The Body Politic: Dance Performance and Dialogue

The Body Politic

Monday, January 22
Tennessee Williams Center - Proctor Hill Theatre 

The Body Politic features two solo works and a duet choreographed by Elizabeth Lentz-Hill and Kelly Ferris Lester. Lentz-Hill’s solo My Body Performs, Or a Clean Piko, investigates various aspects of one’s identity, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality, and how these are embedded in specific body parts. Lester’s solo, In Her Clothes, looks at the ways that women strive to succeed in a masculine world and the effects of this. People Issues, created by both performers, concludes the performance and uses magazine images, literally and figuratively, in showing how society expects bodies to be “performed.” As the piece unwinds, current issues are folded into the narrative as the dancers investigate the connections of self and society. The event concludes with a dialogue between performers, an invited guest speaker, and the audience.  

Elizabeth Lentz-Hill, MFA, has over twenty years experience performing, teaching, choreographing and promoting dance. She has toured France, Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S. with Tennessee Dance Theatre, Chicago Moving Company, Lucky Plush Productions, and Breakbone DanceCo., and performed works by Bill T. Jones, Doug Elkins, Twyla Tharp, and Charles Weidman. Lentz-Hill is especially proud to contribute to the arts and art education in Mississippi by co-founding both Hub Dance Collective and the Mississippi Dance Festival. An Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi and Interim Chair of the Theatre and Dance Departments, Lentz-Hill holds a BA in Religion with a Concentration in Women's Studies from Carleton College, and an MFA in Dance from the University of Washington. 

Kelly Ferris Lester, Associate Professor of Dance at University of Southern Mississippi, is a co-founder of Hub Dance Collective, a Certified Teacher of the Bill Evans Technique, a Registered Yoga Teacher, and the Co-Director of Eastwest Somatics Institute of Yoga, Dance and Movement Studies. She serves as Treasurer for the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), and chair of its Dance 2050 initiative. As a choreographer, Lester's works have been performed Big River Dance Festival (WV), RAD Fest (MI), the Dumbo Dance Festival (NYC), Alabama Dance Festival, the Brockport Alumni Showcase (NYC), in several American College Dance Association conferences, with a Gala selection in 2011 and 2016, and several Somatic Movement Conferences across the US and in Dunedin, New Zealand.