IAS Season I (2009-2010)

This season looked particularly at African-American contributions to the performing arts, and examined how racial and ethnic identity can be explored through performance.

"Monk's Mood" by Thomas DeFrantz

A Performance Meditation on the Life and Music of Thelonious Monk
Sheldon Museum of Art Auditorium
October 9, 2009

Thomas F. DeFrantz visited Lincoln in early October 2009, performing his stunning solo tap show, and lecturing several times in the IAS class.
Thomas DeFrantz earned degrees from Yale (BA), the City University of New York (MA), and the Department of Performance Studies at NYU (PhD). His books include the edited volume "Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance" (University of Wisconsin Press, 2002, winner of the CHOICE Award for Outstanding Academic Publication and the Errol Hill Award presented by the American Society for Theater Research) and "Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture" (Oxford University Press, 2004, winner of the de la Torre Bueno Prize for Outstanding Publication in Dance). He is the artistic director of SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology, a multi-disciplinary arts collective in residence at MIT. He is Visiting Professor at Yale 2008-2009, and directed Women's and Gender Studies at MIT from 2007-2009.

Thomas F. DeFrantz as Monk.

"No Child..." by Nilaja Sun

Kimball Recital Hall
October 21, 2009

Nilaja Sun performed her amazing one-woman show in Lincoln, and also visited the IAS seminar class for an inspiring workshop.
Solo performer and writer of the Off-Broadway smash "No Child...," Nilaja Sun garnered 17 awards including: an Obie Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, two Outer Critics Circle Awards including the John Gassner playwriting award for Outstanding New American Play, a Theatre World Award, the Helen Hayes Award, and an LA Ovation Award and was named the Best One-Person Show at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Nilaja's New York credits include "No Child...", "Einstein's Gift", "Pieces of the Throne", "Time and the Conways" (each with Epic Theatre Ensemble), "Huck and Holden" (Cherry Lane Theatre), "The Cook" (Intar), and "The Adventures of Barrio Grrrl!" (Summer Play Festival). She has also been seen on "30 Rock," "Law and Order: SVU," and as Detective Gloria Hubbard in the film "The International." She is a Princess Grace Award winner and has worked as a teaching artist in New York City.

Nilaja Sun in "No Child..."

"Disavowal" by David Dorfman and David Dorfman Dance

Johnny Carson Theatre, Lied Center for Performing Arts
November 12, 2009

David Dorfman and his compan, visited Lincoln in November 2009, performing their thought-provoking "Disavowal" to a thrilled audience. David Dorfman lectured in the IAS seminar, and led a master class for UNL dancers.

David Dorfman (Artistic Director), a native Chicagoan, is the recipient of a 2005 Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. He has also been honored with four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, three New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, an American Choreographer's Award, the first Paul Taylor Fellowship from The Yard, and a New York Dance & Performance Award ("Bessie") for David Dorfman Dance's community-based project Familiar Movements (The Family Project). Dorfman's choreography has been produced in New York City at venues ranging from the BAM Next Wave Festival to The Joyce Theater, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, The Duke on 42nd Street, Danspace Project/St. Mark's Church, P.S. 122, and Dancing in the Streets.

Since its founding in 1985, David Dorfman Dance has performed extensively in New York City and throughout North and South America, Great Britain, and Europe, most recently in St. Petersburg and Krasnoyarsk in Russia and Bytom and Cracow in Poland. David Dorfman and the company's dancers and artistic collaborators have been honored with eight New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Awards.

David Dorfman

Season I Visiting Lecturers:




Thomas F. DeFrantz headshot

Thomas F. DeFrantz

Thomas F. DeFrantz is Professor of Music, Theater Arts, Comparative Media Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies at MIT. He is the director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications, in residence at MIT. His books include the edited volume Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance(2002) and Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture (2004). For many years, he organized the dance history program at the Alvin Ailey School in New York. He convenes the Black Performance Theory working group and the Choreography and Corporeality working group. He has recently been elected President of the Society of Dance History Scholars.




">Jennie Livingston's name on the Ross Media Arts Center marquee

Jennie Livingston

According to New York Magazine's September 2008 issue, Jennie Livingston's film "Paris is Burning" is one of the most important cultural works to come out of New York City in the last 40 years. "Paris" won a Sundance Grand Jury Prize and is one of the top-performing documentaries in the history of the medium. Currently, Livingston is at work on "Earth Camp One," a feature documentary and meditation on grief and loss that's been partially funded by Netflix and by a Guggenheim fellowship, and, on a feature film set in the art worlds of East Berlin and New York in 1989, which she researched in Berlin on a six-month grant from the German Academic Exchange (DAAD). Livingston is a graduate of Yale, where she received the Sudler Prize for work in painting and photography.




Robert O'Meally

Dr. Robert O'Meally

Professor O'Meally is Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and founder and former director of the Center for Jazz Studies.His major interests are American literature, music, and painting. He has written extensively on Ralph Ellison, including The Craft of Ralph Ellison (Harvard, 1980). Professor O'Meally has written a biography of Billie Holiday entitled Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday (Little, Brown, 1989). He also is the author of The Jazz Singers (Smithsonian, 1997). His production of the recording The Jazz Singers was nominated for a Grammy Award. He also has won a Guggenheim Fellowship (1988) and a Cullman Center New York Public Library Fellowship (2008-2009).




Marcia Siegel

Marcia Siegel

Marcia B. Siegel is a dance critic, author and teacher. She has published six books and is known for her informative commentary on choreographic works within their historical context. Marcia Siegel has reviewed dance regularly for major American newspapers and magazines including New York Magazine, the Soho Weekly News, and the Christian Science Monitor. A founding member of the Dance Critics Association, Siegel has given movement and observation workshops for dance writers at the American Dance Festival, the West Coast Institute for Dance Criticism, and the Texas Institute for Dance Criticism. She was the DCA's 2004 Senior Critic Honoree. In 2005 she received the Congress on Research In Dance Award for Contributions to Dance Research.

The Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium is sponsored by the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, presented, in part, by the Lied Center for Performing Arts, and funded, in part, by the Hixson-Lied Endowment.