Dark Matter featuring b-boys Lionz of Zion: a look at violence and control through break dance

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Multimedia performance artist Jefferson Pinder examines 21st-century social conflicts through break dance with Dark Matter, a street performance featuring the international b-boy crew Lionz of Zion, on the Ahart Family Arts Plaza (part of the Williams Arts Campus at 223 North Third Street) at Lafayette College, at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 9. The artistry of Lionz of Zion, considered one of the early pioneers of breaking, has influenced b-boys across the world and pairs well with Pinder’s intense choreography.

During a time in which identity politics have taken center stage, Pinder directs a street performance that wrestles with the nature of violence and control. Inspired by current events, Dark Matter speaks to the power dynamics that create dialogue or exchange between two opposing groups. Pinder, a professor in the Department of Contemporary Practices at the School of the Art Institute Chicago, has studied photographs and images from the 2014 Ferguson, Mo., uprising to better understand the visual dynamics of contemporary revolt. There will be two opportunities for discussion of the content of Dark Matter: at a lunchtime panel in the Marlo Room of Farinon Student Center the day of the show and at a Q&A in the Ahart Plaza immediately following Friday evening’s performance.

“Violent and poetic, Dark Matter is really about the duality of strength and vulnerability,” Pinder says. “Power dynamics in which the spectator knows the inevitable conclusion. Bodies on the floor, struggling to gain a vertical power, spinning like tops, trying to gain momentum.”

As an interdisciplinary artist, Pinder creates performances, video work, and objects that challenge viewers to think critically about our highly polarized society. He explores the tangle of representations, visual tropes, and myths—referencing historical events and invoking cultural symbolism.

The presentation of Dark Matter and the appearance of Jefferson Pinder is made possible by Choreographers on Campus, a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and an initiative of Lafayette College and the Lehigh Valley Dance Consortium (LVDC). Dark Matter is organized by the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of African America Art and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland in collaboration with The Phillips Collection.

Dark Matter Panel Discussion
Friday, September 9, Noon
Marlo Room, Farinon Student Center
Clinton Terrace and E. Campus Lane, Easton, PA
Luncheon Panel: Jefferson Pinder, Guest choreographer and Professor at School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Curlee Raven Holton, Lafayette Professor of Art and Director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute; Moderated by Lafayette Intercultural Development Coordinator Liam O’Donnell.
FREE and open to the public

Dark Matter Performance
Friday, September 9, 7:00 p.m
Ahart Family Arts Plaza, 223 North Third St., Easton, PA
Tickets: FREE and open to the public
Free parking at Buck Hall; enter from Snyder St. between Route 611 and North 3rd Street in Easton