PRAXIS, INC. 2022
This year we will be celebrating PRAXIS in a *blended* format to meet NYU's current COVID saftey event guidlines, current NYU students, staff and facuty can join us in person and all alumni, prospective students, and other community members can join us on zoom!
Email Nicole Cusick at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!
Experiments in Dissolving - Nora Raine Thompson - In this session, we will ambitiously, gently, test out some theories of dismantling and dissolving the Self. With guided improvisational movement, we’ll find out if we can just dip our toes into these expansive waters. What if being a Body Without Organs actually took little effort? What if there is actually enough time to relate without flattening each other?
Grounded in contemplations of the work of Edouard Glissant, Deleuze and Guatarri, José Gil, Lygia Clark, Okwui Okpokwasili, and Eiko Otake (and many more), I will guide participants in visualization and movement to explore our peripheries. This imaginative practice allows for spaciousness and contradictions–a generative and safe container for experimentation. Participants will have the option to partake in the guided experience or witness the experiment as a spectator. This session will close with a reflective discussion, where together we will share observations and muse on lingering questions, like… What is the difference between dissolving into multiplicity and melting into sludge? How can we understand a practice by observing it, as opposed to doing it? What are methods of dismantlement that might be crucial to confronting oppressive forces, both within and outside our Selves? How do we stay grounded within these practices?
Ceremournings: Performing with/for the Dead - Eva Margarita Reyes - In our continued navigation of collective grief, Ceremournings explores the possibilities available for working with the grievable subject. Recognizing the valued gestures ritual performance offers, this workshop brings together theories in accompaniment, wakework, and performance studies to consider the burial ground/stage and as bearing the promise of revival. To work with the dead is to recognize the ways in which we are accompanied by our grief; a particular presence that requires an act of care when used as a vehicle for creation. In an exploration of mourning as a tool, this workshop discusses renewed ways of hailing death by viewing the stage as a crossroads between spiritual, scholarly, and artistic space. The scope and thought terrain of Ceremournings acknowledges the “beginning” and the “end” are not necessarily set. As such this session asks, what can be produced by processing the affective states we enter as we engage with the wake? What does it take to respectively work with and for the dead? Lastly, how can we work with a decolonial history of loss that when unearthed, refuses to be forgotten?
You And I Are Water Earth Fire Air Of Life And Death - Christof Migone - After learning about all the steps involved in making whisky during a three-month artist residency with Marla Hlady at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland in the summer of 2019 it struck me how inadequate the word ‘whisky’ (root meaning 'alcohol - water of life’) is because it only captures a small part of the manufacturing process. The resulting corrective 12-word sentence, You And I Are Water Earth Fire Air Of Life And Death, has evolved into a 12-year long project, each year focused on one word of the sentence and manifesting into a yearly 12-hour event on December 12 from noon to midnight. You (2020), And (2021), I (2022), and so on. It has morphed from a modest text piece to a sprawling curatorial project (so far featuring 53 artists from 10 countries across 4 continents). While now unwieldy (both logistically and existentially), it nevertheless aspires to remain nimble. The one-word prompt for each year is open ended in contrast with the teleologically determined sentence. The project emcompasses utopics and pragmatics in equal measure. What if momentum wanes and it peters out unfinished? What if the project outlasts its originator? Can it all be collapsed into one sentence? What's missing?
The Sock Network - Jennifer Chen-su Huang and Holly Taylor - Beginning with the question posed by Roland Barthes: “How to Live Together,” the title of his lecture series given at the Collège de France in 1977, this session is an experiment that allows participants to inhabit creative possibilities for living and moving together. The session involves handknit socks whose toes do not end, but rather connect one's toes to another being. Creating connective joints on the studio floor, participants will move together joined by socks, allowing for safe social distancing whilst simultaneously still playing a part in the larger social body. The movement of a foot will have a rippling effect, as another will be prompted to respond by the movement of the other. Movement generated in the session will be used to inform a later public performance installation exploring interconnectivity and modes of living.
Poetry, An Act of Resistance - Indygo Afi Ngozi - Poetry, An Act of Resistance is a workshop that is designed to explore the notions of rebellious acts in a way that is healing for us. Together we will explore how poetry and movements create a space for meditation, healing and empowerment for all humans, creatives and those who are still discovering their creative sides. Through this art form, we are able to navigate how it is to be human, vulnerable and in the fullness of our entirety. Participants are urged to explore within the realms of poetry and movement, thinking of how embracing their stories becomes an act of resistance, and how then does that create a space to discover the pieces of what makes us, us. It will encourage all participants to explore the authentic connection found between storytelling and spoken/written words. Participants will have the opportunity to showcase, create and share out in a creative and safe space. Participants should make sure to bring lines from your favorite poem.
Walk #1: Rope - João Victor Toledo - This session is an experiment in which the private and the collective can coexist. It involves a tactile handmade rope with rings that is to be held by each participant. Like an extended holding of hands, participants will first gather in the classroom and find a ring along the long rope to hold on to. Then, we will all silently take the stairs, snaking down to Broadway Avenue, where we will continue to walk down towards Union Square Station, weaving through the busy transit center in a wordless procession. This walk is to be experienced without speaking, but rather as a communal meditation amidst the overwhelming bustle of the city.
Whose Dabke Is It Anyway? - Leila Mire - This workshop will center on dabke, a dance from the Levantine region. Dabke is a folk and social dance that dates back to the Caananites and Phoenicians. Today it is performed at weddings, celebrations, and protests. In this lecture and movement-based workshop, we will explore the origins of dabke (particularly that which is commonly referred to as “Palestinian dabke,” tracing how the dance has evolved into its contemporary shape. In doing so, we will explore how the Israeli occupation appropriates it and how the dance itself has been formed and informed by the political climate its practitioners have been subjected to throughout history. The session will open up a dialogue on the limitations of borders and nation-state studies in the Levantine region and the intimate assemblages at work when understanding history. By pointing toward dance, we will ask ourselves, “whose dance is it anyway,” as a living reminder of the reflexivity and life behind collective movements and neoliberal identitarian politics.
The [end of the] world as we know it - Kristen Kelso and Amna Farooqi - Is the world as we know it or do we know another one? Is this the world as we know it or can we know another one? If this is the world that we live in - one of binaries and endless production - an alternative world is one of constant becoming, an endless process.
This is a thought experiment. In this session, we draw on critical works that imagine empowering modes of worldmaking such as José Esteban Muñoz’s Disidentifications and Dorinne Kondo’s World-Making: Race, Performance and the Work of Creativity (acknowledging that these modes are situated to empower the minoritarian subject), as well as works of critical hope like Jill Dolan’s Utopia in Performance. Echoing Virginie Magnat from her article Devising Utopia, or Asking for the Moon, we believe theatrical devising is a critical utopian act. It is one that is fundamentally radical in its working “with and against” within institutionalized theatremaking practices. Focusing on process rather than product, and using fragments of various texts from environmental studies, medicine, news articles and literature, studies of legal “force” and affect theory, participants will engage in a session of theatrical devising to connect with each other, with us, and create new worlds.
Re-visiting Decroux - Culture Deconstruction and Appropriation - Selma Trevino - The project Re-visiting Decroux - Culture Deconstruction and Appropriation, proposes a revival of the Corporeal Mime Repertoire of Etienne Decroux, contextualized with my Brazilian heritage. Decroux's choreographies were always performed with his aesthetic and French/European background, despite his themes concentration to be more in general subjects like the Washerwoman, the Carpenter, the Love Duet, etc.. I am proposing to break with that "tradition" and bring those subjects to other aesthetics and culture.
The project opens the conversation about deconstructing a choreography from its culture of origin, appropriating it and bringing it to the heritage of the performer. It is not just a revival, it is a re-visiting it, reconstructing in a new light, deconstructing the European baggage of it to re-present with my Latin eyes.
I am bringing his compositions to the Brazilian cultural context by adding music, archetypal figures and projected images, respecting Decroux’s movement structure.
I started the process in the fall 2021. I was a recipient of the “Incubator Grant” by LEIMAY at CAVE in Brooklyn. On November 16th, I performed the first outcome of it at the Dixon Place, the “Washerwoman” composition, one of the most known of Decroux's repertoire. The video is 9 minutes long.
Is Dance a Transitive Verb? - David Sierra - “Is Dance a Transitive Verb?” is a movement and writing workshop. Together we will fashion individual and collective answers to the titular question.
You might be thinking, “But wait, really though, is dance a transitive verb?” The answer? Yes. And no. Sometimes. It’s complicated, so we’ll figure it out together.
Part grammar lesson, part movement workshop, part come-as-you-are dance jam session, “Is Dance a Transitive Verb?” will linger in the temporal space of “sometimes” as a choreographic tool.
We will use the titular question as a methodology for building and trying out movement scores. We will use ideas and movement practices from applied linguistics, disability artistry, trans/queer politics, and bodywork to explore sensation and embodiment. We will thread together movement phrases and verbal phrases as we unfold, stretch, vocalize, witness, notate, and sense.
Participants are welcome to move and be moved, to embrace movement or resist movement, to perhaps do it all, or do none of it. Do what you want.
“Is Dance a Transitive Verb?” will dance around the question so we can dance the question ourselves.
Toward the Kapwæthic: performing care and facilitating consent culture - HL Doruelo - Who performs care? Where, why, & when does care happen? In response to such questions, I draw on my decades-worth of experiences as a student, educator, community organizer, and prison abolitionist–amidst the backdrop of the #MeToo movement, the Trump era, martial law in the Philippines, the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter uprisings, indigenous-led action against DAPL and Line 3, and rising anti-Asian hate. By mapping these connections, I propose an alternative being-in-the-world and doing-in-the-world, which I call the Kapwæthic. Kapwa is a core concept and value in the Philippine worldview; it has been theorized as the shared inner self, a recognition that self and other cannot and should not be conceived as separate. This collaborative session will introduce participants to Kapwa and collectivize frameworks and tools for facilitating care and consent culture within and beyond the classroom.
Titile: Bad Job - If praxis implies a unity between theory and practice, does bad praxis propose their discontinuity? And what does one call the thing that happens in this infelicitous rupture? If, in praxis, doing is done by a practical and agential subject with intentionality—is it even possible to have a praxis in the age of the gig economy, when the greatest virtue of survival for most culture workers is their flexibility? "Bad Job" is presented in the performative mode of a bad job talk. It explores my own aversion to yoking together theory and practice. The only way to succeed at making a case for bad praxis is if my performance fails.
Joshua Lubin-Levy (he/him) is a scholar, dramaturg, and curator. He is currently working on a monograph, The Rented World, based on the queer anti-capitalist praxis of performance artist Jack Smith. In addition, he is Editor-in-Chief of the Movement Research Performance Journal, Associate Director of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance, and the Senior Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He received his doctorate from the Department of Performance Studies, New York University (2020), and currently teaches in the department of Visual Studies, Eugene Lang, The New School. Insta: @jlubinlevy