Alabama Dance Council

Dr. Thomas DeFrantz, Festival Scholar-in-Residence


Dance is the hidden language of the soul - Martha Graham

Ballet Students

Thomas F. DeFrantz is Professor of Dance and African American Studies at Duke University. He is the director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications, in residence at Duke University. His books include the edited volume Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance (University of Wisconsin Press, 2002, winner of the CHOICE Award for Outstanding Academic Publication and the Errol Hill Award presented by the American Society for Theater Research) and Dancing Revelations Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture (Oxford University Press, 2004, winner of the de la Torre Bueno Prize for Outstanding Publication in Dance).  A director and writer, his creative works have been commissioned by the Theater Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts. In 2005 he worked with DonnaFaye Burchfield to design the American Dance Festival/Hollins University MFA Program in dance. He co-convenes the working group Black Performance Theory as well as the international group Choreography and Corporeality of the International Federation for Theatre Research. He is currently President of the Society of Dance History Scholars, an international scholarly society that advances the field of dance studies through research, publication, performance, and outreach to audiences across the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Dr. DeFrantz is the Alabama Dance Festival's Scholar-in-Residence, and will lead pre- and post-performance discussions for Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion's performances of The Radio Show on January 24 and Pavement on January 25. On January 26, Dr. DeFrantz will present his performance lecture Performing Black with Shireen Dickson. Dr. DeFrantz and Ms. Dickson are also teaching master classes at the Festival.


2013 Festival Classes

Soft Shoe: Purple & Red


2013 Faculty