New Research in Dance - Cynthia Ling Lee & Shyamala Moorty of Post Natyam Collective. “the sins of such wonderful flesh: Artist Talk and Creative Workshop”

Department of Dance
New Research in Dance Studies Colloquium Series:
Ritual / Power / Corpo-Realities

Coordinated by María Regina Firmino-Castillo

the sins of such wonderful flesh: Artist Talk and Creative Workshop”

Cynthia Ling Lee & Shyamala Moorty, Post Natyam Collective

October 16, 2019
Wednesday, 4:30-6:20 PM
Performance Lab, ARTS 166
Free and open to the campus. RSVP here.

Cynthia Ling Lee and Shyamala Moorty offer a combined artist talk and creative workshop on the sins of such wonderful flesh, a performance work by the Post Natyam Collective that weaves together audience participatory structures, video, and South Asian abhinaya to queer the gaze, performing erotically charged desire between women. The work is inspired by Maud Allan, a white, non-heterosexual, female, North American dance artist who toured her “Oriental” dances in Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Using a queer and feminist-of-color lens, the artists will explore how choreographic subversions and ritual structures can be used to take on a dance-ancestor who perpetuated problematic structures of orientalism and internalized homophobia. The workshop participants will work with archival traces of Maud Allan such as publicity photos and reviews of her performance, Vision of Salome, to ask: How might we flip or blur the roles of “spectator” and “performer” through strategic activation of the audience? How might deep rootedness in South Asian performance aesthetics disturb or cut against the grain of Orientalist appropriation and exotification in Allan’s work?

The Post Natyam Collective is a transnational, web-based coalition of dance artists whose work triangulates between art-making, activism, and theory. Committed to the political possibility of collaboration, our online processes allow us to lovingly debate feminist-of-color, queer, and postcolonial issues through the body, creating interdisciplinary dance and media work with a critical edge. Post Natyam Collective members are steeped in South Asian and other movement forms such as bharatanatyam, kathak, kuchipudi, odissi, yoga, contact improvisation, Polynesian, United States modern and postmodern dance, release, European contemporary dance, and somatic bodywork; the training of each artist is unique. In addition to dance, we work with multimedia, theater, art installations, creative writing, music, and scholarship. Drawing on these diverse tools, we create border-crossing artistic works shared with audiences on the web, in theaters, universities, through writing and with communities. The Post Natyam Collective consists of Sandra Chatterjee (Munich/Salzburg/India), Cynthia Ling Lee (Santa Cruz), and Shyamala Moorty (Los Angeles).

Presentations are followed by dialogue with audience.

Photo:  the sins of such wonderful flesh, by the Post Natyam Collective

Many thanks to: Lily Chan Szeto and Kathleen DeAtley for logistical and communications support; Jacqueline Shea Murphy for sharing institutional memory, syllabi, and practical advice; taisha paggett, Melissa M. Wilcox, Liz Przybylski, Deborah Wong, and Bronwyn Leebaw for generous co-sponsorship and camaraderie; Luís Lara Malvacías for magnanimous provocations; and department chair, Joel Smith, for trusting the process.

Find the 2019-2020 Season here

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 4:30pm to 6:20pm

Arts Building, Performance Lab, ARTS 166
Arts Building, Riverside, CA 92507

Event Type

Arts, Dance, Lectures & Presentations, Workshops


Faculty & Staff, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, International Students, Transfer Students

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