Workshop with taisha paggett
Saturday, September 14th, 2019—2:30pm
“because in this new dance we
play gravity like a pick primping its last ‘do…
because as fish swim and birds fly, we stand against
the pressure—up, out, off, in, for and against
the ceaseless, creaseless pressure…
because we were born with resistance in our spines…
because we don’t collapse so much as
fold over, like prostrate
origami tumbling through dense sky…” *
I’ve been thinking a lot about gravity. The gravity of the blood (to paraphrase movement artist Bonnie
Bainbridge Cohen) but also the gravity of being a racialized body (which, at the end of the day, we all are)….
The gravity of this violent political moment but also the gravity of getting lost in the groove of a favourite
song…. The gravity of weight exchange in a Contact dance but also the gravity of grieving…. The gravity of
a delicious breath but also the gravity of having to navigate uncertain and unfamiliar terrains.
This dance workshop will be rooted in improvisation-based practices and experiments that seek to bring
these seemingly disparate ideas into conversation, into communion. We’ll explore dancing alone and in
dialogue with others, physical and perceptual skills such as falling, suspension, giving and supporting
weight, with one or more partners, working with and across disorientation, and using breath as a support
structure and catalyst for moving.
* From taisha paggett, “vestibular mantra (or radical virtuosities for a brave new dance)” (2012)
Space is limited and registration is required. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for this workshop.
The net that holds and unfolds us, together
Biographytaisha paggett is a dance artist whose individual and collaborative interdisciplinary works re-articulate and collide specific western choreographic practices with the politics of daily life in order to interrupt fixed notions of queer Black embodiment, desire and survival. Such works include the dance company project, WXPT (we are the paper, we are the trees) and the collaborative School for the Movement of the Technicolo(u)r People, both of which seek to reframe and radicalize concepts held within contemporary dance by way of an intersection with social practice; experimental pedagogy; somatic and contemplative investigations; queer, feminist and Black studies; performance and visual art studies; and the political and philosophical meshes of personal history.
paggett’s work has been presented at the Hammer Museum as part of Made in LA; Commonwealth & Council (LA); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LA); Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia); DiverseWorks (Houston); the Whitney Biennial; Studio Museum in Harlem; Danspace at St Mark’s Church (New York); and Simon Fraser University and the Audain Gallery (Vancouver), amongst other venues. Project support has come via the MAP Fund (in partnership with LACE), the National Performance Network, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, Clockshop and the California Community Foundation; Show Box LA; Toronto Arts Council (with Gallery TPW), and residencies at the Headlands (Sausalito, CA), Light Box (Detroit); and University of British Columbia, Okinagan, Summer Indigenous Studies program. paggett is the 2019 recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Merce Cunningham Award.
paggett has had that honor to work with many artists and projects over the years including Every House Has a Door, David Roussève/REALITY, Victoria Marks, Kelly Nipper, Meg Wolfe; Yael Davids; Ashley Hunt, and Anya Cloud and Rebeca Salzar’s latest video "the window kind of opens by itself." From 2005-13 paggett co-instigated, with Wolfe, the LA-based dance project zine, itch. paggett received a BA in Art History from UC Santa Cruz, an MFA from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance and is an associate professor of dance at UC Riverside.