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Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies Lecture with Dr. Harmony Bench

March 7, 2018 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Roble Gym 139
Dr. Harmony Bench

Free & Open to the public

Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies is excited to present:

“Kinesthetic and Cinesthetic Affectivity: Moving and Being Moved by Dance Onscreen

A lecture by Dr. Harmony Bench, Associate Professor of Dance, Ohio State University

Discussant: Jennifer DeVere Brody, Professor of Theater & Performance Studies and Chair of CCSRE, Stanford University

In this presentation, Dr. Bench focuses on the short video Color of Reality (2016) directed by Jon Boogz with visual art by Alexa Meade and dancing by Boogz and Lil Buck. The video follows a loose narrative structure, addressing anti-black violence without, however, flattening the dancers’ movements to fit a simple storyline or social critique. This presentation is situated in the interdisciplinary field of screendance and pulls from many examples of screendance as well as cinema and media studies, feminist theory, dance studies, and black cultural criticism to articulate the role of kinesthetic (movement of the body) and cinesthetic (movement of the screened image) affectivity in dance onscreen. Pushing against universalizing theories of kinesthetic empathy as well as theories of affect that obscure processes of enculturation, Dr. Bench turns to feminist affect theory and black cultural criticism to articulate a space of danced expressivity and sensuous spectatorship that never loses sight of the fact that bodies are not lived in the abstract. She posits kinesthetic and cinesthetic affectivity within screen-based performance and spectatorship as a way of watching and thinking alongside dance that does not attempt to resolve gaps in understanding, but rather creates a space of ethical encounter across difference.

Harmony Bench is Associate Professor in the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University, where she is also affiliated faculty with Theatre, Folklore, Translational Data Analytics, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research sits at the intersections of dance, media, and performance studies and revolves around encounters between bodies and machine or media technologies. Her writing has appeared in the Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen, Choreographies of 21st Century War, and Dance on Its Own Terms as well as Theatre Journal, Dance Research Journal, The International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, Participations, and Performance Matters, among others. Current digital humanities projects include: Mapping Touring, which focuses on the performance engagements of early 20th-century dance companies, and Dance in Transit, which considers transportation infrastructure and support networks in Katherine Dunham’s dance touring of the 1950s. These digital works in progress can be found at Since 2014, she has been co-editor of The International Journal of Screendance with Simon Ellis.

Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies 2017 - 2018 is curated around the theme of “Mediations of Movement: Theorizing Dance on Screen.” For more information about the Colloquium, visit: For any accessibility needs, please contact Heather Rastovac Akbarzadeh:

The Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies is sponsored by the Mellon “Dance Studies in/and the Humanities” initiative and is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Co-sponsors include the Office of the Vice President for the Arts, Stanford Humanities Center, Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, the Department of Theater & Performance Studies, the Film & Media Studies Program - Department of Art History, and the Clayman Institute for Gender Research.

Event Sponsor: 
Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Humanities Center, Department of Drama, Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford Arts, Department of Art & Art History
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