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USP Seminar with Prof. Michael Klien, “Social Choreography & Personal Cosmologies”

February 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Please join us for a USP Seminar with Professor Michael Kliën on “Social Choreography and Personal Cosmologies.”  In the first half of the seminar, Professor Kliën will discuss social choreography in terms of “what moves the social sphere?” In the latter half, he will lead us through an interactive activity, using a structured framework to expand our thinking and mutual understanding.

Professor Kliën is Associate Professor of the Practice of Dance in the Duke Dance Program.  Kliën explains that his “teaching offers students the chance to experience and define dance and choreography against the backdrop of wider ecological, social and political structures. I approach both disciplines as distinct, nonetheless deeply entangled fields of perception and practice. Dance as an artistic discipline defines itself predominately through its institutional arrangements, through the historical development of certain techniques and abilities to manipulate and master aspects of bodily, physical exertion and exhibition.”

Michael Kliën’s approach to choreography is defined by his practice of deconstructing our civilization’s assumptions on choreography, dance and culture. He set out to redevelop choreography as an autonomous artistic discipline concerned with the workings and governance of patterns, dynamics and ecologies. In response to the urgency of our contemporary ecological situation, this new conception of choreography engages its social potential to pursue sustainable orders of human relations (Social Choreography). Choreography—as an Aesthetics of Change—assumes the creative practice of setting relations, or setting the conditions for new relations to emerge.

Kliën’s choreographic work has been situated around the world. He has been commissioned by leading institutions such as Ballett Frankfurt, Martha Graham Dance Company, New Museum, Irish Museum of Modern Art and Hayward Gallery. As Artistic Director/CEO of Daghdha (2003-2011, Ireland) he developed notions of an extended, socio-politically engaged choreography often referred to as ‘Social Choreography’. Kliën’s artistic practice encompasses interdisciplinary thinking, critical writing, curatorial projects, and centrally, choreographic works equally at home in the Performing as well as the Fine Arts. Klien received a BA from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in the UK in 1996.  He obtained his PhD from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 and has been lecturing about his findings at various distinguished academic and national institutions.

For more on Michael Kliën, please visit his personal website at http://www.michaelklien.com/ as well as his profile on the Duke Dance Program’s website at: https://danceprogram.duke.edu/faculty-profile/michael-klien


February 6
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


John Hope Franklin Center, Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall RM 240
2204 Erwin Road
Durham, 27708
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