Graduate Colloquium: Clare Croft
“Unstable Hierarchies: Eisa Jocson, Jill Johnston, and Queer Dancing”
Monday, October 2
12PM – 1:30PM
Hierarchies are inevitable. The stability of a hierarchy is not, however, inevitable. This talk argues that the work of queer dance—on the stage, on the dance floor, and on the page—is to destabilize, to never allow power imbalances to settle into comfortable hierarchies. To consider queer dance’s potential for disrupting hierarchies, this talk draws on two disparate case studies: the writings of American postmodern dance critic and lesbian activist Jill Johnston and the choreography and performance of Filipino contemporary artist Eisa Jocson. Through close analysis of Johnston’s writing about dance, Johnston’s activist spectacles, and Jocson’s choreographic work Macho Dancer (2013), I examine how the associative logics of postmodern and contemporary performance imagine a queer, embodied politics.
Clare Croft is a dance historian and theorist, and a sometimes dramaturg and curator. She is the editor and curator of Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings (Oxford 2017) and the author of Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange (Oxford 2015). Her writing has appeared in a range of publications in journalism, including The Brooklyn Rail, The Washington Post, and the Austin American Statesman; and in academia, including Theatre Journal, Dance Research Journal, and Theatre Topics. She is Assistant professor of Dance at the University of Michigan, and previously was a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows, also at Michigan.