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Event Series Event Series: Kara Walker reVERSE-gesture-reVIEW

Kara Walker reVERSE-gesture-reVIEW

April 27, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

UNC’s Process Series presents 

Kara Walker reVERSE-gesture-reVIEW 

By Thomas F. DeFrantz and SLIPPAGE 

UNC-Chapel Hill Campus, Swain Hall Studio 6 



The Process Series tenth season concludes on Friday and Saturday, April 27th and 28th at 8p.m. with Kara Walker reVERSE-gesture-reVIEW…

In this unique performance, Duke University’s Thomas F. DeFrantz and interdisciplinary performance group SLIPPAGE explore the provocation of Kara Walker’s Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) with shadowplay, dance, and image subtraction technology.  Wondering at the place of Black women’s presence in the landscape of the Civil War, SLIPPAGE will reverse and review the potent imagery that Walker has created in response to the exhibition of prints on view at the Nasher. “They’re the subjects that have been left out of the frames, but now they’re almost the only thing you can see,” says DeFrantz, who chairs Duke’s African and African-American studies department. How can the physical gestures of dance expand the ways we might look at these visual works of art?  How can dance open up interpretation and suggest even more revisionist histories of the African American presence in the visual archive of the Civil War?  According to Megel, Artistic Director of The Process Series, “DeFrantz’s and SLIPPAGE’s ekphrastic explorations of history and race through the lens of dance and media, form a perfect conclusion to our tenth anniversary ReInvention season, featuring media in performance, as we celebrate how interdisciplinary work can bring perspectives that allow deeper interrogations of the complex issues of our time.”


The Performances

Friday, April 27 at 8pm

Saturday, April 28 at 8pm

UNC’s Swain Hall 101 E. Cameron Avenue, Chapel Hill, NC.



Admission is free, but seating is limited. Go to to learn more.


About the Artists

Thomas F. DeFrantz received the 2017 Outstanding Research in Dance award from the Dance Studies Association. He is Professor at Duke University, and director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications. Books: Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance (University of Wisconsin Press, 2002), Dancing Revelations Alvin Ailey’s Embodiment of African American Culture (Oxford University Press, 2004), Black Performance Theory, co-edited with Anita Gonzalez (Duke University Press, 2014), Choreography and Corporeality: Relay in Motion, co-edited with Philipa Rothfield (Palgrave, 2016). Creative: Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts; Monk’s Mood: A Performance Meditation on the Life and Music of Thelonious Monk, performed in Botswana, France, South Africa, and New York City; fastDANCEpast, created for the Detroit Institute for the Arts and reperformed at the Crystal Bridges Museum November 2016. He convenes the Black Performance Theory working group. In 2013, working with Takiyah Nur Amin, he founded the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance, a growing consortium of 300 researchers which staged the conferences Dancing the African Diaspora: Theories of Black Performance in 2014, Dancing the African Diaspora: Embodying the Afrofuturism in 2016, and Dance Black Joy: Global Global Affirmations and Defiance in 2018. He acted as Dance Curator for the National Black Arts Festival, 2015. He has taught at the American Dance Festival, ImpuseTanz, and the New Waves Dance Institute, as well as at MIT, Stanford, Yale, NYU, Hampshire College, and the University of Nice.   DeFrantz believes in our shared capacity to do better, and to engage our creative spirit for a collective good that is anti-racist, anti-homophobic, proto-feminist, and queer affirming.


SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, an interdisciplinary performance research group led by Thomas F. DeFrantz, explores connections between performance and emergent technology in the service of theatrical storytelling and the telling of alternative histories. Founded in 2003 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SLIPPAGE produces conferences, symposia, workshops, and artist exchanges in events that mark social progress via research in performance.  SLIPPAGE performed at the Nasher Museum as a keynote for the large African and African American Studies event, “Global Slaveries and Impossible Freedoms: The Intellectual Legacies of John Hope Franklin.” SLIPPAGE also performed as a keynote for the 10th annual Feminist Theory Workshop at Duke with the 2013 piece “Theory-ography 4.5-a: we still queer here.” In May 2016, SLIPPAGE created a new work for the Moogfest.


About The Process Series: New Works in Development  

Dedicated to the development of new and significant works in the performing arts, The Process Series features professionally-mounted, developmental presentations of new works in progress. The mission of the Series is to illuminate the ways in which artistic ideas take form, to examine the creative process, to offer audiences the opportunity to follow artists and performers as they explore and discover and by so doing to enrich the development process for artists with the ultimate goal of better art and a closer relationship between artists and audiences. The Series is a program of the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.







April 27, 2018
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


UNC Chapel Hill Department of Communication
(919) 962-2311
View Organizer Website


Studio 6
101 E Cameron Ave
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
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