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Searching for the Missing: Performance, Forensics, and Democracy

January 30, 2020 11:30 am - 1:20 pm

Location: Roble Gym 139 - Map Link

Stanford Dance Studies Colloquium presents Searching for the Missing: Performance, Forensics, and Democracy (a talk by Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz) which is concerned with the use of forensic anthropology evidence in performances by Mexican artists. Since 2006, the legal-scientific field of forensic anthropology has received much attention to shed light on the overwhelming occurrences of forced disappearances in Mexico. Few studies have analyzed the relationship between performance and forensic practices. Aldape Muñoz evaluates how contemporary dance and performance has become a key practice for reconstructing the choreography of truth in official juridical statements. He gives attention to the overlap between journalism and performance practices, examining the extent to which dance can execute the role of journalism without encumbering the liabilities of a discipline that has become a risky business. He assesses the manner in which artists use fragments of history that are situated between journalism, archives, and forensic evidence to challenge official narratives and construct a common democracy that can only be mediated by performance citizens.

ABOUT JUAN MANUEL ALDAPE MUÑOZ. Juan Manuel Aldape Muñoz is an Andrew W. Mellon-Chancellor’s Fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. His current project Choreotopias: Performance, State Violence, and The Near Past examines the relevance of experimental theatre and dance processes to the study of twentieth-century Mexican culture and nationalism. Juan Manuel is also a choreographer and professional dancer, as well as the co-director of the Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers. His most recent publication in the Routledge anthology Performance as Research: Knowledge, Methods, Impact (2018) evaluates performance research methods, embodiment, and state violence. He’s been a resident artist for venues such as the Alfredo Zalce Contemporary Art Museum (Morelia, MX), 5 Acre Farm (England), STATION-Service for Contemporary Dance (Belgrade, Serbia), Zenon Dance Company (Minneapolis, US), and Sugar Space Arts Center (Salt Lake, US). 

Photo by Scott Tsuchitani


Roble Gym 139 - Map Link
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Stanford Department of Theater & Performance Studies
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January 30, 2020, 11:30 am