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Alma Concepción is an independent scholar and artist. She is a member of the Society of Dance History Scholars and has published articles mainly on Caribbean music and dance. She has taught at Rutgers, Princeton, and Fordham Universities and was a consultant for the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Program. As a dancer, choreographer, and teacher, Ms. Concepción has been associated with Ballets de San Juan, Taller de Histriones, the Carmen Amaya Company, and Antonio's Ballets de Madrid. She is the founder of Taller de Danza, a volunteer organization dedicated to children of the Hispanic community in Trenton, New Jersey. She is currently doing research on the musical and dance traditions of Puerto Rico and Cuba.

Ann R. David is senior lecturer in Dance Studies at Roehampton University, London, where she teaches courses on Dance Anthropology and South Asian studies. She has also taught research seminars at Oxford, Cardiff, Southampton, and Surrey Universities. She holds an MA in Dance Studies (with distinction) from the University of Surrey and a PhD in Dance Ethnography from De Montfort University, Leicester. Dr. David has training in ballet, European folk dance, and contemporary concert dance forms, as well as the Indian classical styles Bharatanatyam and Kathak. She has done extensive research on dance and ritual practices in Hindu Saivite temples in London and with Hindu Gujurati groups in Leicester. In 2006, she held a research fellowship at London University (SOAS) where she examined body movement in Hindu ritual. Dr. David is currently a research fellow on an international research project, "The Religious Lives of Ethnic and Immigrant Minorities: A Transnational Perspective," based in London, Kualur Lumpur, and Johannesburg, funded by the Ford Foundation. Recent publications include "Beyond the Silver Screen: Bollywood and Filmi Dance in the UK." (South Asia Research 2007) and "Negotiating Identity: Dance and Religion in UK Hindu Communities" (Dance Matters, ed. P. Chakravorty, in press).

Brenda Farnell is associate professor of Socio-cultural/Linguistic Anthropology and American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include multimedia ethnography, ethnopoetics and performance, Plains Indian sign language (Nakota/Assiniboine and Kiowa) in the context of language revitalization, dances of the northern Plains, discourse, movement literacy, and problems in social theory and embodiment. She is the author of Do You See What I Mean?: Plains Indian Sign Talk and the Embodiment of Action and the award-winning CD-ROM Wiyuta: Assiniboine Storytelling with Signs. Current research involves a collaborative project with Robert Wood Dance New York Inc. on the choreographic process and relationships between speech and movement in the making of contemporary concert dance work. Recent papers include "The Second Somatic Revolution" (with C. Varela), Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior (2008). Dr. Farnell is active in applying anthropological knowledge to issues of social justice and human rights and serves on the Committee on Minority Issues in Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association.

Robert Wood is artistic director of Robert Wood Dance New York Inc., a not-for-profit movement-arts organization. He has extensive professional performing experience with Donald Byrd, David Gordon, Martha Clarke, Merce Cunningham, and John Cage, complemented by training in Japanese Butoh theatre, Maori dance forms, and his native New Zealand sensibilities. These culturally varied influences lay the table for Mr. Wood's distinctive approach to movement exploration, focusing on the unique human attributes of dancers as individuals with specific cultural and personal histories, memories, and imaginations. His most recent evening-length work, The Pearl Sea Project, premiered in Hong Kong (July 2008) as part of the international conference Body, Movement and Dance in Global Perspective. Furthering his interest in movement arts as cultural exchange, Mr. Wood combines his professional artistic expertise with cultural anthropological studies of human movement and performance. He seeks to recenter academic research on the dance within movement practices themselves, as being capable of activating a "poetic embodied intelligence." In collaboration with Brenda Farnell, he has given research papers and multimedia presentations at the annual meeting of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, 2006 (Bristol, U.K.); the University of Surrey (U.K.); the Society for Dance History Scholars/Committee on Research in Dance conference at the Centre Nationale de la Danse, 2007 (Paris); and in the anthropology department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.




















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