Choreographer Monica Bill Barnes, described by Deborah Jowitt of The Village Voice as "one of the wittiest young choreographers around", joins Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Maura Keefe to discuss dance making and humor. Topics include the role of empathy, sincerity and failure in Barnes' work and responses to the Christopher Hitchens Vanity Fair article 'Why Women Aren't Funny'.
EXCERPT from PillowTalk: What's So Funny About Dance? Recorded July 29, 2010.
PillowTalks feature world-renowned choreographers, dancers, authors, filmmakers, historians, and critics in live hour-long moderated discussions of the cultural forces shaping the field of dance. Curated by Jacob's Pillow Director of Preservation Norton Owen and moderated by Jacob's Pillow Scholars-in-Residence, PillowTalks use dance as a prism to explore the world at large.
New York-based choreographer and performer Monica Bill Barnes has created twelve evening-length dance works, numerous site-specific events and several cabaret numbers for her company, Monica Bill Barnes & Company. Since moving to New York from her native California in 1995, her work has been presented in 30 cities throughout the United States and abroad, including The International Fabbrica for Choreographers (Florence, Italy), The Fourth International Dance and Movement Festival on the Volga (Yaroslav, Russia), Tanz Festival (Karlsruhe, Germany), Sushi Performance and Visual Art (San Diego, CA), and DancePlace (Washington, D.C.). Barnes holds an MFA from New York University/Tisch School of the Arts and a BA in philosophy and theater from the University of California at San Diego. www.monicabillbarnes.com
Contemporary dance historian and dance writer Maura Keefe is a Scholar-in-Residence at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. She has led audience engagement programs at numerous locations including Princeton University, UCLA, the Goethe Institut, City Center and DANCECleveland. Her current research areas are the exploration of the choreography of talking dancing in contemporary dance and the relationships between dance
and sports. Keefe has an MFA in choreography and performance from Smith College, and a PhD in dance history and theory from University of California, Riverside. She is the chair of the Department of Dance at SUNY College at Brockport.