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Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship

Special Guest – Dr. Alessandra Williams

Intersectionality in the World of the Arts: Reclaiming Our Bodily Urgencies through Dance, Vocalwork, Theater, and Film

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024

Please join us on Tuesday, 4/2/24. All are welcome! Dr. Alessandra Williams, a Mac (’07) and Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program alum will be delivering her keynote and facilitating a movement workshop in collaboration with the Dance Department.

Alessandra Williams '07

Keynote – 11:30am-1pm at Mairs Hall

How do the arts prioritize the inseparable nature of race, gender, and sexuality as a call to be aware of the urgent crises endured by our bodies on a daily basis? At what critical turning point in world history is the choreographer led toward bridging the disciplines of sound, theater, and film? And what space is mapped for an intersectional worldview in dance-theater to build solidarity with Native peoples? This keynote address generates a broader concern for the interlocking matrix of oppressions through artistic works by Ananya Chatterjea/Ananya Dance Theatre and David Roussève/REALITY dance company. By exploring how dance builds its creative roots out of intersectionality and gathers around multiple artistic forms, choreography can generate a dialogue on ways to align contemporary dance with Indigenous land, to reframe humanitarian concerns and historical archives through a queer lens, and to craft knowledge on artistic grounds, as well as through a bodily outlook on some of the pressing social concerns of our times. Perhaps, then, this address might offer an artistic approach to ongoing dialogues regarding how intersectionality is understood and applied in our contemporary world.

Movement Workshop – 4:45pm-6:15pm at Fox Studio

We use our voices, bodies, and breath according to our abilities on a daily basis, but can we take time to create rituals to better our physical wellness and reflect on personal memories? This workshop will immerse students in exercises designed to meditate on familial stories across generations and be attentive to gestural expression in everyday life. With demonstrations, concrete examples, and individualized and communal guidance provided by the instructor, participants will learn very simple gestures, introductory physical postures, and basic vocal work to carefully craft their practice. The workshop will be informed by the instructor’s enduring engagement with the Yorchhā technique of Ananya Dance Theatre and rooted in the vinyasa style of yoga which aligns physical postures with breath. Our soundwork includes audible breath, song, and vocalization so that participants can choose the practices that are suitable for their ritual. Our goal is to build a sound-movement practice, which will integrate sound and movement as a unified experience. No prior movement or vocal experience is necessary. All physical abilities are encouraged.

Learn more about Dr. Alessandra Williams.

Co-Sponsors: Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship, and the Provost’s Office, Theater and Dance Department, and the Music Department

What is the Kofi Annan IGC?

The Annan IGC strives to be a collaborative space for reimagining what a world that is focused on equity and justice could look like. In order to move towards such a vision, we work with students, staff, faculty, and members of communities beyond the campus to consider the complexity of contexts within local, national, and international systems and histories of power and inequality. The spaces we cultivate require us to critically reflect on our positionalities in these contexts and then work with others across differences to impact social change. We build on individual and collective strengths, values, and commitments as we engage this critical reflection and self-exploration. We foster opportunities to develop skills and knowledge via experiential learning and by nurturing meaningful collaborative relationships across campus and in communities. As we learn and build collaboratively with community partners, we recognize  community knowledges that expand traditional notions of scholarship and expertise and honor long histories of work for social change. In this way, the Annan IGC and its partners explore the confluence of multiculturalism, internationalism, and community engagement through the lens of equity and justice to co-create spaces of mutuality, agency, and transformative change. More

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Friday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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