Talk by Cynthia Oliver
Since 1991, Cynthia Oliver has been creating experimental dance-theater performance works that explore the complicated nature of contemporary blackness, femaleness, and Afro-Caribbean and African American expressive cultures. Her work has been a study in this Africanity, from the urban to the contemporary island experience. She is interested in the ways Africanist world-views manifest in cultural practices performed by people of the diaspora. She has an extensive background in contemporary dance, from Africanist and Euro-American cultural frameworks as well as a deep involvement in avant-garde theatrical traditions by black women in North America. Through these practices she has created experimental work that uses non-linear movement and text to think about performative components of black subjectivity to articulate a layered and complex choreography. With her current performance project she is creating a work examining black masculinity. She will talk about the many ways she is working with men to engage in ethnographic work that requires many levels of conversation and experimentation. Co-hosted by Marlboro College and Vermont Performance Lab.