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A Festival Explodes Expectations of Queer Dance at JACK

The EXPLODE! queer dance festival runs June 22 to 24 and gathers a range of styles and sensibilities, from Irish step dancing to drag.

Anna Martine Whitehead (photo © Sarah Nesbitt)
Anna Martine Whitehead (photo © Sarah Nesbitt)

What better way to celebrate Pride Week than with a journey through the rainbow of forms queer dance can take? The four-day EXPLODE! queer dance festival at JACK offers just that, bringing together artists, dancers, musicians, and choreographers who practice a startling range of forms, from traditional Irish step dancing and South Asian dance to drag. Each of the festival’s evening programs, curated by dance scholar Clare Croft, will be hosted by the glorious desi drag queen LaWhore Vagistan.

LaWhore Vagistan (photo © William Boyd)
LaWhore Vagistan (photo © William Boyd)

Each evening of performances features a rotating cast of four acts. The lineup on Thursday, June 22 includes Beijing-based dancer and choreographer Gu Jiani, whose contemporary dance fuses her training in ballet and classical Chinese dance. The program on Friday, June 23 opens with the transnational South Asian dance collective Post Natyam Ensemble and closes with a collaboration between improvisational dancer-choreographers Jennifer Monson and DD Dorvillier. The final evening, Saturday, June 24, will include Irish fiddle and step dancing by the duo of Nic Gareiss and Cleek Schrey, followed by a performance by dance historian and scholar Thomas F. DeFrantz.

In addition to the three nights of dance at JACK, several of the artists and authors featured in the new book Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings (Oxford UP), which Croft edited, will speak on the morning of Saturday, June 24 at New York University.

When: June 22–24 at 8pm
Where: JACK (505 1/2 Waverly Avenue, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn)

Jennifer Monson and DD Dorvillier (photo © Sarah Nesbitt)
Jennifer Monson and DD Dorvillier (photo © Sarah Nesbitt)

More info here.

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