Thursday, May 6
12:30pm EDT

Virtual Event — Register Here

ACT is pleased to announce this artistic research conversation with Dr. Adesola Akinleye, Gediminas Urbonas, and Chucho Ocampo Aguilar (SMACT ’21), around the publication of Adesola’s latest book, Dance, Architecture and Engineering (Bloomsbury, 2021).

This book was born from a year of exchanges of movement ideas generated in cross-practice conversations and workshops with dancers, musicians, architects and engineers. Events took place at key cultural institutions such as the Royal Academy of Arts, London; and The Lowry, Salford, as well as on-site at architectural firms and on the streets of London. The author engages with dance’s offer of perspectives on being in place: how the ‘ordinary person’ is facilitated in experiencing the dance of the city, while also looking at shared cross-practice understandings in and about the body, weight and rhythm. There is a prioritizing of how embodied knowledges across dance, architecture and engineering can contribute to decolonizing the production of place – in particular, how dance and city-making cultures engage with female bodies and non-white bodies in today’s era of #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter. Adesola concludes in response conversations about ideas raised in the book with John Bingham-Hall, Liz Lerman, Dianne McIntyer and Richard Sennett. The book is a fascinating resource for those drawn to spatial practices from dance to design to construction.

Since 2020, Adesola has been an MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology (CAST) Visiting Artist. During her residency she co-taught Choreographing the City (Fall 2020) with Gediminas Urbonas, in partnership with Theatrum Mundi and Professor Richard Sennett. Chucho Ocampo Aguilar (SMACT ’21) was the Teaching Assistant for the course. An eight episode podcast series, Choreographing the City, was borne of this course’s Morning Conversations programming. You can listen to it here.

Adesola’s residency looks at emerging lexicons for movement in urban space that connect to ideas shared across dance-making and choreography to city-making and building community, and the collaboration will continue into 2022.

Dr. Adesola Akinleye is a dancer, choreographer and artist-scholar. She began her career as a dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem (USA) later working in UK Companies such as Green Candle, and Carol Straker Dance Company. Over the past twenty years she has created dance works ranging from dance films, installation and texts to live performance that is often site-specific and involves a cross-section of the community. Adesola draws on Non-Western Indigenous and Africanist world views to explore how body-mind-environment contribute to an intra-connected ontology. Her work is characterized by an interest in glimpsing and voicing peoples lived experiences through creative moving portraiture. A key aspect of her process is the artistry of opening-up and exchanging creative processes between people from women in low wage employment to ballerinas to performance for young audiences to city makers. Adesola has published in the field of dance as well as cultural and social studies.