Photo of Dancers

The Dancing Circle: opportunities for connection, community and creation

A Lecture/Demonstration presented by the Performing Arts Department 2020 Marcus Artist-in-Residence, Jessica Anthony

This Lecture/Demonstration will start with Ms. Anthony giving a live 12-minute solo performance, followed by discussion of the creative process. Then Ms. Anthony will lead a live interactive process demonstration, open to dancers and adventurous audience members alike. Ms. Anthony will explore the possibilities of the “dancing circle”, and how the people participating, with their embodied histories and stories, can create community and connection across differences. Using short selections from Anthony’s solo 90 minutes and compositional and improvisational studies performed by WashU dancers, we will collectively consider the role of the body in telling our stories, building connection and imagining and practicing ways of being with ourselves and with each other. 

Jessica Anthony is a performer, choreographer, and educator who is interested in the ways that dance can empower us to tell our stories, create community, and practice new ways of being in the world. She considers herself a researcher of "circles," using movement to explore what can happen in these third spaces of creation and community building. Since 2011, she has facilitated circles in rehearsals, classrooms, and diverse community settings, including the Iowa Juvenile Home, John McDonald Residential Treatment Facility, Four Oaks Family and Children Services, United Action for Youth, and the Liberal Arts Behind Bars Speaker Series, Iowa Medical Center Correctional Facility. Her creative work utilizes a collaborative process in order to engage with personal, social and political issues. From 2004-2010 Jessica performed nationally and internationally with Jane Comfort and Company (NYC) and presented her work at The Field (NYC) and The Invisible Dog Center (Brooklyn, NY). She received her MFA in Dance from The University of Iowa. 

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The Marcus Residency is made possible by a fund established by the late Dr. Morris D. Marcus in memory of his wife Margaret.