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61 | #ThomasDeFrantz

On our fifth episode of Dance History month, your co-hosts Martheya and Azaria interview choreographer, performer and scholar Thomas DeFrantz. In this episode, we go behind the screen and talk about the performance group SLIPPAGE and how they support black futures and social possibilities, curatorial practices that support people vs. protecting art, how African Diaspora forms and ideologies shift the dance landscape, Tommy’s thoughts on social media, and three ways to be inclusive in your everyday life.


[0:28] Martheya and Azaria introduce Tommy DeFrantz


[3:47] Martheya asks: “Can you talk about SLIPPAGE?”

[5:29] Martheya asks: “Can you explain how your work reimagines and supports Black futures and social possibilities? For example, in a recent interview series, Infinite Body by Eva Yaa Asantewaa, you describe your work with research group SLIPPAGE as "We wonder at Black futures aligned with social possibilities and unexpected, non-binary expressive gestures.” Can you talk about this?

[9:07] Azaria asks: “I would like for you to be more explicit, what do you mean by pegging them in the corner (curatorial process)?”

[13:16] Martheya asks: “What are things you are considering in opening up the landscape to not follow this old mold? What advice do you have for presenters or dance institutions who are trying to re-imagine their own curatorial practices?”

[17:08] Azaria asks: “Can you tell us how and why you decided to track dance lineage through the digital space?”

[20:02] Azaria asks: “Was dance American Art the culminating project of all of these interests? Can you talk about your relationship with creating ‘Dance! American Art 1830-1960’?”

[24:07] Martheya asks: “We would love to talk about your project “...where did i think i was going? [moving into signal]”. In a promotional video you talk about this idea of ‘digital trace’.

[26:50] Martheya asks: “How do you see that showing up on social media?”

[27:52] Azaria asks: “You started CADD, I’m curious how you see research around Afro-diasporic forms and ideologies shifting the dance landscape? I’m curious about your ideas of black theory and how it’s playing out in the dance field?”

[32:27] Azaria asks: “Do you have advice for black scholars who are interested in writing about these things but don’t know how to go about it?”

[35:16] Azaria asks: “Do you have advice for black dancers in general or marginalized dancers?”

[38:48] Martheya asks: “Can you talk about why you do that (make space for emerging artists)?”

[42:30] Martheya asks: “We talked briefly about supporting black lives and black love, how can we be more inclusive in everyday life?”

[50:02] Martheya asks: “How do you feel about being in conversation about these topics especially with people who aren’t of color? Do you feel it is of great value or do you feel it to be performative allyship?”

[54:07] Martheya asks: “How do say NO to the BOX?”

[52:44] Martheya asks:

1- If you had to recommend a resource to our audience what would it be?

[53:20] Azaria asks:

2- What was the first dance you saw?

  • “My parents when I was a baby at a party... they were dancing in the living room”

[53:56] Martheya asks:

3- Do you think social media has a positive influence on the dance world (yes or no)?

  • Yes- “It helps people feel more connected… but it’s not for everyone”

[53:53] Azaria asks:

4- What is your favorite social media platform?

  • Your podcast it’s amazing”

#ThomasDeFrantz Recommended Resources

Connect with #ThomasDeFrantz

Instagram- @thomas.defrantz

Twitter- @tbirdinflight


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