Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Embodiment beyond the binary: Sean Dorsey and the trans genderqueer presence in contemporary concert dance
by Tikkun, Kaitlyn Muriel, M.F.A., University of California, Irvine, 2010, 86; 1476753
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis describes the Canadian born, San Francisco based contemporary choreographer and dancer Sean Dorsey. Dorsey, who is a trans, queer man, i.e., who was assigned female at birth and identifies as male, uses narrative text and modern dance to present trans identities and stories to concert dance audiences. He founded the Fresh Meat Festival, an annual performance of trans and queer art, and Fresh Meat Productions, which produces the Festival and creates and tours year-round trans and queer arts programming. Over the course of the last decade Dorsey has nurtured a high-profile, high-quality trans and queer arts community and enabled this community to produce art on their own terms by facilitating their access to professional venues and ever wider audiences. In light of the pervasive marginalization, exploitation, and erasure of transgender, transexual, and other gender non-conforming people in society, Dorsey increases the visibility of the trans community and provides a space for trans self-representation in the performing arts, and dance in particular.

The ethnographic work is comprised of a biography of and interviews with Dorsey, a comprehensive review of newspaper and magazine literature (mostly reviews, announcements, and feature articles), a dance analysis of Dorsey's 2009 work, Uncovered: The Diary Project, and the author's fieldwork at the 2009 Fresh Meat Festival and at a 2009 performance by Sean Dorsey Dance at Dixon Place Theater, New York City. In order to understand Dorsey's embodied presence as a trans artist, the work is situated within the two necessary frameworks of trans and dance studies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fisher, Jennifer
Commitee: Scheper, Jeanne, Wray, Sheron
School: University of California, Irvine
Department: Dance - M.F.A.
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 48/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Dance, LGBTQ studies, Performing Arts
Keywords: Choreographer, Dance, Dorsey, Sean, Fresh meat festival, Transexual, Transgender
Publication Number: 1476753
ISBN: 978-1-124-01906-2
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