Gerald Casel

Gerald Casel.

Photo by Katherine Helen Fisher

2022-2023 Guest Dance Artist

Gerald Casel (he/they/siya) is a dance artist, equity activator, and antiracist educator. As director of GERALDCASELDANCE, his choreographic work complicates and provokes questions surrounding colonialism, collective cultural amnesia, whiteness and privilege, and the tensions between the invisible/perceived/obvious structures of power. Casel is Professor and Chair of the Dance Department at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He has previously been a faculty member at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, California State University Long Beach, and UC Santa Cruz where he also served as the Provost of Porter College. A graduate of The Juilliard School with an MFA from UW-Milwaukee, they received a New York Dance and Performance Award “Bessie” for sustained achievement dancing in the companies of Stephen Petronio, Michael Clark, Stanley Love, Zvi Gotheiner, Sungsoo Ahn, and The Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Casel founded Dancing Around Race, an ongoing community engaged-participatory process that interrogates systemic racial inequity in 2018 and continues to expand its depth and reach.

Workshop: Dancing Around Race – Cultivating Racial Equity and Absolute Belonging

Utilizing a decolonial approach and using tools from Dancing Around Race, a community-engaged social practice that challenges systemic racial inequities, Gerald Casel offers an embodied workshop that reflects his ongoing research on race and racism in dance. Through candid conversations along with movement provocations, participants will be asked to explore their social identities, relationships to power, and where and how they exist within systems and institutions of dance education, performance, and production. They will also be asked to share something about their dance training and experience, reflecting on the ancestral legacies they hold. Those who attend will also be encouraged to develop an embodied manifesto that aligns ongoing, lasting actions with values of equity and absolute belonging.

Movement Master Class: Contemporary Dance Practice

An experiential laboratory for movement, this contemporary practice class explores strategies for thinking bodies to expand their range and ease of motion, revealing their truest movement potential. Class will address anatomical principles that are essential to any movement practice (i.e. embodied imagery, awakening of all body systems, dynamic alignment, balance, connectivity and spatial clarity).

We will begin with a thorough warm up consisting of gentle floor-work, both learned and improvised (activating spheres of learning that include ideas from Irene Dowd, Bartenieff Fundamentals, and PNF patterns). Class progresses to standing exercises and movement phrases that travel across, in and out of the floor to investigate flow and energy while paying attention to the dancer’s awareness of time, energy, focus, breath, and intimate relationship to gravity. Class culminates with a dance phrase that integrates mind and body, harmoniously moving with greater articulation, expressivity, and intent. We will awaken the subtle body, question virtuosity, breathe with intention, feel our movement, learn complex phrases, improvise, sing a little, and unlearn patterns that no longer serve who we are as movement artists.