Landing/Shifting: Bodies, Gender, and Ecosexuality

Choreographer, performer, scholar, and educator, Michael J. Morris, will collaborate with Movement Matters through a  five-day residency at Middlebury College in April 2016. During their stay, they will offer guest lectures, facilitate a Butoh class, and conduct rehearsals.

Morris works across and between dance studies, performance studies, and sexuality studies. Their work is concerned with destabilizing normative categories through which bodies are made to live and proliferating difference as an irreducible multiplicity through which more lives might come to matter.

Morris holds a PhD in Dance Studies from The Ohio State University and is currently a three-year Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Dance at Denison University. At OSU, Morris was awarded both the Presidential Fellowship and the Graduate Associate Teaching Award, the highest recognitions for graduate research and teaching at Ohio State.

Ecosexuality in Performance Mention in Gender, Sexuality, Feminist Studies Newsletter here.

April 7 | 1:30-2:30p | Chateau Lounge | Course Participants Only
Talk: Gender and Sexuality Embodied in Dance in Catharine Wright’s Writing Gender & Sexuality Course
In this session, Morris will discuss ways in which gender and sexuality are embodied in dance, and the ways in which dance and choreography provide frameworks for thinking about sexuality and gender. What are the physical conventions and codes that we perform through which our genders become constituted? How is spatiality implicit in our conceptualization of sexual orientation? In what ways do dances reproduce normative expectations for the embodiment of sexuality and gender, and how might dances also provide innovative or subversive propositions for how we might embody gender and sexuality differently?

April 7 | 3-4:15p | MCA 110
Facilitation: Butoh Class in Katie Martin’s Dance Improvisation Course
Butoh is a postmodern approach to movement that originated primarily in the work of Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno in Japan in the 1950s. Synthesized in the aftermath of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, butoh—also known as Ankoku Butoh or “the dance of utter darkness”—is now practiced around the globe and has developed through many strategies for generating movement. My approach to butoh cultivates shifting experiences of embodiment as a mode of becoming. Through a series of layered improvisations, the body passes into various states of awareness, duration, and deterritorialization as it is given over to a range of images and other modes of materiality. In this process, we surrender certainty of what a body means or what it might become; we experiment with the potential of the body in relation to others and task-based scores, opening possibilities for how else we might experience ourselves. In this sense, butoh provides a context in which to investigate the relationship of the body to the world; to explore what can emerge out of states of complexity, crisis, or impossibility; and to practice staying open to what might not be known.

April 7 | 5-6p | MCA 232 | Open to faculty and staff
Facilitation: Choreographic movement experience with Faculty/Staff Movement Lab

April 8 | 10:10-11a | AXN 229
Talk: Ecosexuality in Performance in Mez Baker-Médard’s Gender, Health, and Environment Course
In this talk, Morris will introduce ecosexuality as a framework for considering the entanglements of human sexuality with the nonhuman world, and in turn, for analyzing the ways in which performances figure possible perspectives of such entanglements. We will consider how the performing arts might offer resources for reimagining, rethinking, and enacting differently the ways we understand ourselves and the more-than-human world of which we are a part.

April 8 | 11:15-12:15p | Chellis House
Lunch: Bodies, Gender, and Ecosexuality

April 9 |  4p  | MCA 109
Informal In-Process Sharing: Solo work Michael J. Morris is choreographing with Maree ReMalia

*This residency is generously co-sponsored by the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Program, Environmental Studies Program, and the Writing Program.

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