“Border Crossings and Exilic Modernism, 1900–1955: Exhibition Curation and Dance Scholarship”
"Border Crossings" is an exhibition, co-edited volume and manifesto on the unsung: the refugee and the unknown dance artists of early twentieth century dance modernism. A five-year research and scholarly journey, "Border Crossings" began before two historical moments that rocked the world: COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter. Ninotchka Bennahum centers on two central concepts of exilic modernism and structural racism.
"Ultimately, the exhibiton, I hope, results in manifesting for the viewer two different diasporas: the refugee entering the world of dance from outside the United States and the internal refugee - the BIPOC dancer - within the U.S., forced to contend with the violent brutality and miscegenation of racism on American soil."
Ninotchka Bennahum is a professor of theater and dance and graduate advisor in theater, dance and performance studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Antonia Mercé, ‘La Argentina: Flamenco & the Spanish Avant-Garde (2000) and Carmen, a Gypsy Geography (2013) and coeditor of numerous dance anthologies dedicated to feminist and decolonial narratives. She has co-curated numerous exhibitions with accompanying books.
The resident dance scholar for American Ballet Theatre from 1996 to 2012, she is completing a history of the company entitled Exile and Modernity: American Ballet Theatre in the Shadow of War. Her most recent exhibition, Border Crossings: Exile and American Modern Dance, 1900–1955, is on view at the New York Public Library from June 8, 2023–March 16, 2024 and at the Art, Design, & Architecture Museum at University of California, Santa Barbara in 2024. A co-edited volume accompanying the exhibition is coming December 2023.
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