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University of the Arts School of Dance presents "The School for Temporary Liveness," Sept. 25 - Oct. 2

by Michelle Tabnick
August 3, 2019
Philadelphia Art Alliance at University of the Arts
251 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
University of the Arts School of Dance
presents
"The School for Temporary Liveness"
September 25-October 2, 2019
at the Philadelphia Art Alliance at University of the Arts

University of the Arts School of Dance presents "The School for Temporary Liveness," featuring a new commission by Isabel Lewis and a live performance album from nora chipaumire, from September 25-October 2, 2019 at the Philadelphia Art Alliance at University of the Arts, 251 S. 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA. The events are FREE and open to the public. Advance registration for programs will be available at www.temporaryliveness.org in mid-August.
 
"The School for Temporary Liveness" is a week-long series of performances, workshops, lectures, and conversations inhabiting the poetic frame of a school. Supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, "The School for Temporary Liveness" brings together an international roster of artists and scholars working in dance, visual art, poetry, music and more, including nora chipaumire, Isabel Lewis, Colin Self, Simone White and Jackie Wang, among others. Open to the public from 4-10pm daily with a 24-hour cycle over the weekend, "The School for Temporary Liveness" consists of three zones of encounter: The Classroom, The Library and Study Hall, and invites anyone who participates to consider themselves a student, and to engage in new forms of spectatorship and ways of being together.
 
"If we think of the whole operation of a school as a performance, how does that change the ways we teach and learn, or what we think of as knowledge?," said curator Lauren Bakst. "'The School for Temporary Liveness' engages the theatre of a school while looking to performances themselves as sites of knowledge, so that we might engage with the public in critically reflecting on and imagining what a school can do and be."
 
The Classroom hosts a new commission by Isabel Lewis, who will create a site-specific piece bringing together the work of Berlin-based musical entity LABOUR, scientists from Monell Chemical Senses Center and local musicians and Philadelphia-based dancers. The Classroom is a contemporary social ritual through which various bodily and sensorial knowledges are discovered and experienced.
 
The Library is home to nora chipaumire's #PUNK 100% POP *N!GGA(verbalized as "hashtag punk, one hundred percent popstar nigga"), a three-part live-performance album inspired by chipaumire's formative years in Zimbabwe during the '70s, '80s and '90s. It explores the sonic ideologies of punk, pop and Congolese rumba, through the iconic artists Patti Smith, Grace Jones and Rit Nzele, respectively. Each part is embedded with a lecture or history lesson that explores how knowledge can be shared through live performance.
 
Study Hall includes workshops, lectures, conversations and new formats for study led by practitioners considering the constraints and possibilities of liveness, living and life from various perspectives. Watch, listen, speak, practice and reflect with Rizvana Bradley, Jarrett Earnest, Brooke Holmes, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Colin Self, Ulises, Jackie Wang, Simone Whiteand others. In addition to these programs, Study Hall will remain open throughout the week as a space for knowledge-exchange where anyone can sign up to be a teacher, student or witness.
 
"The School for Temporary Liveness" allows for participants to create class schedules for themselves and compile a series of performances and events they attend throughout the week. "The School for Temporary Liveness" re-positions spectatorship as an active learning (or un-learning) process and performance as a site for the production and exchange of alternative knowledges. Anyone can be a student.
 
"The School for Temporary Liveness" is presented by University of the Arts School of Dance. This project has been supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
 
The Classroom
Discover new bodily knowledges through a contemporary social ritual with Isabel Lewis.
 
Wednesday, Sept. 25 | 8 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 26 | 4 p.m.-6 p.m. 
Friday, Sept. 27 | 8 p.m.-10 p.m. 
Saturday, Sept. 28 | 4 p.m-6 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 30 | 8 p.m.-10 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 1 | 4 p.m.-6 p.m
 
For Existing Otherwise: Expanded Sensorial Walk (251 S. 18th Street, Philadelphia), Isabel Lewis, joined by long-standing collaborators, musical entity LABOUR, engages a cast of Philadelphia-based dancers, scientists from the Monell Chemical Senses Center and local musicians in the creation of a new site-specific work for the ground floor of the historical Philadelphia Art Alliance building on Rittenhouse Square. This work takes the form of a walk that invites visitors to move from a nearby outdoor location through the rooms of the ground floor of the former Wetherill Mansion-cum-multi-disciplinary arts center and social club. Using spoken address, scent, music and choreography, Lewis and her collaborators unfold a poetic rumination on American stories of race and class via the subtle engagement of the senses rather than the violence of (re)presentation. 
 
*Related Study Hall Events
Conversation with Isabel Lewis and Brooke Holmes | Saturday, Sept. 28 | 6 p.m.
Conversation with local experts | Sunday, Sept. 29 | 11:30 a.m.
Study Hall | Wednesday, Oct. 2 | 4-8 p.m.
 
Isabel Lewis (b. 1981) is a Berlin-based artist born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and raised on a man-made island off the coast of southwest Florida. Before relocating to Berlin in 2009, she lived in New York City for several years where she was very active in the dance scene, involved with Movement Research, and danced for many choreographers, showing her own commissioned works at The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, New Museum, Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, PS 122, and the Dia Art Foundation. Trained in literary criticism, dance and philosophy, her work takes on many different formats from lecture performances to workshops, music sessions, parties, hosted occasions and large scale artistic/programmatic works like "The Institute for Embodied Creative Practices" and her recent series of public workshops and activations for Basel's Messeplatz called "Urban Flourishing." Her work has been presented at Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève, Kunsthalle Basel, Frieze London, Liverpool Biennial, the Institute of Contemporary Arts London (ICA), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Turin, Tanz im August Berlin, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Palais de Tokyo, Tate Modern London and Ming Contemporary Art Museum Shanghai. Lewis has created works around such topics as open source technology and dance improvisation, social dances as cultural storage systems ("Mountain Grass, Mountain Hare: bodily imprinting and social dances," 2012), collaborative creative formats ("Communal EPIC Fiction," 2010), future bodily techniques ("BALLISTIC BODY," 2011), and rapping as an embodied speech act ("FLOW PLAY: Sensualized Speech and Hip Hop," 2013) that have been presented at Serpentine Galleries, Kampnagel and Hebbel Am Ufer amongst others.
 
The Library
Read, and be read in return, in nora chipaumire's three-part live-performance album.
 
#PUNK | Wednesday, Sept. 25 | 7 p.m.
100% POP | Thursday, Sept. 26 | 9 p.m.
*N!GGA | Friday, Sept. 27 | 6 p.m.
#PUNK 100% POP *N!GGA | Saturday, Sept. 28 | 8 p.m.
#PUNK | Monday, Sept. 30 | 7 p.m.
100% POP *N!GGA | Tuesday, Oct. 1 | 8 p.m.
 
#PUNK 100% POP *N!GGA (verbalized as "hashtag punk, one hundred percent pop, star nigga") is a live performance album inspired by chipaumire's formative years in Zimbabwe during the '70s, '80s and '90s. The triptych explores three sonic ideologies: punk, pop and rumba, confronted and celebrated through iconic artists Patti Smith, Grace Jones and Rit Nzele, respectively. Each part is embedded with a kind of lecture or history lesson that experiments with how knowledge can be shared through live performance.      
 
chipaumire's work questions how status and power are experienced and presented through the body. For those, as she remarks, born without property, name or class, the human body poses a possible salvation, a manifesto or a vehicle for potential self-invention and self-determination. #PUNK 100% POP *N!GGA is a continuation of chipaumire's career-long investigation of portraiture and self-portraiture, biography, subjecthood, liberation and independence.
 
Conceived and choreographed by nora chipaumire
Performed by nora chipaumire with Shamar Watt, David Gagliardi and Atiyyah Khan
Sound, Light, Costume Concept, Text, Script by nora chipaumire
Sound Research, Construction, Assemblage by nora chipaumire with Shamar Watt
Sound Design by Philip White
Technical Direction by Sean Seago (EU) and Heidi Eckwall (US)
Set Design by Ari Marcopoulos, Kara Walker and Matt Jackson Studio
 
*Related Study Hall Events
Talk by Rizvana Bradley | Sunday, Sept. 30 | 2:30 p.m.
Study Hall | Wednesday, Oct. 2 | 4-8 p.m.
 
Born in Mutare, Zimbabwe and based in NYC, nora chipaumire has been contesting and embracing stereotypes of Africa, the black performing body, art and aesthetics since she started making dances in 1998. chipaumire is currently touring "#PUNK 100%POP *NIGGA," a three-part live performance album which had its world premiere at The Kitchen in NYC in October 2018. Her current and ongoing work includes a digital book project, "nhaka"-a theory, technology, practice and process. She is working on an upcoming opera entitled "Nehanda" (2020). chipaumire is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow and a three-time Bessie Award winner.
 
Study Hall
Watch, listen, speak, practice and reflect with Rizvana Bradley, Jarrett Earnest, Brooke Holmes, Tiona Nekkia McClodden, Colin Self, Jackie Wang, Ulises, Simone White and others.
 
In addition to the programs scheduled below, Study Hall will always be open as a space for conversation, learning and reflection. Sign up to be a teacher, student, or witness on site at the Philadelphia Art Alliance during school hours. 
 
A selection of confirmed offerings below:
Orientation: The School for Temporary Liveness
The School for Temporary Liveness Team
Wednesday, Sept. 25 | 6:00 p.m.
 
Join in the Study Hall for an opening gesture of orientation to begin The School for Temporary Liveness.
 
Workshop Series: XOIR 
Colin Self
Session #1 | Thursday, Sept. 26 | 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Session #2 | Friday, Sept. 27 | 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Session #3 | Saturday, Sept. 28 | 6:00-8:00 p.m. 
Session #4 | Sunday, Sept. 29 | 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
 
Colin Self will lead a series of XOIR sessions weaving together group singing with dialogue and shared research. Source materials will include texts and concepts by Anne Carson, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Jon Lindblom, Mark Fisher, Ursula K. Le Guin and Hannah Hurtzig. XOIR (pronounced choir) is rooted in collectively building an alternative form of group singing outside the traditional canon of notated sheet music. Previous participation with group singing or music practice is not required and this series will seek to expand vocal inquiry across diverse backgrounds, providing an expansive potential for exploring the voice as a somatic tool for learning. Curiosity over expertise, willingness over skill. 
 
Talk: The Intelligence of Hands 
Jarrett Earnest
Thursday, Sept. 26 | 7:30 p.m.
"The aptitudes of hands are written in their touching and holding. The aptitudes of hands are written in their curves and structures" wrote art historian Henri Focillon. Shifts in technology necessitate new consideration of previously naturalized experiences. For instance: in the twenty-first century our most sophisticated tool-the hand-is increasingly reduced to a mere scrolling agent, from finger tip of the index finger. This lecture examines the role of the human hand in the history of images and its relevance to contemporary art. 
 
Workshop: "Wisdom can only be passed on by the touching of hands" 
Jarrett Earnest
Saturday, Sept. 28 | 4:00-6:00 p.m.
This workshop expands on ideas from "The Intelligence of Hands" in experiential form. The title is taken from a plaque beneath a bronze cast of Genesis P-Orridge's piece "Touching of Hands," words spoken to he/r by Brion Gysin. As a group we will make life-casts of our hands, which will form the conceptual basis for individual projects that can include photography, drawing or performance, and which will be shared at the end of the session. Inspiration will come through the discussion of artworks by Yvonne Rainer, Carolee Schneemann, Rebecca Horn and Avram Finkelstein, among others. 
 
Conversation: Co-creating presence(s) and past(s)
Brooke Holmes and Isabel Lewis
Saturday, Sept. 28 | 6 p.m.
Brooke Holmes and Isabel Lewis explore the question: How do we forge lives together in relationship to pasts that are neither fully shared nor fully individual? The conversation begins with an exploration of the ancient concept of "sympathy," a Greek word that affirms the possibility of being affected together without erasing the boundaries of specific bodies, with their specific histories and specific compositions.  It moves into an experiment in dialogue as a form of "temporary liveness," where conversation is a particular kind of space for sustaining sympathy, all the while considering the many layered pasts of The School for Temporary Liveness as common ground.
 
Talk: Carceral Temporalities
Jackie Wang
Sunday, Sept. 29 | 1:30 p.m.
Contemporary politics of safety are strongly linked to forms of empathetic identification. Infrastructures of algorithmic policing define who is worthy of feeling safe and secure and enact or suspend one's future. A language of comfort acknowledges those considered innocent and pure and justifies violence for others. But what about the lives being paused and no longer acknowledged? Prison abolitionist, poet, writer and performer Jackie Wang has been examining this question as part of her work on "carceral capitalism." At her talk, she will discuss how carceral temporalities are brutally imposed and emphasize the potential to escape and disrupt time. Drawing inspiration from the work of Moor Mother and the Black Quantum Futurism Collective, she will explore modes of inhabiting time that undermine carceral temporalities.
 
Reading Room by Ulises
How might the performance of the body inform our understanding of the circulation of books? Ulises invites you to a room for reading and reflection open throughout the duration of The School for Temporary Liveness. Housed within the Study Hall, the reading room will gather texts that inform and extend from The School for Temporary Liveness's curriculum and participating practitioners. 
 
Ulises Pop-up Shop
Browse a selection of domestic and international titles-including independent art publications and artists' books-on critical theory, embodied practice, Black radical thought and other concepts key to The School for Temporary Liveness.
 
Night School
Saturday, Sept. 28 11 p.m.-Sunday, Sept 29 10 a.m.
Spend the night with us. What kinds of study and learning can happen only at night? 
We will dance, write, listen to music, watch films, read out loud, sleep and dream.
 
"The School for Temporary Liveness" Schedule:

School Hours
Wednesday, Sept. 25-Friday, Sept. 27 | 4 p.m.-10 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 28 | 4 p.m.-midnight
Sunday, Sept. 29 | midnight-4 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 30-Wednesday, Oct. 2 |  4 p.m.-10 p.m.
 
Wednesday, Sept. 25
6 p.m. Orientation | Study Hall
7 p.m. #PUNK by nora chipaumire | Performance | The Library
8 p.m. Existing Otherwise by Isabel Lewis | Performance | The Classroom
9 p.m. Garden Party
 
Thursday, Sept. 26
4 p.m. Existing Otherwise by Isabel Lewis | Performance | The Classroom 
5:30 p.m. XOIR Session #1 with Colin Self | Workshop | Study Hall
7:30 p.m. "The Intelligence of Hands" by Jarrett Earnest | Talk | Study Hall
8:15 p.m. "Forcible Performance" by Simone White | Talk | Study Hall
9 p.m. 100% POP by nora chipaumire | Performance | The Library
 
Friday, Sept. 27
4 p.m.  XOIR Session #2 with Colin Self | Workshop | Study Hall
6 p.m. *N!GGA by nora chipaumire | Performance | The Library
7 p.m. "The Peripheral Gaze" by Tiona Nekkia McClodden | Talk | Study Hall
8 p.m. Existing Otherwise by Isabel Lewis | Performance | The Classroom
 
Saturday, Sept. 28
4 p.m. "Wisdom can only be passed on by the touching of hands" with Jarrett Earnest | Workshop | Study Hall
4 p.m. Existing Otherwise by Isabel Lewis | Performance | The Classroom
6 p.m. Co-creating presence(s) and past(s) with Isabel Lewis and Brooke Holmes | Conversation | Study Hall
6 p.m.  XOIR Session #3 with Colin Self | Workshop | Study Hall
8 p.m. #PUNK 100%POP *N!GGA by nora chipaumire | Performance | The Library
 
NIGHT SCHOOL
11 p.m. XOIR Performance
12:00 a.m. Abolitionist Poetics and the Practice of Dreaming (Workshop) | Jackie Wang
1 a.m-10 a.m. FULL SCHEDULE coming soon
 
Sunday, Sept. 29
11:30 a.m. Isabel Lewis, Brooke Holmes and guests | Conversation | Study Hall
11:30 a.m. XOIR Session #4 with Colin Self | Workshop | Study Hall
1:30 p.m. Carceral Temporalities by Jackie Wang | Talk | Study Hall
2:30 p.m. Rizvana Bradley, followed by conversation with nora chipaumire | Talk | Study Hall
 
Monday, Sept. 30
5 p.m. Study Hall with Tiona Nekkia McClodden
7 p.m. #PUNK by nora chipaumire | Performance | The Library
8 p.m. Existing Otherwise by Isabel Lewis | Performance | The Classroom
 
Tuesday, Oct. 1
4 p.m. Existing Otherwise by Isabel Lewis | Performance | The Classroom
6 p.m. Study Hall with Rizvana Bradley and Simone White |
8 p.m. #PUNK *N!GGA by nora chipaumire | Performance | The Library
 
Wednesday, Oct. 2
4 p.m. Study Hall with nora chipaumire, Isabel Lewis and the School for Temporary Liveness
8 p.m. Closing Party

Artist bios are available here.
 
The School of Dance at University of the Arts, under the leadership of Donna Faye Burchfield, is a community of 300 talented, expressive students and an exceptional faculty of accomplished professionals with abilities and experiences that are diverse and far-reaching. The School of Dance reimagines and reinvigorates curricular approaches to reflect the ever-expanding landscape of dance while training and supporting the futures of young dance artists. Students are encouraged to discover their interests, articulate their perspectives and situate themselves as participants capable of developing new critical approaches to dance and performance. The curriculum takes the depth and rigor of a discipline based dance conservatory while actively interweaving practice and theory, as well as maintaining international collaborations and exchanges on undergraduate and graduate levels. 
 
The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage is a multidisciplinary grantmaker and hub for knowledge-sharing, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, dedicated to fostering a vibrant cultural community in Greater Philadelphia. The Center invests in ambitious, imaginative and catalytic work that showcases the region's cultural vitality and enhances public life and engages in an exchange of ideas concerning artistic and interpretive practice with a broad network of cultural practitioners and leaders. pewcenterarts.org
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