10/3 & 10/4: Prof. Talenti directs “Behind the Scenes”

BehindtheScenes (Oct 3&4, 2015)

For more information, visit the Burwell School Historic Site

“Infinite Loop”, October 2 & 3


In this new play by UNC graduate student Christopher Dahlie, a contemporary retro-night DJ muses on the popular culture of which he is custodian.


This performance asks why the past cannot stay in the past, and how it can become all too present, an infinite ritual, a party without end …


Infinite Loop Poster



DJs, from the biggest players in Ibiza to the smallest runners of an iPod in a basement, let
their music speak for them. Rarely do they describe who they are, where they come from,
why they play what they play, or what lies beneath their dance floors. Infinite Loop,
written and performed by Christopher Dahlie, a PhD student in UNC’s Department of
Communication and former DJ, explores the celebratory and nostalgic ritual of a retrothemed
Originally developed in Joseph Megel’s Performance Practicum Seminar, Infinite Loop
examines the power of retro dance floor hits in bringing people together. “While WXYC
was still promoting 80s nights at Cat’s Cradle, something struck me as quite strange,”
says creator and performer Christopher Dahlie. “Why was the same 80s playlist I and
others had curated still being largely adhered to on these retro nights? What explains the
staying power of this music and retro nights in general?” With the help of Megel and the
rest of the seminar participants, Dahlie framed the nights in terms of a ritual in which the
DJ guards a kind of sacred text in the playlist. “Old pop acts still get people who are now
middle-aged and senior citizens dancing in the aisles. In its own way, this is a kind of
ritual: people dancing to evoke spirits and memories of the past. Retro nights remind me
of the chilling line an old ghost in ‘The Shining’ utters to the living heroine trying
desperately to escape: ‘Great party, isn’t it?’”
“Working with Chris has been a unique performance creation experience for me.” says
Joseph Megel, director of Infinite Loop. “Entering Dahlie’s dance club world is like
immersing oneself in any one of a number of circles of hell, scored by 80s dance
music. Dahlie paints his social critique in words, music, and image. As the DJ who
controls the soundscape of this world, he leads us on something like what a sentimental
journey might look like as curated by Beckett or Kafka.”
About the Artists
Immediately after college graduation, Communication PhD student Christopher Dahlie
was handed the DJ booth for the retro/80s night he had grown up attending. He curated
this weekly night every summer from 1999 to 2007. Dahlie still works as the head sound
engineer of Chautauqua Amphitheater in the summer, often overseeing performances of
older nostalgia acts such as the Beach Boys and the Doo Wop Experience. With training
in multiple instruments, singing, and audio engineering, plus an encyclopedic knowledge
of hits and obscure dance floor gems, Dahlie’s background has well served the creation of
this character.

Dahlie brings his wife, Roz Fulton, to the project as video and lighting designer. Fulton,
a child of the 80s herself, brings years of experience as a lighting technician in New York
City clubs to the work. She will largely be responsible for setting the backdrop against
which the story is told. The visuals will also historicize this specific event in a larger
context of dances and parties over time.

Press Contacts: Joseph Megel | 919-843-7067 | megel@email.unc.edu
Performance Studies: http://comm.unc.edu/areas-of-studies/performance-studies/


UNC Performance Studies announces the 2015-16 Swain Performance Series

season poster 2015-16 (yellow)For more details, click the image.

Cities Under Water

Cities Under Water

Media Lab Director Mark Robinson, instructor of Advanced Audio Production (COMM431), has released a new LASOHALO album, with collaborator Ted Singdahlsen.

Available via most music apps.

10/2, Prof. Michael Palm “Analog Backlog: New Record Production During the Vinyl Revival”

As a segment of the event On Vinyl: A Duke Ethnomusicology Working Group Event, Assistant Professor of Media Studies, Michael Palm, will be discussing Analog Backlog: New Record Production During the Vinyl Revival.

Come check it out, Friday Oct. 2, 2015 from 1:30 – 4:30 in Room 101 Mary Duke Biddle Music Building at Duke University.


On-Vinyl-Michael Palm

UNC Hollywood Internship INTEREST MEETING, Tuesday Sept 29th @ 5pm

flyer (updated2015)

Lamentation Variation Project, September 25 & 26

Last spring, the Martha Graham Dance Company visited the Carolina campus, bringing with them a suite of contemporary variations on Graham’s landmark 1930 solo Lamentation.  This harrowing portrayal of grief helped to define modern dance with its unsparing embodiment of raw emotion.


Inspired and informed by this visit, UNC students created their own Lamentation Variations under interdisciplinary faculty guidance, developing these responses to grief through movement, visual art, and the written word.


UNC-Chapel Hill dance faculty member Heather Tatreau curates this series of dances — the first student dance project ever to appear in the Process Series.

Lamentations (Sept 2015)

Fostering a culture of community in the Dept. of Communication

Pat & Sarah in the DTH (Sept2,2015)
[Assistant Chair, Sarah Dempsey (L); Chair, Pat Parker (R); photo by Katie Williams]

“We have a really dynamic department that brings together a lot of folks across interdisciplinary areas that rely on this idea that communication is this central, defining act of contemporary life,” Dempsey said.  In December 2011 the department adopted the “Principles of Community,” a set of guidelines designed to bring a safe, fair and nurturing community-centered environment, among many other things.  “We created these principles on how we engage each other in terms of being human and engaging and creating the kind of environment and climate and culture that we want to live in,” Parker said.

Excerpt taken from The Daily Tar Heel; for the full article, visit the DTH online.

Associate Prof. Renee Alexander Craft will be the Acting Director of the SOHP

renee-craft headshot 2015

Renee Alexander Craft, Associate Professor of Communication, will serve as Acting Director of SOHP. She is generously stepping forward to bring her critical strengths in oral history, digital humanities, and performance to SOHP until December 2016 … Everyone at the Center for the Study of the American South and the College has been helpful in this transition and we are very excited to have Renee on board as a new partner. {excerpt; for the full newsletter, go here}


For more on the Southern Oral History Society (SOHP), visit their webpage.

Dr Cori Dauber & Media Lab Director Mark Robinson cited in The Economist

Dr Cori Dauber & Media Lab Director Mark Robinson were cited in The Economist’s article“The Propaganda War: The terrorists’ vicious message is surprisingly hard to rebut” (August 15, 2015)


Economist Aug 15, 2015


“One reason may be that since its declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria last year, IS has stood out from terrorist predecessors for the quality of its propaganda. Its video productions are “a generation ahead” of other groups, reckon Cori Dauber and Mark Robinson, media experts at the University of North Carolina. In a recent paper they outline a range of sophisticated techniques the group wields to heighten the power of its visuals, from care in choosing starkly contrasting colours—think black uniforms and orange jumpsuits—to the use of multiple cameras, tight focus, “subjective” angles and intimate sounds to create an eyewitness effect.” {excerpt}

For the full article, go here.