Critical dance studies, performance studies, practice-based research, queer theory, critical race theory, reperformance and reenactment
Rebecca Chaleff is a dance scholar, performer, and dramaturg. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Riverside. Rebecca’s research merges critical theory with practice to examine structures of time, feeling, and power. Her current book project, Choreographic Futures: Race, Sexuality, and the Politics of Reperformance, analyzes how reperformance and legacy building projects shape and are shaped by the politics of race and sexuality. In particular, the manuscript engages with the affective attachments of queer and racialized histories to question how choreographic claims to artistic afterlives participate in sociopolitical processes of dispossession.
Rebecca’s writing has appeared in numerous scholarly publications, including Dance Research Journal, TDR/The Drama Review, and The Futures of Dance Studies. As a dancer, she has had the pleasure of performing with GERALDCASELDANCE, Pat Catterson, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company Repertory Understudy Group, Douglas Dunn and Dancers, Molissa Fenley and Company, and the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, among others. In 2020 and 2021, Rebecca was the Rehearsal Director for the restaging of Molissa Fenley’s State of Darkness at the Joyce Theater, which was which was named “Best Revival of 2020” by The New York Times and received a 2021 Bessie Award for “Outstanding Revival.” She continues to collaborate with Gerald Casel, and recently served as dramaturg for Not About Race Dance, which premiered at CounterPulse in 2021 and has toured nationally.
Monograph In Process
Choreographic Futures: Race, Sexuality, and the Politics of Reperformance. Under advanced contract with The University of Michigan Press “Studies in Dance: Theories and Practices” series, edited by Clare Croft.
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
“Economies of Reperformance: Unearthing Racial Capitalism in Dancing at Dusk.” TDR: The Drama Review 67, no. 1 (2023): 167-185.
“Dance of the Undead: the Wilis’ Imperial Legacy” in The Futures of Dance Studies, edited by Susan Manning, Janice Ross, and Rebecca Schneider. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press (2020): 415-430.
“Activating Whiteness: Racializing the Ordinary in US American Postmodern Dance.” Dance Research Journal 50, no. 3 (2018): 71-84.
Brief Essays and Reviews
“Op-Ed: What’s Possible In Writing About Ballet?” (with Michelle LaVigne and Kate Mattingly) Dance Magazine, May 19, 2023.
“Dancing and Reading Across Difference, with Love:” Love Dances: Loss and Mourning in Intercultural Collaboration, by SanSan Kwan. Performance Research 27, no. 2 (2023): 91-92.
Theater Dance’s Material Underneath: Dancing on Violent Ground: Utopia as Dispossession in Euro-American Theater Dance, by Arabella Stanger. Dance Chronicle 44, no. 2 (2022): 173-176.
Review of Choreomania: Dance and Disorder, by Kélina Gotman. Theatre Research International 44, no. 2 (2019): 210-211.
Review of Trisha Brown: Choreography and Visual Art, by Susan Rosenberg. Dance Research Journal 49, no. 2 (2017): 98-100.
“Fantasy on the Clock: The Virtual Cruelty of the Collected Works’ The Balcony.” TDR: The Drama Review 60, no. 1 (2016): 139-145.
Performance Review of “The Symphonic Body” by Ann Carlson. Performance Research 19, no. 3 (2014): 14.
Performance Review of “Out of Water,” by Helen Paris and Caroline Wright. Performance Research 19, no. 3 (2014): 152-153.
Recent Fellowships and Awards
Cambridge University Press Prize, American Society for Theatre Research, 2022
Senate Faculty Travel Grant, University of California, San Diego, 2021
Senate Faculty Research Grant, University of California, San Diego, 2021
Faculty Career Development Program Award, University of California, San Diego, 2020-2021
Institute of Arts and Humanities Manuscript Forum Award, University of California, San Diego, 2019-2020
Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California, Riverside, 2017-2019