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Thomas F. DeFrantz Joins Dance Faculty

Apr 21, 2011

Thomas F. DeFrantz Joins Dance Faculty

Choreographer, dancer and scholar Thomas F. DeFrantz will join the faculty of the dance program and African and African & American studies department at Duke as professor in fall 2011.

“I am very excited to welcome Thomas F. DeFrantz to Duke," said Scott Lindroth, vice provost for the arts at Duke. "As a choreographer, performer, and scholar DeFrantz is someone who combines practical work as an artist with scholarship. His work with innovative dance technologies brings an entirely new performance practice to the Dance Program, and his long-standing affiliation with the American Dance Festival will help us cultivate closer ties between Duke and ADF.”

DeFrantz comes to Duke from MIT, where he was most recently professor of music and theater arts. He is author of Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance and Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture. He earned degrees from Yale, the City University of New York, and the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. He also is the founder and artistic director of SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology, multi-disciplinary arts collective at MIT.

“As a leading scholar of contemporary dance and an innovative creative artist, Thomas F. DeFrantz literally embodies the Duke dance program’s viewpoint that dance develops a total union of our physical, intellectual, and expressive capabilities,” said Keval Kaur Khalsa, director of the dance program. “The dance faculty is thrilled to become the new home for DeFrantz’s company SLIPPAGE, which explores connections between performance and emergent technology in the service of theatrical storytelling.  He will contribute greatly to the continued development of our interdisciplinary initiatives, research, and course offerings in dance technology, dances of Africa and the African diaspora, and performance studies.”

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