Joanna Kotze and Danica Selem: Dancing Bodies in the Living Room

Dancers superimposed in living room setting
photo / provided
Person pulling at ribbons
Joanna Kotze, One-Shot (October 2012), Gibney Dance Center, 890 Broadway. photo / provided
photo / provided Joanna Kotze, One-Shot (October 2012), Gibney Dance Center, 890 Broadway. photo / provided

The Living Room Event Series

Pursuing this semester's focus on bodies, the Living Room introduces Joanna Kotze, a Brooklyn-based dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Modern dance and modern architecture have pursued relatively similar trajectories in their simultaneous repurposing and turn away from a regimented "classical" past. Despite this similarity, however, what is it that could possibly link the practice of modern dance to the practice of architecture? The consideration of moving bodies from the perspective of a dancer offers an epistemological challenge to architectural discourse: how do we know what we know about the built environments we inhabit, think about, and construct? This consideration is not simply limited to our sensory experiences or personal affective responses to architectural space, but also — as with philosophical phenomenology — to an alternative way of thinking about the relation between a living, breathing body and a physical and symbolic space, and thinking about how the dancing body challenges the ways it has become normal for architects to conceive of these relations.

The Living Room is a student organization whose goal is to create a forum for critical discussion and debate about architecture today. Please join Joanna Kotze and Visiting Critic Danica Selem for the fifth installment of the Living Room to consider dancing bodies, and what these challenges might have in store for the practice of architecture today.

Joanna Kotze has been part of the New York dance community since 1998. Kotze has had commissions to create new works in New York City, Toronto, Salt Lake City, and Minneapolis. She has created original works on students from many colleges and universities, and has taught at many institutions including Barnard College, The New York University Tisch School of the Arts, The New School, and she is currently on the teaching faculty at Movement Research and Gibney Dance. Kotze has received support from numerous prestigious foundations, had many residencies across the U.S. and abroad, and, in 2013, was the recipient of a Bessie award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer for her project It Happened It Had Happened It Is Happening It Will Happen currently on tour at Velocity Dance Center in Seattle (November 2017), and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio (February 2018). Currently, Kotze is a New York Live Arts Live Feed residency program artist (2016–18). New York Live Arts has commissioned her next evening-length work, What will we be like when we get there, which will premiere in late March.

Danica Selem is an architect and a theater artist born in Split, Croatia. After receiving her bachelor of arts in architecture and urban design from the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb, she worked at 3LHD studio and then received her master of architecture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She is currently teaching at Cornell and has taught at Pratt, the New York City College of Technology, and is part of an administrative working group for the School of Apocalypse. Interested in the perception of space and its cultural, social, and emotional implications, Selem's work includes architectural projects, set design, visual and spatial art, theater, performance, and education. She strongly believes in the power of collaboration and engagement with multiple disciplinary perspectives. Her work has been shown at the Pioneer Works Gallery, Dixon Place Theater, JACK, Cherry Lane Theater, Cabinet, among others.

Join us after the event to meet the presenters.

For more information, email, or visit the Living Room on Instagram at @thelivingroomaap.

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