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CORD Coming to Philly

CORD Coming to Philly

by Laura Vriend

Dance research is alive and growing in Philadelphia. The Congress on Research in Dance (CORD), is an international organization that supports and encourages dance research in wide ranging areas from both scholarly and practice based perspectives.  Along with the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS), CORD is a fixture in the world of dance scholarship, particularly within academia, and attracts an international membership of dance researchers who, from November 17-20, will meet in Philadelphia for CORD’s annual conference. Unlike previous years, CORD will be partnering with the Society of Ethnomusicology (SEM) for this year’s conference, to explore, expose and probe the multiple relationships between music and dance, sound and movement. For four days, members and attendees will listen, present, perform, argue, question and otherwise engage in what is sure to be a lively and rigorous dialogue.

While the official theme and title of the conference “Moving Music / Sounding Dance:
Intersections, Disconnections, and Alignments between Dance and Music” emphasizes scholarly and creative work existing at the intersections of dance and music research. However, as this joint conference between CORD and SEM is also each organization’s annual conference, it will also present a fair amount of research in dance and music as distinct fields. For both music and dance scholars, this conference will be unique in that it will not only allow, but encourage participants to engage in interdisciplinary dialogue.

Hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, and taking place at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, the conference will present 1-2 hour panels featuring 20 minute paper presentations by 3-4 researchers followed by a moderated questions and answer session. These panels will be accompanied by lunchtime lecture-demonstrations, roundtable discussions and receptions. Topics covered will run the gamut from the politics of nationalism and ethnicity in dance diasporas to flash mobs, popular dance crazes, and contemporary artistic processes. Special events include a concert of music and dance on Thursday night, a series of workshops in dance and sound on Friday night and a PhillyBloco Dance Party on Saturday night. The conference will also host a series of brown bag lunches specifically targeted to graduate students to discuss challenges and make connections.

Events of particular interest to the Philadelphia dance community include several panels, roundtables and lecture/demonstrations featuring Philadelphia area dance companies and community members.

Philadelphia based dance artist and scholar Brenda Dixon-Gottschild will lead a roundtable discussion entitled “Sense of Place In Time and Space - The Philadanco Dance/Music Aesthetic” on Friday November 18th. Philadelphia dancer/choreographer Leah Stein, writer/performer/educator Ellen Gerdes and Temple University professor emeritus and artistic director of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Alan Harler will present a panel entitled “An Urban Echo: Philadelphia Dance and Choir Connections”.

Registration is required to attend the conference. Potential attendees may register online for the full conference or single days. More information including registration fees and a full schedule of events can be found on the CORD website at www.cordance.org.

By Laura Vriend
October 29, 2011

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