Interview with André Lepecki, conducted by Diana Taylor, director and founder of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. This interview is a part of a series curated by the Hemispheric Institute, articulated around the question 'What is Performance Studies?' The series aims to provide a multifaceted approach to the often difficult task of defining the coordinates of both a field of academic study as well as a lens through which to assess and document cultural practice and embodied behavior. The contingent definitions documented in this series are based on the groundbreaking experiences and the scholarly endeavors of renowned figures in contemporary performance studies and practice.
André Lepecki is a curator, dramaturg, writer, and co-creator based in New York City. Currently he is Associate Professor in the Department of Performance Studies at New York University where he teaches courses on critical theory, continental philosophy, performance studies, dance studies, and experimental dramaturgy. He graduated in cultural anthropology at the New University of Lisbon and obtained his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Performance Studies at NYU. He co-directed with Bruce Mau the video-installation STRESS (Wien, 2000) and, with Rachael Swain, the video-installation proXy (Sydney, 2003). With Eleonora Fabião he co-created the performance series Wording (2004-2006). His co-curatorial and directorial work on the re-doing of Allan Kaprow's 18 Happenings in 6 Parts (commissioned by Haus der Künst, Munich) received the International Art Critics Association Award for "Best Performance" (2008). He has curated events for Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), and Tanz in August (Berlin). He contributes regularly for several art publications in the US, Brazil, and Europe, including The Drama Review, Art Forum, Performance Research, Contact Quarterly, Theaterschrift, Nouvelles de Danse, among others. He is member of the editorial boards of Dance Theatre Journal, e-misférica, and Performance Research.
Professor Lepecki is the author of Exhausting Dance: performance and politics of movement (Routledge 2006), currently translated into 6 languages. He edited the anthologies Of the Presence of the Body (Wesleyan 2004), The Senses in Performance (with Sally Banes, Routledge 2007), and Planes of Composition: Dance Theory and the Global (with Jenn Joy, Seagull Press 2010). In 2010 he co-curated with Stephanie Rosenthal the Archive on Dance and Visual Arts since the 1960s for the exhibition Move: choreographing you, for the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Center, London. Also in 2010 he co-curated with Eleonora Fabião the event Activations, Passages, Processes for ArtCena Festival, Rio de Janeiro.