Pieter Conversation Series #1: Engaging libido as critical creative force
Monday, Oct 10 2016
7:30 PM - 10:30 PM

Pieter Conversation Series Session #1:

Engaging libido as critical creative force
Doran George, Tessa Wills, and Dr. Victoria Reuveni    

Monday, October 10
Doors and 7:30
Coversation Begins at 8 

No RSVP necessary. However, if you would like a copy of the suggested pre-reading, please email alisondamato@gmail.com

What is the value of cultivating artistic practice and community at the interface of experimental dance and sex positive culture. For good reason, contemporary dance training is designed to evacuate erotic dimensions of the body from the studio. And yet, there are artists, activists, and pleasure seekers who participate in communities and practices that are known under the umbrella term of Sex Positivism, or Radical Pleasure. Many sex positivists believe that the evacuation of libido from daily life, including the denial of asexuality, and the proliferation of commercial sexual imagery, helps to keep capitalism and discrimination in place. Sex negativity is thought to rob us of our physical, emotional and spiritual potency. In this event, Doran George asks whether Los Angeles’ experimental dance scene can benefit from exploring the bodily potential of engaging with libido, and if so how that might happen. Doran will be joined in a roundtable discussion by Los Angeles based sexological bodyworker Dr. Victoria Reuveni, and director of the Bay Area performance and dance festival “This Is What I Want.”  They will talk about how Radical Pleasure practices relate to dance, how to be smart about the risks of creating sexual community, what kind of possibilities get opened up artistically, and how to program Sex Positive performance work. This is a discussion rather than practice based event. 


Doran George was awarded a PhD in culture and performance from UCLA in 2014 and has been publically funded for their choreography since 1999. Three forthcoming Oxford University Press anthologies include Doran’s research, and their scholarly and arts writing is featured in various theory and arts publications. They have guest edited Dance Theatre Journal, and Art-Insight, and are currently working on the first critical history of ‘Somatic’ contemporary dance training. In dance and performance, Doran explores socially abject dimensions of ‘self’ in ungainly, disturbing and provocative choreography; they have also used dance in work with people facing bereavement and terminal illness. Doran has also been funded to mentor choreographers through California’s Choreographers In Mentorship Exchange program and The Wellcome Trust in London, among others. Conservatory trained at the European Dance Development Center (NL), Doran completed an M.A. in Feminist Performance at Bristol University (U.K.) 

Dr. Victoria Reuveni, DHS, CSB, ACSI, is a Los Angeles-based sexological bodyworker, sex educator, and coach working with individuals, couples, and groups to facilitate going deeper in erotic embodiment and self-acceptance through mindfulness, breath work, and touch. She blogs about sex, kink, gender, and body image and reviews sex toys. She is a board member and educator with the Center for Positive Sexuality, speaking on panels to university students and professionals about kink/BDSM, nonmonogamy, and sex work. Victoria has facilitated more than 20 Orgasmic Yoga circles, including a Six-Week Series in LA and a 3-Evening Mini-Series in Sacramento earlier this year.


Social Media: Sexologist Vixenne on FB

DrVixenne on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

Tessa Wills is a live artist and choreographer with a background in music. She is from England, trained in central Europe and now lives in San Francisco. Wills is the artistic Director of THIS IS WHAT I WANT festival, the Bay Area annual performance festival about desire, now in its 8th year. Wills has been making solo performances since 2004, elevating flaws and wounds as portals: ways of connecting with an audience, or staging humanity. These happen primarily on stage and video or as durational installation. Aside from the relentless pull of desire, her current work is inspired by hermits and professional mourning.


Admission is  your non-monetary donation to the FREE bar or the FREE boutique. Suggested items include: dancer snacks (apples, jars of sugar free nut butter, rice cakes, avocados, nuts), nice vacuum for the studio, natural dish soap and laundry detergent, Macbook pro charging cord, coffee, wine, gaff tape in any color, printer paper for the studio, tea, art/dance books for our library, beers.


The Pieter Conversation Series with Alison D’Amato

The Pieter Conversation series was instituted in the fall of 2016 to help bridge academic and artistic communities in Los Angeles. In light of the local landscape’s ongoing expansion with respect to both performance and scholarship, it’s an exciting time to gather, share ideas, and engage in dialogue. As Pieter’s first Scholar in Residence, Alison is committed to fostering an inclusive space for dancers, thinkers, and dancer-thinkers. She will host three meetings throughout the fall, each featuring an invited guest: Doran George, Susan Leigh Foster, and Shamell Bell. The series will include suggested readings for interested participants as well as plenty of time for conversation.

Alison D’Amato is a dance researcher, choreographer, and performer based in Los Angeles since 2010. She holds a PhD in Culture and Performance from UCLA, an MA in Dance Theater Practice from Trinity Laban (UK), and a BA in Philosophy from Haverford College. Her scholarly and choreographic work focus on choreographic scores. In particular, she investigates generative and indeterminate notation in order to investigate relationships between choreographic authority, inscription, agency and archival. Her writing on performance can be found in Choreographic Practices, itch dance journal, and Native Strategies.

Since graduating from UCLA, D’Amato has taught seminar, lecture, and technique classes at UCLA and CalArts. She’s currently teaching courses in dance theory, history, and practice at the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at USC. Her most recent work, Requital Recital (April 2016), was developed at PAM Residencies in collaboration with John Emison. Her dances and scores have been presented in Los Angeles (Pieter, The Hammer Museum, Anatomy Riot, and HomeLA), New York (Movement Research, the Tank, AUNTS, Waxworks, Dixon Place, and BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange), Philadelphia, the UK, and Poland. Since moving to Los Angeles, she has performed with choreographers such as Maria Hassabi, Milka Djordjevich, Alexx Shilling, Jmy James Kidd, and Simone Forti. alisondamatodance.com

Photos: Produced by Trouve Ivo, “Stalemate” Produced by Summer Dancing, Isaac Oboka, Tessa Wills and Victoria Reuveni

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