure to label it. All cash looks alike! Latest reply date is this Friday, Nov. 4.

Tickets will go fast! First come, first served.

Posted in EVENTS.

Dance Program Information Reception

COME JOIN US…Friday, October 28, 5:30 PM in the Goodhart Music Room (through the glass lobby and one level down)… and find out everything you ever wanted to know about dancing at Bryn Mawr
Weposter images sm‘ll provide hot cider and treats as well. . .

Bryn Mawr and Haverford students can elect to do a MAJOR in Dance, a double MAJOR in Dance and another academic area, or a MINOR in Dance. . . OR they can just take dance classes that match their interests, skill, and schedule, many of which are offered for Physical Education or academic credit.

Bryn Mawr and Haverford students can take technique courses in DANCE at Bryn Mawr ranging from ballet and African to Hip-hop and modern dance and at beginning to advanced levels.  There are several performancClassimageshexagone options as well for intermediate or advanced dancers.  Students area also invited to get creative in choreography classes or and seminar courses open up the world of dance in history, culture, and society.


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Tuesday, October 18th   7:30PM    Goodhart Music Room

Toni Shapiro-Phim is a cultural anthropologist with a specialization in the arts of Southeast Asia. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, writing about the relationship between war, dance and music in Cambodia, and has held research and teaching positions focused on arts and social justice at the University of California, Berkeley, Yale University and Bryn Mawr College and is a founding member of the Cambodia/Southeast Asia Working Group at Rutgers University’s Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights. Co-editor of Dance, Human Rights and Social Justice: Dignity in Motion (2008), her writing has also appeared in Annihilating Difference: the Anthropology of Genocide (2002), The Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre (2007), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance (2001) and other books, magazines, and journals. She is currently program specialist at the Philadelphia Folklore Project, where she conducts research about urban expressive culture and coordinates an arts and social change education program.

DLiberianwomen's chorusmedr. Shapiro-Phim will discuss her most recent project, the film, Tokay. Shapiro-Phim directed this film about the famous Liberian performer, Tokay Tomah, who was selected at age 10 to join Liberia’s National Cultural Troupe, and who became a lead dancer and eventually, a featured singer. The film focuses on the personal and professional disruption of Tokay’s life during the civil war and on her dynamism, creativity and her sense of responsibility to her country and the women of her country in diaspora—all set against the tensions of civil strife and its aftermath.  The film will be shown on Friday October 21, 7PM, at the Scribe Video Center, 4212 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. You can check out a Liberian music video of Tokay here
Living now in the Philadelphia area, Tokay, together with other equally famous Liberian women singers,  have formed the Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change.  To hear the performers of LWCC sing and talk about their mission to educate women about abuse and violence go to

Dr. Shapiro-Phim is also happy to discuss her work in the camps along the Thai-Cambodian border in the late 1980s, her other research projects, and the field of dance anthropology/ethnology.Toni shapiroPhim

Posted in EVENTS.