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Scholars@Hallwalls: Ariel Nereson, “Choreographing History: Black Concert Dance and the Question of Genre”
October 18, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Join us at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center for our ninth year of Faculty Fellows talks! This lecture series brings current UB humanities research out into the community – with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres. Free and open to the public.
Ariel Nereson’s presentation asks if sentimentalism can be useful for contemporary black artists; if, as a set of aesthetic tactics, sentimentalism offers representational and experiential possibilities that usefully exceed or amend those canonized in black concert dance as the postmodern avant-garde. She interprets choreographer Bill T. Jones’s works about Abraham Lincoln as an aesthetic-political project of (re)inventing black womanhood that reveals the radical potential of the sentimental for black artists, whose participation in the public sphere of the arts remains circumscribed in tandem with ongoing US political disenfranchisement.
Ariel directs the MFA in Dance and is Associate Director of Graduate Studies for UB’s Department of Theatre & Dance. Her current book project, Democracy Moving: Bill T. Jones, Contemporary Performance, and the Racial Past, demonstrates how formations of aesthetics and genre, and questions of how and why we remember the past, interanimate one another in movement-based practices. At UB Ariel teaches courses across the undergraduate and graduate curricula centered on performance, history, embodiment, and race. Ariel is also a practicing choreographer and dramaturg.