Clare Croft


October 28, 2015

dance theorist, dance historian, and dramaturg

Clare Croft is a dance theorist, dance historian, and dramaturg. She is the author of the recently published book, Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange (Oxford 2015), and is the editor/curator of the hybrid print/Web project, Meanings and Makings of Queer Dance, which is forthcoming from Oxford in 2017. Her writing has appeared in academic journals, including Theatre Journal and Dance Research Journal, and she has been a regular contributor to daily newspapers, including The Washington Post (2002-2005) and the Austin American-Statesman. Croft is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in the Department of Dance where she teaches in the BFA programs in Dance and in Interarts and in the MFA Dance program. She holds a PhD from the University of Texas-Austin.

Lunch Talk: Wednesday, October 28. 2015, Noon - 1:30pm, East Duke Parlors.
Title: "Queer Motion in Criticism and Activism: Jill Johnston’s Dance Criticism and Lesbian Activism"

This research talk focuses on Jill Johnston, a well-known but under-examined figure in dance and women’s histories. The book explores how physically charged feminist practices re-imagined public intellectual life in the 1960s and 1970s, opening new possibilities for how to embody the category of “woman” in the public sphere. The work focuses on embodiment and experimentation as key themes that cross the worlds of art and activism that Johnston traversed, refusing a bifurcation of her life into one of critic or activist.

Evening Class: Wednesday, October 28. 2015, 6:15pm, Friedl 107
Title: "Diva Stances and Racial Subversion: How Dancers Re-imagined “America” on US State Department-sponsored International Dance Tours"

This talk will draw on more than 70 interviews with dancers who traveled on US State Department tours in the early decades of the Cold War and in the decade+ since 9/11. We will discuss how dancers—as they negotiated questions of individual, community, and national representation—forwarded, re-imagined, and sometimes critiqued American government agendas.