If dance is a kind of knowledge, what kind of knowledge is it? What are the power relations between a moving body and a speaking body? Who has the right to dance what? What does it mean to repeat choreography?

Questions frame the construction of Netta Yerushalmy’s monumental performance project, Paramodernities, which debuted in 2018. And from May 4-9, the questions and conversation will move online, with daily streaming of an installment followed by commentary and chat with noted theorists and artists.

Yerushalmy pulled me into the project as the writer and a performer in the installment on Bob Fosse because of this larger goal to connect dance to wider social and political concerns, a longstanding foundation of my research. Paramodernities pushes this goal even further, by foregrounding movement and performance in making meaning in the moment. Each piece lasts approximately 30 minutes; words accompany the movement rather than music; and discussion follows the performance—part-dance, part-lecture, part town-hall gathering.

Watch and join the conversation here at 3pm each day! (Archived performance and conversations will be available until May 24.)

May 4: Vaslav Nijinksy, commentary by Jack Halberstam

May 5: Martha Graham, commentary by Pam Tanowitz

May 6: Alvin Ailey, commentary by Tracy K. Smith

May 7: Merce Cunningham, commentary by Fred Moten

May 8: Bob Fosse, commentary by Jeremy O. Harris

May 9: George Balanchine, commentary by Peter N. Miller

Julia Foulkes is Professor of History at The New School and a senior editor at Public Seminar.

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