Afro-Feminist Performance Routes Conference

Afro-Feminist Dance Symposium at Duke, Feb. 19-22

DURHAM, N.C. – A four-day symposium at Duke University will feature seven prominent female dancers from the African diaspora, in artistic discussion, “a dialogue in movement,” about creative practice, migration, and African philosophy.

“Afro-Feminist Performance Routes: Diasporic Dis/Locations,” sponsored by SLIPPAGE@Duke, will be held Feb. 19-22, and is free and open to the public. Events will be held in the university’s Rubenstein Arts Center and White Lecture Hall on East Campus. For a detailed schedule and artist bios, visit the symposium’s website.

Artists, dancers, students and members of the community are invited to participate in workshops, presentations, performances, informal conversations, and a roundtable discussion, all centered around the ways in which “movement constitutes culture, embodied practice engenders place, and migration informs subjectivity and notions of belonging.”

The event is convened by Thomas F. DeFrantz, a professor of dance and African & African American Studies at Duke; Dasha A. Chapman, a professor of critical studies at Hampshire College; Andrea Woods-Valdez, and Ava LaVonne Vinesset, both associate professors of the practice of dance in the Duke Dance Program, with assistance from Mario LaMothe of the African-American Cultural Center at University of Illinois-Chicago.

Invited artists include Léna Blou, Rujeko Dumbutshena, Sephora Germain, Yanique Hume and Halifu Osumare, Jade Power Sotomayor and Luciane Ramos Silva who will each offer workshops during their shared residency. 

“They constitute a multi-ethnic and multinational cohort of Black women whose practices reflect the intersections that people of African descent must navigate to locate themselves within past, present and future histories and experiences. Dance is their medium not only to illuminate the dangers of unquestioned attachments to gendered and racialized hierarchies in the circum-Atlantic region but also to think or move through them,” LaMothe said.

Afro-Feminist Performance Routes has been organized in convergence with the fourth biennial Collegium for African Diaspora Dance Conference (CADD), “Fluid Black: Dance Back,” held Feb. 21-23 on Duke’s campus.

The event sponsors are SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology, directed by Thomas F. DeFrantz; the Duke Dance Program; the Franklin Humanities Institute John Hope Franklin Afro-Diasporic Legacies Series; and the Duke Office of Global Affairs.