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Boston Guest Speakers

Guest Speakers Appearing at AMS Boston 2019

The AMS has granted funding for guest speakers to appear at the Committee on Race and Ethnicity session and at the Music and Dance Study Group’s two events.

Friday 6–7:30 p.m.: Perspectives on Critical Race Theory and Music
Sponsored by the Committee on Race and Ethnicity

Nancy Love (Appalachian State University), “Facing the Music: Ambiguity, Community, and Identity in White Power Music”

Nancy Love describes her talk as follows: “Social movements across the political spectrum have long used music to resist symbolic domination, recognize cultural differences, mobilize political supporters, and pluralize public discourse.  Their songs have created pathways between individual lives and collective struggles for social justice. Today music plays an increasingly prominent role in the online radicalization of white youth into white supremacist movements.  Contemporary white power music has replaced the explicit lyrics of racist punk, folk, and metal with the more ambiguous instrumentation of fashwave, the soundtrack of the alt right.  In this talk, I explore the changing genres and functions of white power music in politics.  I stress the need for critical listening publics who can crack the not-so-hidden codes of white supremacy in music today.”

Political theorist Nancy Love (Department of Government & Justice Studies, Appalachian State University) is the author of a number of books, notably Trendy Fascism: White Power Music and the Future of Democracy (2016), Musical Democracy (2006), and Doing Democracy: Activist Art and Cultural Politics (2013). Her work is in dialogue with and has influenced music scholars, but she was selected by the committee particularly because her analyses of how race frames modern culture and aesthetics and affects democracy can help to foster our Society’s ongoing efforts to engage issues of race and ethnicity in scholarship.

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Friday 8–11 p.m.: Hearing, Moving, Seeing: Interactions in Music, Dance, and Design
Sponsored by the Music and Dance Study Group

Kenneth Archer and Millicent Hodson, “Sacrificial Situations: Ritual and Ordeal in the Music, Dance, and Design of Three Stravinsky Productions”

Based on their three decades of work reconstructing lost ballets, including many from Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, Hodson and Archer will present their reconstructions of the choreography and design for various stagings of three Stravinsky ballets: Le Sacre du Printemps (1913 with Roerich and Nijinsky), Le Chant du Rossignol (1925, with Matisse and Balanchine), and Persephone (1934 with Kurt Joos). Using slides, video, commentary, and movement, they will illuminate the reconstructive process for these collaborative works with reference to the original choreographers’ confrontation with the Stravinsky scores.

Saturday 12 noon: Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps and Balanchine’s Le Chant du rossignol: Rhythmic Complexities and Choreographic Counterpoint

This movement workshop is an opportunity for attendees to experience approaches to rhythm used by Vaslav Nijinsky and George Balanchine in Le Sacre du printemps and Le Chant du rossignol. Participants will explore how these choreographers visualized Stravinsky’s scores through counterpointed groups of dancers. Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer will present slide and video excerpts to familiarize participants with the movement to be studied. No dance background is required.

Millicent Hodson (choreographer/dance historian/graphic artist) and Kenneth Archer (scenic consultant/art historian) are a dance and design team based in London. They hold doctoral degrees from UC Berkeley and the University of Essex. For three decades they have reconstructed lost ballets and created original productions with such companies as the Joffrey Ballet, Paris Opera, Mariinsky Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, and Royal Ballet, London. They have lectured and given workshops at universities and art museums worldwide. Their numerous articles and monographs include The Lost Rite (2014), Roerich East and West (1999), and a chapter in The Rite of Spring at 100 (2017). Currently they are preparing two monographs: Balanchine’s Twenties about reconstruction of five early Balanchine ballets, and Nijinsky’s October Revolution: Till Eulenspiegel. In summer and fall of 2019, they are staging their reconstruction of Balanchine’s Le Chant du Rossignol at Ballet West in Salt Lake City.