Today! Cute Mutant Girls in Japanese Performance and Media Art

7 Apr

Ballet with baby bears? Chocolate blood? Murder in a crocheted pinafore while playing a toy ukulele? Join Katherine Mezur (Drama) in an exploration of Japanese women artists’ transdisciplinary articulation of girly desires, rosy visions, screeching giggles, and “pikapika” smiles. Focusing on the late 1990s and into the new millennium, Mezur will present performances and visual art by Japanese women who push the extremes of cute girl culture to its spectacular “mutant” stage. She will investigate how cute culture could be subversive, even empowering for Japanese women and girls. How can cuteness, sweetness, charming adorability, and endearing cuddly lovability become part of a toolbox of techniques aimed at re-figuring not just genders and corporeal perceptions, but emotions, expressivity, and individual identities in Japan?

Assistant Professor Katherine Mezur is a feminist scholar, director, and choreographer whose research focuses on gender studies, corporeality and media, and transnational performance in the Asia Pacific region. She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre and Dance, emphasis on Asian Performance, from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, an MA in Dance (Mills College) and a BA in Film and Photography (Hampshire College). She is author of Beautiful Boys/Outlaw Bodies: Devising Female-likeness on the Kabuki Stage (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), a history of the kabuki female gender performance and its contemporary practices, aesthetics, and politics. Her current project, Cute Mutant Girls: Remapping the Female Body in Contemporary Japanese Performance, focuses on contemporary Japanese women choreographers/directors, performers, and visual artists. She is one of the team of engineers and artists on an NSF (National Science Foundation) grant, “SGER: Collaborative Research: Interactive Choreography in 3D Tele-Immersive Spaces – Expanding Human Perception through Creative Practice,” for 2007-08. Her research interests include collaborative “performance as research” projects working with live performance and new media in transnational contexts. She has taught at CAL Arts, Georgetown University, Mills College, and McGill University.

Price: Free!

Location: Thomson 317

Date & Time: April 7, 11:45 AM


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