Contemporary PerforMemory: Dancing through Spacetime, Historical Trauma, and Diaspora in the 21st Century
Contemporary PerforMemory looks at dance works created in the 21st century by choreographers identifying as Afro-European, Jewish, Black, Palestinian, and Taiwanese-Chinese-American. It explores how contemporary dance-makers engage with historical traumas such as the Shoah and the Maafa to reimagine how the past is remembered and how the future is anticipated. The new idea of "perforMemor"y arises within a lively blend of interdisciplinary theory, interviews, performance analysis, and personal storytelling. Scholar and artist Layla Zami traces unexpected pathways, inviting the reader to move gracefully across disciplines, histories, and geographies. Featuring insightful interviews with seven international artists: Oxana Chi, Zufit Simon, André M. Zachery, Chantal Loïal, Wan-Chao Chang, Farah Saleh, and Christiane Emmanuel.
Layla Zami (Dr.), born 1985, is Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, where she teaches in the fields of humanities, performance studies, and art history. She also works as Interdisciplinary Artist-in-Residence with Oxana Chi Dance & Art, and is Co-Curator of Dance at the International Human Rights Art Festival. Zami obtained a PhD in Gender Studies at Humboldt-University in Berlin, where she was awarded a Teaching Quality Prize for her seminar Performing Memory. She received a Doctoral Fellowship from the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund (ELES/BMBF) and was a Visiting Research Scholar at Columbia University.