Dr. George-Graves Delivers Keynote Address at South African Conference

September 10, 2019
Nadine George-Graves at South African Conference

In August Dr. Nadine George-Graves delivered a keynote address at the 10th Confluences Conference at The University of Cape Town’s Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies. In her talk, entitled Academic Bedfellows: Genres, Genealogies and Gestures, George-Graves claimed that although dance and theatre are both embodied performing arts, although there are many genres that straddle the lines between the two forms, and despite the fact that there are many departments of “theatre and dance,” the scholarly fields too seldom communicate with each other. Most would acknowledge theatre and dance as natural bedfellows, but work that examines the interstices is truly interdisciplinary. Taking corporeality, embodiment and theatricality as ideas that unite the work of dance and theatre scholars, they attempted to advance a border-crossing paradigm shift toward the goal of examining genealogies, erasing many of the lines of demarcation between the two fields and encouraging less respect in the future for historical disciplinary boundaries. In foregrounding the politics and poetics of moving bodies, and by focusing on performative embodiment as a negotiation of power dynamics, this undertaking challenges the two disciplines to take a closer look at the histories, theories and practices of physical performance.