Welcome to our first virtual Assembly!

Dear WDA-Americas Virtual Presenters and Participants,

We are so excited to welcome you to our very first virtual Conference & Festival Assembly ‘Ecologies Of and Through the Body’ on April 22-29, 2021. This year we have experienced the world in the midst of a global pandemic as well as widespread civil unrest due to social and racial injustice. Earth Day (April 22, 2021) and World Dance Day (April 29, 2021) bookend our virtual conference this year and provide a fitting backdrop for considering the relationship of our various environments and the effects we have on one another as a global system.

We are looking forward to the many performances, classes, scholarly presentations, and panels. As it always happens at WDAA Assemblies, the programming is rich, diverse, and embraces many styles, genres, and different modes of dissemination and engagement with dance. Please familiarize yourself with the schedule!

We are pleased to welcome two extraordinary keynote speakers, Dr. Carla Walters and Dr. Rosemary Candelario!

Thursday (4/22) @ 4:00 pm CST – Opening with Dr. Carla Walters

We designed this day to provide you with a short introduction to the conference, followed by our first keynote speaker, Dr. Carla Walters. She will lead us through a short movement practice that draws on her book “Sacred Dance Meditation”, and will discuss with us her research and her personal reasons that inspired her to write the book. This talk will celebrate the timeless connection between dance and the Higher Spirits present in traditions from around the globe, and more specifically in pre-colonial religious traditions. ​A grounding practice to start this year’s virtual conference, aimed at centering the self through awareness and a deeply restorative practice. Following her talk, we will watch our opening night concert, featuring work specifically curated to set the tone for this year’s conference.

Saturday (4/24) Sunday (4/25) @ 12:00 CST with Dr. Rosemary Candelario

Join us for an amazing opportunity to participate in a workshop and a lecture with our second keynote speaker, Dr. Rosemary Candelario.

On Saturday, the live butoh workshop, which can be done in any convenient outdoor or indoor space with an internet connection, will focus on exercises that encourage participants to shift their perceptions of their bodies from that of an individual human self-ending at the skin to that of a porous entity inseparable from the more-than-human world. Using images, sensations, and physical movements, we will explore butoh ecological dance. No butoh experience necessary.

On Sunday, we will hear more about the history of Butoh, an avant-garde dance developed in Japan in the late 1950s and 1960s that has since become global and multiply-local. This talk traces a historiography and praxis of butoh as ecological dance that offers possibilities to alter our collective understanding of bodies and the earth, and to train people to shift out of habitual patterns and into new ecological ways of being. 

We thank you all for joining us for our first every virtual Assembly and your commitment to WDA-Americas!

Warmest regards,

Cristina Goletti

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