2018 Reflection:Response Commission presents Awilda Sterling Duprey’s Lacks Criticality, Sept 21 & 22

The Temple University Department of Dance, Institute for Dance Scholarship, is delighted to present the seventh Reflection: Response Choreographic Commission, Lacks Criticality, by award-winning choreographer and Master Artist, Awilda Sterling Duprey.  Performances will take place in Temple University’s Conwell Dance Theater, on Friday and Saturday, September 21 and 22, at 7:30 PM.

In addition, Sterling Duprey will conduct a public workshop on Orisha abstractions in popular dance, presented in collaboration with The Philadelphia Yoruba Performance project. The workshop is designed for persons 16 and older, on Wednesday, Aug 15, from 6-8:30 at Taller Puertorriqueño, 2600 North 5th St, Philadelphia, 19133. All levels of experience welcome.

A 2010 USA Artists Fellow, and a central figure in Puerto Rico’s vibrant arts scene, Awilda Sterling Duprey will draw from an investigation on the phenomenal destructive forces of Hurricane Maria on citizens’ bodies/minds/emotional and the physical environment.  Lacks Criticality will integrate abstractions of Yoruba dance traditions, and how these remit to the forces of nature. A particular focus will be the dances of Oyá, goddess of the wind, storms, and lightning, whose choreographies move from slowness to violence, like the natural force of the hurricane— the meteorological phenomenon that develops around a center, altering the wind, water, and destroying everything in its path. The title of the piece references myriad convoluted responses by observers to unknown cultural contexts, and the raw qualities intrinsic to the work.

Lacks Criticality continues Sterling Duprey’s investigation into Henri Lefebvre’s observations of moving bodies in different contexts, unleveled situations, and architectural spaces, and Rhythmanalysis, a theory aiming to conclude that rhythm is that around which the universe revolves. The piece will be an exploration of what is ultimate, that around which we, as people revolve. “My purpose is to make the audience active participants, not just passive observers. Therefore, the project aims to speak my history through body co-incidences with audience members,” writes Sterling Duprey who aims to include the audience as performers in the work.

Performing alongside Sterling Duprey in Lacks Criticality will be Philadelphia based, Puertorican dancer and choreographer, Marion Ramírez, as well as graduate students in the Dance Program at Temple University. Lacks Criticality will also feature live percussion.

Awilda Sterling Duprey is a multidisciplinary artist in Visual Arts, Performance, Experimental and Caribbean Dance. She trained in Painting and is precisely from this discipline that she feeds her artistic practice. She started a dance career as an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico under Sylvia del Villlard Gilbert at the Ballet Afro Boricua El Coquí, (1964); trained in Jazz Technique with Lotti Cordero (1972), and in Modern Dance with Petra Bravo (1982). While in New York she trained in Experimental Dance with Merián Soto, Trisha Brown, and Dana Reitz. Ms. Sterling is the co-founder of Pisotón, first Experimental Dance-theater Collective in Puerto Rico (1983). She has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean Region as a dancer, choreographer and guest speaker: Angüila, Barbados, Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Mexico City, Nicaragua, Trinidad/Tobago, and Venezuela. She has also performed in Ecuador, Spain, South of Portugal, the USA and most recently, in Berlin. Some of her most outstanding performances are en-cierro: an excerpt, HAU/ SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin (2017); en-cierro, (2016); En cuerpo de Maelo, and De Maelo al Hip- Hop, (2015); Transparente desnudez, (2015); Cinco Mujeres ante el espejo de Myrna Báez, 2014; (De) Colonial Reconquista, Performance concept: Marina Barsy Janer, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico,( 2014); Sylvia del Villard: Nuestra conciencia africana, Symposium, (2016); ¡Oh! Natura, directed by Sylvia Bofill, (2015); Goyita, (2014); Conducta. Trayectoria artística de Viveca Vázquez, (2015) Vejigante decrépito, (2014); Taller de Diosas, (2011).

The Reflection/Response Commission acknowledges the centrality of individual artistic contributions to the field, providing commissioning funds, rehearsal space, production support and community engagement opportunities for choreographers invested in choreographic and movement research.  The Commission includes a cash award of $5,000 and access to rehearsal space at Temple University throughout summer 2017.  Past commission recipients include Laura Peterson, Charles O. Anderson, Tatyana Tennenbaum, Jennifer Weber, Kathy Westwater, and Lela Aisha Jones. The Reflection/Response Commission is a program of Temple University Department of Dance’s Institute for Dance Scholarship.  The Institute aims to foster and enrich dance research for the students and faculty of Temple University through engagement with scholars, artists and dance professionals working in the field. Through a range of public events, guest seminars and collaborative research projects, it engenders a critical network for dance studies. The Institute’s programs include as well, the Dance Studies Colloquium, and a Scholar-In-Residence Program.