In partnership with the Department of Dance, Drama and Film, the Gund Gallery is thrilled to welcome guest performers Elliot Mercer and Clarence Brooks, who will respond to works in the Gund Gallery's spring exhibitions, "Sympathy for the Translator" and "Evergreen."
Mercer and collaborators will share their expertise and recent research on the translation of "Trio A" into Labanotation scores, alongside Cherrie Yu's "Trio A Translation Project." Clarence Brooks will improvise in dialogue with Daywoud Bey's "Evergreen." Brooks and Mercer will also discuss the translation process of recreating and preserving historic dances, including a planned project to notate Brook's performance of Talley Beatty's iconic dance, "Mourner's Bench."
Clarence Brooks (he/they), a dancer, teacher, choreographer and lecturer who toured the U.S. and the world with 80+ companies, is currently a freelance dancer with Pioneer Winter Collective, Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, the Dance Exchange, and David Parker and the Bang Group. For 18 years, Clarence directed the dance program at Florida Atlantic University where their creative scholarship was about presenting the Black experience in dance via old and new choreographies. Clarence can be seen in the video documentary "The World of Alwin Nikolais" and their essay "Dancing with the Issues" was published in "One Teacher in 10" (Alyson Books). In 2019, the Library of Congress recorded their performance of Talley Beatty's "Mourner's Bench" for the national archive. The recipient of several fellowships and awards, Brooks holds an MFA in dance, four somatic certifications and sits on the boards of danceTactics, Natural Movers Foundation, Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, Miami Dance Futures, Florida Dance Education Organization, and Humphrey Foundation for Dance. Follow Clarence on Instagram @clbdreadeddancer.
Elliot Gordon Mercer is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and performance scholar. His research and creative practice investigate the intersections of dance and visual art, with an emphasis in postmodernism and queer theory. He holds a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary theatre and drama from Northwestern University and an M.A. in performance studies from New York University. He is currently an ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. As a performer and director, he is an authorized transmitter of Yvonne Rainer’s dance repertoire and has staged Anna Halprin’s intermedia theatre works internationally. In 2021 his short film "Sensorium" premiered at Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival. His scholarship appears in Dance Research Journal, TDR The Drama Review, and the "Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernist Dance." He is also a co-editor for the forthcoming Bloomsbury series "Women’s Innovations in Theatre, Dance, and Performance."