SLIPPAGE: Performance | Culture | Technology

Where Black Studies & Artistic Research Forge New Social Possiblities

SLIPPAGE, led by Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz at Northwestern University, is a global think-tank exploring connections between performance, history, and technology; fostering critical interactions and staying at the forefront of innovative thinking.

A performer with a black hood, leans against a wall in a squat with their hands in the air while a projected image is displayed on the wall behind them.

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Two performers in the play Cane. One wears a red dress while the other sits on the ground with a green shirt and pants.

Black Art Experience

An Exciting Partnership With Mellon

Slippage is thrilled to announce funding support from the Mellon Foundation to support our work in Black Dance Studies. 

Learn how Thomas F. DeFrantz plans to use the grant to expand a research project focused on Black dance practices, African American identity, and Black freedom.

Explore Our Partnership

Thought Leadership

Black Performance Theory

Black Performance Theory is a rich interdisciplinary area of study and critical method. This collection of new essays by some of its pioneering thinkers – many of whom are performers – demonstrates the breadth, depth, innovation, and critical value of black performance theory.

Read an Excerpt

Who We Are

SLIPPAGE: Performance. Culture. Technology.

SLIPPAGE is a think-tank, an interdisciplinary performance research group that explores connections between performance, history, theater, and emergent technology.

Under the direction of professor Thomas F. DeFrantz, SLIPPAGE builds on the urgent need for intentional, critical, and timely interaction among artists, researchers, audiences, engineers, faculty, students, and general publics in the arts. Located in the Evanston campus of Northwestern University, SLIPPAGE, has a special imperative to organize cultural events that help us all imagine how creativity and expression operate at the core of artistry, humanity, technology, and social possibilities. SLIPPAGE produces conferences, symposia, workshops, and artist exchanges in events that mark social progress via research in performance.

Recognized globally, SLIPPAGE remains at the forefront of innovative thinking.

Learn More about SLIPPAGE


Thomas F. DeFrantz

Thomas F. DeFrantz directs SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications.

DeFrantz received the 2017 Outstanding Research in Dance award from the Dance Studies Association. He believes in our shared capacity to do better, and to engage our creative spirit for a collective good that is anti-racist, anti-homophobic, proto-feminist, and queer affirming.

Read More About Thomas

Tommy DeFrantz leaping


Celebrating Excellence: Spotlight on the Vibrant World of Black Artists

Explore the rich tapestry of narratives woven by black artists and dancers, as their performances transcend boundaries and challenge conventional norms, offering a unique perspective that inspires and resonates with audiences globally.

person dancing on stage during Home Made Me


We pay attention to the stories of those who have worked in the shadows; those whose hushed whispers tell of survival against long odds.

Thomas DeFrantz sits on the floor.


Conferences, symposia, working groups, and research formations explore what can happen when we look beyond any mainstream of social interaction.

A excerpt of Calculating Black Joy


We support advanced research in experimental performance by its collaborators, often resulting in print and digital publication.

Collaborative Canvas

We Embrace the Rich Mosaic of Artists in Our Community

Discover a community where artistic boundaries are shattered, bringing together a kaleidoscope of talents and perspectives from diverse backgrounds. Our platform is a melting pot of creativity, fostering an inclusive environment that sparks collaborations that resonate with the richness of global artistry while bringing the experience of black life to the forefront.

Meet Our People