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OMG guess what?! I have been invited to attend and share my critical and creative approaches to queer performance at the 7th IDOCDE Residency and Symposium on Contemporary Dance Education in Vienna in July!


This is VERY exciting for me, not just because I've been offered a scholarship to participate, but also because the Symposium this year is looking at - "intersecting (somatic) legacies and future (art) practices". YESss, I want to be part of this discussion - I have things to say! This is a great opportunity for me to share my practice, test new ideas, get some feedback and inspiration and bring it all back home to share with folks here in Aotearoa.


I am really grateful (and chuffed) that IDOCDE are gifting me some meals and participation costs, and have sorted out accommodation for the time of the residency and symposium. I now need to fundraise for the rest of the costs of getting to Vienna - including travel. I am also raising funds to participate in a workshop with the amazing queer dance anarchist Keith Hennessy, and if I am successful in this fundraising campaign I want to travel to my ancestral land of Ireland (for the first time) to test a queer channelling performance practice at a number of sacred sites. Be still my beating pagan heart!


I'm pretty nerdy about somatics and queerness in the dance education and performance-making realms. Roughly, somatics is a term used to describe movement-based explorations of the living body in relationship with environment and place. And when I say queerness, I am not only thinking about an open web of genders and sexualities, I'm thinking 'queer' as a resistance of 'the normal' and 'the dominant' - an interrogation of sexuality's intersections with gender, race, class and disability. But perhaps more important to me is 'queer' as a call to imagine other worlds through dance, performance and writing practices - worlds that are built on love and connectivity and listening.


This opportunity is extremely good timing in terms of my PhD project at AUT (I'm over half way through now) because I've been developing a tongue-in-cheek queer critique of how somatic teachings perpetuate the problematic idea of a natural, universal and uncultured body. That's a really damaging white essentialist ideology eh that needs to be unearthed… and not just in dance! I want to make space for the bodily knowledge of queer, gender diverse, non-white and indigenous folx. I'll let you know how it all goes on my personal Facebook page - friend me if you want to see live practice updates from the trip xoxo


If you are able to support me in this trip by contributing a few dollars I would be so grateful. I've never been particularly confident asking for help, but damn it, this feels really important. Don't mind me if I blush on the street though when you ask me about this Boosted campaign - it's just my protestant working class do-it-yourself mentality wreaking havoc with my sense of self-worth :)


Ngā mihi!
val