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Dance@MIT Past Events
AY 2007-2008
Rokafella and Kwikstep
Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Lecture Series on Black Body in Dance, performance “Tongue, Smell, Color”
Melissa Blanco Borelli, performance workshop “Mulata Madness”
Amanda Loulaki and Short Mean Lady, performance “Delerium, or that Taste in my Mouth”

AY 2006-2007
Regina Rocke and Dawn Springer, Spring 2007
“A Token of One’s Affection,” “How to Kill Yourself”

African American Presence in Boston Dance: Elma Lewis, DeAma Battle, and Beyond
A lecture/demonstration by Kay Bourne and Cyrus Akeem Brooks
Sponsored by “Traditions in American Concert Dance: Gender and Autobiogrpahy” SP.591/21M.670
This lecture-demonstration will focus on Roxbury Dancers and Dance Studios over the years. Bourne, a noted journalist and chronicler of African American arts in Boston, will provide an overview of dance in Colonial Boston, where Africans both freed and enslaved congregated weekly on the Boston Common. Dancers in this ear arranged themselves into their nations and spoke in the tongues of their homeland such as Ebo. And, of course, this was an opportunity for dancing and children's rhyme games.

Centuries passed before African dance again became a part of the cultural life in Boston with a visit from Senegal's National Ballet and following this landmark concert in the mid 1960s, DeAma Battle's creation of the Art of Black Dance and Music. In the interim, African Americans attended cotillions at the governor's mansion and held their own society balls; tap dancers of renown settled here and opened dance studios; and ballet flourished alongside hip hop. The Broadway chorus line was invented in Boston with a black dance line that debuted in Haverhill before the show moved to the Chicago's World Fair.

This lecture-demonstration explores the extraordinary dance history of Boston with photographs, video clips, and a demonstration of dances by Brooks.

Victoria Marks, with Taisha Paggett
“Not About Iraq”
"Not About Iraq questions the relationship between words and experience, government rhetoric and reality. It is a non-authoritative piece about authority and persuasion that critiques my own fascination with dancing." --Victoria Marks

AY 2005-2006
Between an Arrow and a Fall
Interactive Technology: Liubo Borissov
Choreography/Performance: Edisa Weeks
Music: Sonreel

Sound of Bound Wings
Choreography: Homer Avila and Edisa Weeks
Performance: Jeffrey Peterson, Edisa Weeks
Music: Gabriel Faure
Costume: George Hudacko and Leslie Cocuzzo Held
Spool: Andrew Benepe
Sound Of Bound Wings was made possible through a Joyce Mertz Gilmore Foundation Grant and the generosity of family and friends.

Rocking the World - Women in Science
Choreography Edisa Weeks
Performance: Hortense Gerardo, Luciana Pereira, Lily Tong
Music: Richard Einhorn, De La Guarda
Costumes: Leslie Cocuzzo Held
Scenic Design: William Fregosi
Sound Design: Darryl Hell

AY 2004-2005
Fall 2004
"Outerlimits: The Analysis and Accomplishment of Wild Action and Real Moves"World-renowned dancer and choreographer Elizabeth Streb will present the 2004 Abramowitz Memorial. She will discuss the invention of new moves particularly contained in the act of pushing the body, always, to the outer limits of its present capabilities.

Fall 2004 – Guest Artist, Ken Pierce
music by Jean-Féry Rebel
choreography by Guest Artist Ken Pierce
Dancers - Karen Verschooren, Jessie Chen
-----brief pause-----
music by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
choreographed and performed by Irene Brisson
-----brief pause-----
SCALAR PLANES (have video on
music "La Jornada" by Montserrat Torras
performed by the MIT Wind Ensemble, Fred Harris, director
choreography by Thomas DeFrantz and the DTE
Dancers - Jessie Chen, Dora Kelle, Karen Verschooren
by Maurice Maeterlinck
Original Musical Score Composed and Performed by Akili Jamal
Staging by Thomas DeFrantz and the DTE
Assistant Director Jeffrey Klann
Lighting Devices Designed and Constructed by Dan Ports


Spring 2005
 “EXILIO:” Zero Tolerance for RUMBA in Central Park
Berta Jottar will show her video about rumba’s exilic condition as articulated in Central Park rumba during the late 1990’s.  The piece reveals the tension (musical and kinesthetic) resulting from rumba’s historical conflation of prohibition and leisure.   As Rumberos gathered every Sunday during the summer, the Giuliani administration and his Zero Tolerance politics of deterrence framed their interactions and artistic expressions.  The video depicts police efforts to suppress the rumba, and rumberos creative responses.
Tuesday May 8, 1-2:20pm
Sponsored by “Traditions in American Concert Dance: Gender and Autobiogrpahy” SP.591/21M.670


AY 2003-2004
Fall 2003:
CLICHE SOUP (have video on
Choreography by Alexandra Beller with members of the DTE, Fall 2003.
Music by Michael Fabio 04, Costumes by Leslie Held,
Setting by Bill Fregosi, Lighting by Lawrie Gibson 05 & Alisa Lehman 05
Performed by Melissa Cain, Michelle Machon, Irene Brisson,
Martine Lamy, Stephanie Sharo Chiesi, James Tolbert II & Janet Zhou

Choreography by Thomas DeFrantz.
Music by Daniel Mcanulty 04, Lighting by Karen Perlow
Performed by Thomas DeFrantz

BATHROOM SUITE (have video)
Choreography by Thomas DeFrantz with members of the DTE, Spring 2003.
Costumes by Leslie Held, Setting by Bill Fregosi, Lighting by John Head 05
Performed by Martine Lamy, Yael Marshall, Melissa Cain,
Stephanie Sharo Chiesi , James Tolbert II & LeeAnn Hastings,

HOURS (have video)
Choreography by Thomas DeFrantz with members of the DTE, Fall 2003.
Music by Peter Child, Costumes by Leslie Held, Setting by Bill Fregosi,
Lighting by Kuuipo Curry 04 & Alex French 05
Performed by Irene Brisson (Virginia), Stephanie Sharo Chiesi (Vanessa),
Martine Lamy (Laura), Cortina McCurry (Kitty), James Tolbert II (Richard)
Melissa Cain (Clarissa) & LeeAnn Hastings (Sally)

Spring 2004:
Anna Scott’s “Fish Tales, Rivers, and Other Female Parts” UC Riverside Professor of Dance Anna Scott presents a solo work about cultural memory, spirituality, gender, and dance.


AY 2002-2003
Special Event March 4: Jigna Desia, Mit Alum, lecture “Watching "Home" Movies: Hollywood Cinema in South Asian America.”

Special Lecture April 17: Yutian Wong, Post-Doctoral Scholar at Bryn Mawr College, lecture “Upstaging Orientalism: Performing Race and Gender in (Asian) American Modern/Postmodern Dance.”

Lecture Demonstration/Master Class: Rennie Harris PureMovement at Killian Hall Friday, February 7 at 4pm.



Thomas DeFrantzProfessor

defrantz at mit dot edu

(617) 253-6957