Last Spotted In London

Temple dance professor, Dr. Sherril Dodds, went to London to give a performative lecture on break dancing. The lecture was entitled “Drilling, Grit and Flava: Epistemologies of Breaking” at a symposium on ‘Hip Hop Pedagogies’ at the University of East London’s Centre for Performing Arts and Development and the Dance.

The lecture reflected upon Dodds’ experience as a 50-year old novice b-girl.  She reflected on how breaking has prompted ontological and epistemological ruptures that move her literally and metaphorically.  In conversation with a practice-led methodology, she placed ‘doing’ at the centre of knowledge production.  From this she came to understand concepts of drilling, grit, and flava, and she engaged in alternative models of learning, collective pedagogy, and community belonging.  Through the performative lecture, she examined how sessions and cyphers enable her to encounter the aesthetic and history of the b-girl body, confront her present identity position, and begin to re-imagine the social and physical expectations of her body.

-Alissa Elegant, MFA Student

Dance For A Cause


SOURCE: An Evening of Performance in Celebration of World Water Day, to be presented Thursday March 22, 2018, at 7PM.

Temple dance students, in partnership with the Office of Sustainability at Temple University, present SOURCE, a celebration of World Water Day, Thursday, March 22, at 7pm. This performance will be in the Conwell Dance Theater, 1801 North Broad St., 5th Floor. SOURCE is an evening of dance performance, with a special presentation from environmental scientist and Temple University Professor, Fletcher Chmara-Huff, and will be followed by a reception to engage with presenting artists! The event is scheduled in observance of the United Nations Day of Action devoted to raising public attention to the critical water issues of our era. The performance is free and open to the public.

SOURCE will be the fourth-year Temple Dance students have celebrated World Water

Day with an evening of performance. This is also the first year that the Temple Dance Department is pairing up with the Office of Sustainability to continue the mission to raising awareness. Every year dance students create works responding to the spiritual and life giving properties of water, as well as the social issues around water access. This evening of performance links art, science, and activism, drawing from the notion that all three are needed to engage complex problems.

The performances and presentations will address a range of issues: the global water crisis both nationally and internationally, climate change, protecting our oceans, rivers and lakes, as well as meditative works looking at the molecular structure of water, how other cultures celebrate water, and reflecting on how we treat water in our everyday lives. Every performance has the goal to question the corporate view of water as a “resource” rather than an intrinsic right, in addition to honoring water as a source of life. The dancer/choreographers are looking forward to the engagement period after the performance, creating an atmosphere of active conversation, beyond passive reception of a “performance.”

SOURCE’s mission is not only to observe and celebrate World Water Day, but to invite

the Philadelphia community to join us in staying informed and involved with the issues that

surround water today. Water has been privatized in many places around the globe with

devastating consequences for the communities whose water is sold to large

corporations. SOURCE explores and advocates for useful responses to a global crisis that threatens the stability and subsequent motility of all living bodies.

SOURCE will include works choreographed by Angela Watson, Avi Wolf Borouchoff, Dawn States, Enya-Kalia Jordan,Kailia Kingsford Smith, Prudence Anne Amsden, Teresa Barr, Tyra Jones-Blain,Ying Yu, and additional contributions from Temple’s Environmental Studies majors. SOURCE is directed by Prudence Anne Amsden with assistance from Avi Wolf Borouchoff and Dawn States, and facilitated by Professor Merián Soto and Professor Fletcher Chmara-Huff.

Please join us for SOURCE, an evening of performance to celebrate World Water Day. Check out a review of a past event by Julia Davis in GreenPhillyBlog.


2017 Reflection:Response Commission

May 2, 2017 

Temple University Department of Dance

The Temple University Department of Dance, Institute for Dance Scholarship, is delighted to announce the sixth Reflection:Response Choreographic Commission has been awarded to

Lela Aisha Jones | FlyGround 

Building on her current series of episodic works, Plight Release & the Diasporic Body, Lela Aisha Jones will create Everyday SaturdayThis work traverses, through the body and movement, what a diasporic orientation offers us as a guide towards individual and collective restoration. The choreography remembers, archives, and excavates black/African descendent cultural retentions. The purpose is to sustain the practices of togetherness and solidatiry by centering lived experiences and movement as fertile resources. Jones is asking, “What if we continue to bring into consciousness that we, as people on this earth, remain and become tapestries grounded in histories and our own discoveries that collide, merge, diverge, and converge?  What if the body and artistry are the most ripe locations for these processes?”

Everyday Saturday works to capture the gestural, common, and less visible locations of black/African diasporic movement in the U.S. It is inspired by the Saturday morning clean up ritual that took place weekly in the Southern U.S., North Florida city of Tallahassee, in the Jones home. Dancing while cleaning makes work feel like family. Cleaning becomes a metaphor for bringing up the dirt and the stories only the body can tell—acknowledging them and making room for the new. Students of the Temple University Department of Dance will join Jones and her company in Everyday Saturday.  

In addition Lela Aisha Jones | FlyGround will perform the critically acclaimed trio Jesus & Egun (2016) a deemed by NYC Reviewer Eva Yaa Asantawaa as a choreographic world she would never want to leave.

Performances will take place in Temple University’s Conwell Dance Theater, on Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23, at 7:30 PM.  Additional public programming includes a public Diasporic Movement Practice workshop on Sunday led by Lela Aisha Jones,  Sept 24, from  2-5PM and a roundtable forum titled Integrity and Imagination While Dancing Diaspora on Sunday Oct 1, from 2-5pm.

The Reflection/Response Choreographic Commission includes a cash award of $5,000 and access to rehearsal space at Temple University throughout summer 2017.  Past commission recipients include Laura Peterson, Charles O. Anderson, Tatyana Tennenbaum, Jennifer Weber, and Kathy Westwater.

Lela Aisha Jones is a native of Tallahassee, FL who resides in Philadelphia, PA.  She is a  movement performance artist that has come to understand dance as an “archival practice” and her body “as an artistic archive—a creative storage space for movement and culture derived from the individual and collective lived experiences of blackness.” Lela is the founder of FlyGround, her creative home, where she cultivates her artistry that intertwines personal history, diasporic movement, social commentary, and interdisciplinary methods.  Lela earned a Master of Fine Arts in Dance at Florida State University and is a current doctoral candidate at Texas Woman’s University.  She is a 2013 Dance USA Philadelphia Rocky Awardee, a 2015 Leeway Foundation Transformation Awardee and a member of the inaugural 2015 Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellows designed by leaders at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in NYC. Lela is also a 2017 New York Dance and Performance Award – Bessie nominated choreographer and a 2016 Pew Fellow in the Arts.

January Residency 2017 with Ishmael Houston-Jones

January Residency 2017 with Ishmael Houston-Jones

Monday through Friday, January 9 through 13, 2017, 9-5 each day

Ishmael Houston-Jones is a choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator. His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York City, across the US, and in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Latin America. Houston-Jones and Fred Holland shared a Bessie Award for their piece Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders. He also revived THEM, his 1985 collaboration with writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane for which he was awarded his second Bessie Award. He has curated Platform 2012: Parallels and Platform 2016: Lost and Found, both at Danspace Project. He is a recipient of the 2016 Herb Alpert, a 2015 Doris Duke Impact and a 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Artists Awards.


Audition: November 30, 2016

4:30 – 6:00 PM in Pearson 221

To register, email

This may be taken for Repertory II or III but that is not required

Professor Merián Soto is collaborating with South Korean Artist Jungwoong Kim in SaltSoul

Professor Merián Soto

Professor Merián Soto

Temple Dance Professor Merián Soto is collaborating with South Korean Artist Jungwoong Kim in SaltSoul, an exploration, through dance, voice, traditional music, and experimental video, of experiencing sudden loss of a loved one, and how art evokes human capacity to address tragedy.  It is inspired by three tragic events: the death of Jungwoong Kim’s father in an auto accident when he was 10, the 6 deaths and additional catastrophic injuries caused by the collapse of a Salvation Army store in Philadelphia in 2013, and the deaths of more than 300 people- most of them high school students on a school trip- when an overcrowded ferry capsized off the coast of Jungwoong’s native South Korea.

The piece merges traditional and improvisational movement and music, voice, and experimental video.  You can see photos  and videos of the public artistic explorations the artists have done on this topic leading up to this performance.

The performance begins outside Asian Arts Initiative in the Pearl Street corridor with an invocation that is free and open to the public. From there, ticketed audience members enter inside to move with the dancers and musicians among the centers three floors, through imagined environments evoked by sound, light, and video. Tickets can be purchased by clicking the link below.

Performance Details

Thursday – Saturday, Oct 6,7,8 at 8pm

At the Asian Arts Initiative

1219 Vine Street Philadelphia

Prices: $15-20


Hope Rising: A Benefit Concert for Stand Tall International


 About Stand Tall International

Stand Tall International started in 2013 when the founders Masha Balovlenkov and Jason Smith traveled to Africa to volunteer in the small town of Moshi, Tanzania, where they met 11-year-old Benson Mushi. At the time, Benson was almost paralyzed with spinal tuberculosis (TB). He had visited every hospital in his region and no one could provide a diagnosis, much less perform his complicated spinal surgery. Masha traveled with him to Ghana where he received the lifesaving procedure. After his extensive recovery, Benson returned to Tanzania and Stand Tall raised enough money to send him to private school. Through this journey, Masha and Jason learned how changing the life of one child impacts the health of the entire community, and through the fundraising efforts of Stand Tall, they are continuing in their mission to provide this same life-changing support to other children in East Africa. 

Hope Rising: A Benefit for Stand Tall International

Nationally renowned artists from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia bring their socially conscious voices together to save the lives of disabled children in East Africa.


Performing artists included:

  • Fôr Dance Co.
  • Mook Dance Company
  • Evalina “Wally” Carbonell
  • D2D: Dare to Dance
  • Praevado Dance Collective
  • Nickerson-Rossi Dance


Special Presentations by:

  • Kariamu & Company: Traditions with soloist Shaness Kemp
  • Koresh Youth Ensemble
  • Boyer College Student Piano Trio:

Xuan Yao, violin

Elena Smith, cello

Lamying Cheng, piano


Presented by Fôr Dance Company and the Boyer College of Music and Dance, all proceeds from the evening benefit Stand Tall International (, an organization that arranges life-saving surgery for children with severe spinal deformities.

Facebook Event

Stand Tall Website

 Stand Tall Video


Press Contact: Christina Eltvedt, MFA dance student and event organizer:

Dance Research Journal

2013_08_27 Boyer Faculty

Dr. Mark Franko

Dance Research Journal

In addition to the annual conference, CORD publishes the Dance Research Journal (DRJ) three times per year. DRJ is a peer-reviewed premiere publication for dance scholarship of international reach and includes articles, book reviews, and lists books received. Published articles address dance history, theory, pedagogy, politics, science, ethnography, and intersections with cultural, gender, critical race, and diasporic studies among others. DRJ is committed to cross-disciplinary research with a dance perspective. DRJ is edited by our very own Dr. Mark Franko. Dr. Franko wrote a review essay in DRJ 48/2 (August 2016) on interwar French dance theory and he is also co-editing the next issue of DRJ 48.3 (Dec. 2016) with Jens Richard Giersdorf on Randy Martin and Dance Studies.

CORD Conference Presenters from Dance Department



The Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for dance professionals from a broad range of specialties to exchange ideas, resources, and methodologies through publication, international and regional conferences, and workshops. The organization encourages research in all aspects of dance and related fields and promote the accessibility of research materials. This year, CORD celebrates its 50th anniversary!


CORD Conference Presenters from Dance Department

We have several Dance Department faculty members who will be presenting papers at CORD’s annual conference in November. Professors’ Sally Ann Ness, Sherril Dodds and Mark Franko will all be participating. The conference is held at a different location in the U.S. or abroad every year and this year the conference will take place at Pomona College in Claremont, California. This year’s conference title is: Beyond Authenticity and Appropriation: Bodies, Authorship and Choreographies of Transmission. Sherril Dodds will be presenting on a panel titled, Forever Contemporary: Pop Star Choreographies of Mediated “Authenticities.” Her paper will examine Michael Jackson’s facial choreography, in dialogue with black performance theory, to demonstrate how he resists, negotiates and challenges the limited framework of black masculinity provided by popular music. Sally Ann Ness’s will be presenting a paper titled, Encounters with Wild Bears: Trans-Species Relations in Yosemite National Park. Her presentation examines the history of human-bear encounters in Yosemite National Park illuminates choreographies of “the wild” in both public and private contexts of American culture and society. Bears and humans in Yosemite move each other into forms of action that are ritualistic as well as spontaneous and instinctive as well as intelligent. A case in point from a rock climbing excursion undertaken in 2012 demonstrates the trans-species character of choreographic meaning-making emblematic of visitor cultural performances in Yosemite. Acting in concert, bears and humans move together through an eco-semiotics of inter-habitation creating forms of spatial practice in which new embodiments of wildness emerge.

Philadelphiadanceprojects FALL 2016

philadelphiadanceprojects  FALL 2016






a mini-festival on October 15-19

spotlighting the career and influence of postmodernist choreographer Yvonne Rainer.


Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16  It all begins with a two-day workshop led by Pat Catterson on Rainer’s seminal work Trio A.  The workshop examines Trio A’s philosophical, physical and historical relevance.  Participants will learn part of the dance, create their own compositions and engage in a discussion of its ideas, contexts and their experiences,

Trio A workshop: 1-5PM at the Performance Garage (1515 Brandywine Street).


“Fifty years later there is still much to be learned from Yvonne Rainer’s 1966 influential work Trio A,”said Pat Catterson, Rainer’s long-time rehearsal assistant.  “Trio A’s form, vocabulary, and performing stance challenged traditional choreographical methods and modes of presentation.  This workshop provides an introduction to an aesthetic that has served as a springboard for succeeding generations of dance makers.”


Wednesday, October 19 at 6PM features the Philadelphia premiere of the documentary film Feelings are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer by former Philadelphia filmmaker Jack Walsh, with a post-screening discussion with both Walsh and Rainer.

Following the film, at 8PMYvonne Rainer will present a lecture,

What’s So Funny? Laughter and Anger in the Time of the Assassins,” an amalgam of jokes and rants around the current emotional and political dilemmas of the artist and concerned citizen.

Both events will be at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 North American Street).


Admission to the two-day workshop is $35.


Tickets to the Film Screening and Lecture are $25 ($10 for the film only and $20 for the lecture only).

(A special package of the workshop, screening, and lecture is available for $50. Please contact

Tickets may be purchased online at




PDP is pleased to announce that ANNA BICZOK 

and IMRE VASS will guest artists in Philadelphia beginning mid-September for a three week creative and cultural exchange residency.


Meet The Bilateral Artists on Wednesday, September 21 at 7PM  at The Whole Shebang, 1813 South 11th Street.


FREE   RSVP      215.546.2552



Bilateral Interactions:  



IMRE VASS invites peer artists to come together and share their practices, dance knowledge and choreography Thursday, September 29 6-9PM and Saturday, October 2, 12:30-4:30PM  at The Whole Shebang   FREE 

RSVP   or   215.546.2552


ANNA BICZOK invites artists who would like to participate in a quick share project “Of maybe 4 or 5 rehearsal preparation and with the option to make a short performance event.”


(Date/Time to be set by mutual availability)

If interested contact:  



The Bilateral Dance Artists Exchange is presented by Philadelphia Dance Projects 

and made possible with support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

To date six contemporary dance artists have participated in a unique 3 week artist residency exchange through Philadelphia Dance Projects (PDP) in partnership with DanceUP (2012-2014) and the Hungary  Workshop Foundation.


PDP Presents is made possible with support from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund 

and individual supporters like you.

Support PDP  (paypal link)



MORE INFO about PDP and all events at

Temple University Scholar-in-Residence Program 2016

Temple University


Scholar-in-Residence Program 2016

We are pleased to announce our Scholars-in-Residence for Fall 2016:

OCTOBER 10-14, 2016: Dr Harmony Bench, Ohio State University

Bench Photo

Harmony Bench is Assistant Professor in the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University, where she is also affiliated faculty with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Translational Data Analytics. Her writing has appeared in numerous edited collections, as well as Dance Research Journal, The International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, Participations, and Performance Matters, among others. Projects underway include a book in contract with University of Minnesota Press, tentatively entitled Dance as Common: Movement as Belonging in Digital Cultures, as well as Mapping Touring, a digital humanities and database project focused on the performance engagements of early 20th century dance companies.


OCTOBER 24-28, 2016: Dr Jane Desmond, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jane Desmond, professor of anthropology

JANE DESMOND is Professor of Anthropology and Gender/Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S.A., where she also directs the International Forum for U.S. Studies:  a Center for Transnational Study of the United States. Formerly a professional modern dancer and choreographer, she served on the dance/theater faculties at Cornell University and Duke University for many years prior to completing a Ph,D. in American Studies at Yale University. Since then, her scholarly work has focused broadly on issues of embodiment, visual display, and performativity. Her books include: Staging Tourism:  Bodies on Display from Waikiki to Sea World, and the influential edited collections  Meaning in Motion:  New Cultural Studies of Dance and Dancing Desires:  Choreographing Sexuality On and Off the Stage. Her latest book, Displaying Death/Animating Life: Human-Animal Relations in Art, Science, and Everyday Life is just out from the University of Chicago Press.