Thomas F. DeFrantz
Thomas F. DeFrantz directs SLIPPAGE@Duke:Performance|Culture|Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications. DeFrantz received the 2017 Outstanding Research in Dance award from the Dance Studies Association. 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. DeFrantz acted as a consultant for the Smithsonian Museum of African American Life and Culture, contributing concept and a voice-over for a permanent installation on Black Social Dance that opened with the museum in 2016.
Books include Dancing Revelations Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture (2004), Black Performance Theory, co-edited with Anita Gonzalez (2014), Choreography and Corporeality: Relay in Motion, co-edited with Philipa Rothfield (2016), and the Routledge Companion to African American Theater and Performance co-edited with Kathy Perkins, Sandra Richards, and Renee Alexander Craft (2018). Creative: Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts; fastDANCEpast, created for the Detroit Institute for the Arts; reVERSE-gesture-reVIEW commissioned by the Nasher Museum in response to the work of Kara Walker, January, 2017. Recent teaching: University of the Arts Mobile MFA in Dance; ImPulsTanz; New Waves Institute; faculty at Hampshire College, Stanford, Yale, MIT, NYU, University of Nice. In 2013, working with Takiyah Nur Amin, he founded the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance, a growing consortium of 300 researchers.
In 2015 he created a tap work “tell me a secret” for students at Washington University in St. Louis; in 2016 he created a contemporary improvisational work “...but are we good now?” for the students at Columbia College Chicago; in 2017 he created the tap work “...how could I have known?” for students at Connecticut College; in 2018 he created “➘4?” for students at Duke University.
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