Chris Walker Calls for Communal Engagement in Dance with 2015 Philip Sherlock Lecture

The Philip Sherlock Lecture is an annual event held on the birthday of Sir Philip Sherlock, as part of the annual Philip Sherlock International Arts Festival. The 2015 lecture series was this year be delivered by NDTC’s Chris Walker, under the theme: “Contemporizing in Reverse: Folk Origins, Contemporary Aesthetics and Dancing the 21st Century.”

Chris Walker, Associate Professor of Dance, University of Wisconsin – Madison, has developed a choreographic approach to devising contemporary experimental theatre called the First Wave Process. It is rooted in creative and somatic movement practices and helps students navigate their voices and experiences, and creatively problem-solve to find the appropriate medium for their stories. His lecture focused on his research in Jamaican Dance – and addressed a structural space where African and contradictory European practices often exist in the same body. These paradoxes create tension. Tension in space provides the energy force, while the subject of the work shapes the expression which is translated and projected in movement.

Professor Walker’s work often explores the body politic and body dynamic apparent in the attempt to find balance. His lecture critically discussed 20th century challenges while proposing a 21st century rhizomatic approach to contemporary dance making and sharing in Jamaica.

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