VCUarts Departments of Dance + Choreography and Kinetic Imaging are pleased to present johnbrown, a performance created by multidisciplinary artist Dean Moss – director of New York interdisciplinary company, Gametophyte Inc. Performances are March 25 + 26, 2022 at 7:30 pm at the Grace Street Theater, 934 West Grace Street. Tickets are FREE and can be reserved via the Grace Street Theater website. Masks are required.
Steeped in a childhood of grassroots organizing and pitched campaigns, multidisciplinary artist Dean Moss draws from an intimate and varied history with activism to re-create his acclaimed 2012 work johnbrown on the students of VCU—a dark, wry meditation on the legacy of the white 19th-century abolitionist, as well as the racial, gender, and generational processes at play in the inquiry. The result of several years of research, johnbrown layers live choreography and video performances with original recordings by composer and VCU Kinetic Imaging Chair, Stephen Vitiello.
A longtime New Yorker, Moss has had a wide range of dance training, including a short period working directly with Martha Graham, touring with the Louis Falco Dance Company, and performing in the Paris company of Broadway’s revival of West Side Story, all in the early 1980’s. Notably he also danced ten years (1983-93) with the post-modern choreographer David Gordon in his Pick-up Performance Company. These experiences are manifested indirectly through his own work, in its focus on perception and the fluidity of self, and in its use of transcultural, multimedia performance collaborations that often incorporate audience participation.
Moss’s performance works have been commissioned by the New York Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, P.S.1, The Seoul International Dance Festival, The Yerba Buena Art Center and The Kitchen among others. They have been acknowledged by a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography; the Doris Duke Impact Award in Theatre; a Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Artists Grant; plus fellowships in both Choreography and Multidisciplinary Works from the New York Foundation for the Arts. A New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award was received for his work Spooky action at a distance.
Moss was the Curator of Dance and Performance at The Kitchen from 1999-2004 and a Curatorial Advisor until 2009. He has lectured internationally including at Tokyo University of the Arts, Kookmin University in Seoul, and Harvard University in the department of Visual and Environmental Studies, for which he received a Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. Recently Moss was Resident Faculty at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; Dance Faculty at Princeton University; and co-taught the video and performance composition course Bodies, Spaces, Intimacy and Power in the Age of Covid Isolation in the Painting Dept. at Rhode Island School of Design. During the 2021/22 academic year he will join the department of Kinetic Imaging at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dean Moss is honored to serve on the Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Board of Directors.
The Department of Kinetic Imaging is a program dedicated to video, animation, sound, emerging art and the many hybrids and extensions of those areas. Student outcomes include: making art and media work that is meaningful, making meaningful analysis and evaluation, attaining high level of electronic and digital media technical skills, and professional preparation.
Dance + Choreography is a pre-professional program that provides students with numerous opportunities for individual artistic growth in a community that values communication, collaboration, and self-motivation. The department, an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Dance, provides an invigorating educational environment designed to prepare students for the demands and challenges of a career as an informed and engaged artist in the field of dance.