SLIPPAGE presents: where did i think i was going? [moving into signal]

Tommy DeFrantz
Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 7:00pm to Friday, August 29, 2014 - 6:59pm
Friday, August 29, 2014 - 7:00pm to Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 6:59pm

Conceived and Performed by Thomas F. DeFrantz, 

DUKE Professor of African and African American Studies, Dance, and Theater Studies, with Kenneth David Stewart.

SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology announces the premiere of where did i think i was going? [moving into signal], a dance technology interface work, to be performed at the PSI Theater at Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris Street, Durham, NC, on August 28 and 29, 2014.    

Performances are at 7pm Thursday and Friday, August 28 and 29; tickets are $10 at the door. 
where did i think i was going? [moving into signal] is a 50-minute odyssey exploring questions of re-location, technology, and place through a series of five custom-created interfaces that distribute the performers in unexpected directions.  

The autobiographical work, created by DeFrantz and Duke PhD student Kenneth David Stewart, brings live-processing to bear on issues of family, identity, and relationship. The performance suggests possibilities of contemporary life and urgent family history distributed across networks of electronic signal.  

The work engages five separate interface designs gathered to underscore the vagaries of contemporary life reflected through prisms of digital scale. Digital cameras, Kinect cameras, and wireless microphones will record gestures by the performers and process the images and sounds through MAX, Isadora, and Ableton Live software. The result will be a piece that wonders at the physical and emotional cost of incessant movement resulting from job changes, natural disasters, and shifts in available technology.  

DeFrantz joined the faculty at Duke in 2011, after 12 years on the faculty at MIT. He teaches courses in Performance and Technology, Contemporary Performance, and African American Studies. He taught in the MFA program of the American Dance Festival from 2005 to 2013, and serves as President of the Society of Dance History Scholars. 

Kenneth David Stewart is a doctoral candidate in the highly-regarded music composition program of Duke University. He has collaborated with SLIPPAGE since 2011. 

In all, where did i think i was going? [moving into signal] suggests ways to rethink how our digital traces tell stories of our presence, our absence, and our de-materialization.   

Conceived and Performed by Thomas F. DeFrantz and Kenneth David Stewart; Interface design overseen by Stewart; Music and Sound Design by Stewart and Jamie Keesecker, Lighting overseen by Kathy Perkins, Stage and Production Management Margaret A Fishburn 

Performance duration: fifty minutes.  Tickets are $10 at the door.

For more information, contact
Thomas F. DeFrantz is Professor of African and African American Studies, Dance, and Theater Studies at Duke University, and President of the Society of Dance History Scholars, an international organization that advances the field of dance studies through research, publication, performance, and outreach to audiences across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. He is also the director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications. His books include the edited volume Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance (University of Wisconsin Press, 2002, winner of the CHOICE Award for Outstanding Academic Publication and the Errol Hill Award presented by the American Society for Theater Research) and Dancing Revelations Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture (Oxford University Press, 2004, winner of the de la Torre Bueno Prize for Outstanding Publication in Dance).  A director and writer, his creative works include Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts. In 2005 he worked with DonnaFaye Burchfield to design the American Dance Festival/Hollins University MFA Program in dance. He has taught at NYU, Stanford, Hampshire College, MIT, the University of Nice, and Yale; has presented his research by invitation in Australia, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, and Sweden; and performed in Botswana, France, India, Ireland, and South Africa. Current research imperatives include explorations of black social dance, and the development of live-processing interfaces for performance.

SLIPPAGE: PERFORMANCE|CULTURE|TECHNOLOGY, was founded by DUKE Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz in 2003. The interdisciplinary group explores connections between performance and emergent technology in the service of theatrical storytelling.  SLIPPAGE projects have been performed in Denmark, Peru, Cuba, Italy, France, South Africa, Botswana, and many venues in the United States. Its projects include Ennobling Nonna, Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty, Monk’s Mood: A Performance Meditation on the Life and Music of Thelonious Monk, the House Music Project, Cane, and Theory-ography.
SLIPPAGE:Performance|Culture|Technology    1515 Hull Avenue Durham NC 27708


Thomas F. DeFrantz