PRAXIS, INC 2019

PRAXIS, INC

PRAXIS, INC: Innovate, Network, Collaborate will take place Saturday, October 19, 2019!

PRAXIS is an all-day Performance Studies community event that brings together students, alumni, prospective students, faculty, and staff to learn new skills, engage in important conversations, and stay connected with colleagues and peers.

The event includes a wide range of programming, from workshops, skill-shares, performances, and more! Past iterations include sessions on vocal exercises, a workshop on how to prepare for a conference, and a talk on publishing without an agent. Each year we conclude PRAXIS with an exciting alumni performance. Stay tuned to find out who our special performer will be for this year! 

Schedule of the Day:

9:30-10am: Breakfast and Session Registration!

10-10:45am: Session 1

11-11:45am: Session 2

11:45-1pm: Lunch

1-1:45pm: Session 3

2-2:45pm: Session 4

3-4pm: Final Presentation by Alum Richard Move (Ph.D. 19')

4-5pm: Closing Reception 

SESSION 1 |10 am - 10:45 am 

Wade in the Water Kuomboka, a hybrid ritual drama, Act One - The Call

Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe - MA Alum 

Developed during an artist residency at Kelly Strayhorn Theater, this forty-minute hybrid ritual drama by veteran performer of film and theater, Mukwae Wabei Siyolwe, explores modern-day revolutions through the lens of the ancient ceremony Kuomboka (Wade in the Water) on the Bartose Floodplain, where her indigenous people have moved with the annual flood to higher ground in a spectacle of religiosity. This participatory performance allows the spec(actors) to think of African art as performative on a deeper cognitive level than just being a mask, song, dance or drum ensemble, but part of a symbolic system. This production will reveal powerful African historical documents and will push to the fore issues of agency, representation and the adequate repository for their archive where meaning must be created to reconstruct and repatriate their own identity across constructed borders and time. Through a scripted simulated Kuomboka, the audience as “spect-actors” will help expose the continuities and show us through their participation, evidence of cultural citizenry at work.

Legal Bodies

Musetta Durkee - MA Alum

Laws allow or disallow, recognize or reject, and protect or punish nearly every aspect of our lived experiences.  However, we lack a unifying framework to discuss these disparate areas of law.  This workshop will be an interactive brainstorming session to explore how a legal body defined as that which is regulated according to its biological/technological makeups, identities, (inter)actions, expressions, geopolitical locations, and labor, can be the basis for such a framework.  We will explore how, through our bodies, we are protected or harmed, are defined and identified, and have our transgressions punished. Through presentation and discussion, participants will learn about the legal frameworks which constrain, regulate, and limit our bodies‚ existence and our actions in the world.  Participants will also be encouraged to share any experiences of laws acting upon their own bodies and/or observed in their own research.

Speak On It: Navigating Narratives of Self in the Natural Voice

Eva Reyes & Mateo Hurtado - M.A. candidates

As subjects navigating everyday life and performance art, attention to verbal mastery continues to be all too familiar. By turning to Kristin Linklater’s Freeing the Natural Voice, this workshop aims to provide training in the integral use of the voice and body. Negotiating the voice as advocacy recognizes a legacy of silence that remains for those who are oppressed in their natural voice. As another site for analysis, we will look at films spanning from Sorry to Bother You (2018) and Black Kkklansman (2018), to sit with and reconsider our own relation to the voice and sonic vibrations as subversive tool. Recognizing face-to-face communication as an inherent facet of everyday life, participants will gauge their relationships to the senses through the Profile for Nonverbal Sensitivity. This session strives to move vocalics beyond normative training which centers on the American accent and the insistence of improving one’s own vocal apparatus. Navigating from multiple entry points of sound and the-natural-voice-as-political-tool, what happens when performativity of the voice acts as ammunition to speak your truth? What might activate when you speak on it?

SESSION 2 | 11 am - 11:45 am

Ethically Documenting the Lives of Others While Practicing Self-care

Jamara Wakefield - M.A. Alum 

Jamara Wakefield will present a workshop on ethics and self-care in art producing. Based on six months of work filming the underground Black House Community in New Jersey, this skill-share and workshop poses strategies for self-care in documentary creative and archival practice that may lead to decolonial approaches in art practice. Participants will walk away with strategies to infuse into their art producing.

NOTE BODY

David Sierra - M.A. Alum 

NOTE BODY is a writing workshop about noting in which noting nothing is an option, though not as easy as its seams. NOTE BODY welcomes participants to note their bodies alongside notes from essayistic prose and dramatic poetics, fragmented notations and notated fragments, phrasal gestures and gestural phrases. NOTE BODY is open to corporeal, virtual, analog, digital, and extradimensional notes and bodies. NOTE BODY aspires toward writing as a practice of choreographic performance, and offers participants the opportunity to read their notes and bodies to each other. Participants are welcome to write, move, create, discuss, read, and critique at their own rate and capacities throughout the workshop duration. The workshop will carve space for and with people to engage poetic, prosaic, lyrical, embodied, and social writing by way of note and body as conceptual stages for the elaboration and performance of and for notes and bodies.

Cercanías: A Tender Movement Laboratory

Camila Arroyo Romero - Ph.D. candidate

Cercanías is a movement workshop that aims to explore ideas of proximity and togetherness via guided improvisation exercises. Rather than copying movement sequences, participants will follow a series of instructions and discover how they can interpret the information and follow the tasks. As a group, we will use our bodies to practice being together while listening, observing, following, leading, and feeling each other. Participants will not only acquire tools that can aid in movement practice and research but also in our daily lives and regular sensibilities. The movement exploration will highlight and challenge physical manifestations of compassion, respect, patience, and tenderness and all the tensions and complexities within them. This workshop is open to all types of cuerpas/bodies that are comfortable with sharing physical contact with other bodies. Participants will walk away with a set of physical tools that facilitate movement research and physical explorations. They will also leave with suggestions and/or ideas on how to move with patience and tenderness, in dance and in life. The exercises will allow the participant to question and re-imagine their current position as individuals and as members of our communities, as well as our relationships with our bodies and other people’s bodies.

SESSION 3 | 1 pm - 1:45 pm 

DREAM B!TCH OR ELSE!!!

Noah Witke Mele - B.A. candidate 

DREAM B!TCH OR ELSE!!! is a queer fantasia for the future. With the help of the audience (and perhaps some guest performers) Noah will attempt to reify and reimagine the poetic and political values of place as necessary things for the practical and theoretical formation of queer identities, aesthetics, and politics. We will see old friends and make new ones, travel through time and space, cry, laugh, dance, sing, and more. This will take the form of a performative lecture, interrogating dance, language, New York, Vermont, age, art, and gender, accompanied by projections, and interjectory guest performances. I strive for participants will leave with a newfound understanding of the spatial and temporal differences between New York City and Vermont, in relation primarily to queerness, (in)visibility, and language.

Civic Arts Magazine, VOL. I, NO. 3: Storytelling & Debate

Akeem Omar Ali - B.A. Alum 

Civic Arts Magazine is a civic pop-up magazine founded in 2018 at NYU Tisch. Each issue is an immersive, live-arts journalism event, featuring various artists, activists, entrepreneurs, scholars, and writers discussing and performing the various roles of storytelling in culture, media, and politics. As part of every issue, audience members become spect-actors given the chance to collectively determine how the event will unfold. VOL. I, NO. 3 takes form as a Civic Forum Debate, a format devised by Civic Arts Magazine. The resolution asks, "Is racism expressed the same or differently across the United States?", and features six comedians: O'mar Finley, Sarah Harvard, Kate Robards, Alex English, Glory Mora, and Terence Delaine. The audience will collectively decide which debaters will team up and which team will argue for or against the resolution. The Magazine will investigate how a Performance Studies approach to civic engagement can contribute to a better understanding of the relationships between storytelling and debate, and how comedic performances influence the ways we understand racial conflict and civic engagement. 

Eco-Storytelling Workshop

Hallie Abelman - M.A. Alum

Hallie Abelman will host a workshop for people interested in oral storytelling that considers animals and the environment. She believes that telling stories about nonhumans can inspire necessary discussions about wider political and social justice issues such as racism and speciesism. This workshop will include discussion, a collective reading, free writing time, and culminate in an informal presentation from participants. The participant will walk away from this session with one (or more) of  the following: 1) I heard a funny story that revolved around an animal (living, dead or represented); 2) I wrote a funny story about an experience I had with an animal (or animal object); 3) I now have something to share at family gatherings and open mic nights that will encourage  others to consider animals in a new or perplexing way.

SESSION 4 | 2 pm -2:45 pm 

Dancing God's Imagination: A Discussion on the Body, Improvisation, Prophecy, and Western Christian Worship

Hannah Cohen - M.A. Alum 

Hannah Cohen, leader of Grace Capital City Church's Prophetic Dance Ministry, will share her experience with the emerging practices of Spirit-led improvisational prophetic worship in Western Christian churches.  After a brief demonstration, Cohen will share basic tenants of the practice and how it restructures the body-to-body relationship on a spiritual level. Participants will walk away with basic understanding of emerging Western Christian prophetic dance practices and how these worshipers listen to and partner with the Holy Spirit for inspiration.

Bharatanatyam - From the Disidentified to the Divine

Deepa Somasekhara Pillai - M.A. candidate 

Dance is the Mother of all Arts. – Curt Sachs. Questions like 'What would an Indian Classical Dancer be equipped with, in a course which caters to the life of the dis-identified?” have inspired this workshop. A deep-dive into the history of Bharatanatyam shows a strikingly similar era of dis-identification of the practitioners before the otherwise 'Elite' upper class society. What is lauded divine now was a symbol of shame, or to use the words of Muñoz, the tacky Chusmerians of once upon a time. This is just one side of the impact - learning to see history through the lens of the people involved. This workshop will give participants a time travelling journey through the Eastern culture - the Indian Subcontinent, a glimpse into Natyashastra - the dramaturgy of Indian Arts which is the Bible for all Indian performing Arts, a visual walk through of the chapters of the Bible which is followed in various parts of the world, and a live performance of Bharatanatyam in its full attire.

Performing Inventory, or, Counting and Being-counted

Manion Kuhn & Tim Reid - M.A. candidates

This presentation will take a closer look at performances of inventory, taking into account the history of logistics and supply chain management as a military function through the enterprise of colonization that demanded the creation of value from stolen life, and into a contemporaneous close reading of the embodied performance of the labor of scanning. It is this moment in which the body ergonomically and generously assists the machine to see, an experience of simultaneously counting and being-counted, in which the critical juncture emerges of an assemblage, accompaniment, collaboration, and conspiracy between bodies and devices. This presentation comes from some performance-as-research Manion Kuhn conducted over the summer, and some material from interviews Kuhn conducted with fellow logistics laborers. The lecture will touch on the possibility of obfuscation, and some ways for messing with or reformulating our entanglements with inventory. If nothing else, viewers will experience the performance/counting of time together.

Questions? Email Nicole Cusick at nmc337@nyu.edu.