The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

Christopher Pilafian

Director of Dance, Vice Chair of Theater and Dance, Artistic Director of Santa Barbara Dance Theater

Between/Around/Within: How a choreographer thinks about, explores and experiences space

Phelps Hall 3512 (map)
12:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Abstract. Choreographers and dancers work Smolder_Spiral_K_C_pdf__page_1_of_2_ (1)dynamically with space: the interior spaces of a body, its electro-magnetic envelope, the surrounding kinesphere, relational space, the architectural frame of a studio, a theater or arena, and larger areas in nature. All of these are the choreographer’s canvases. The intimate spaces around and between bodies are of particular interest to me and I look to these zones for creative sparks and kinetic possibilities. Latent within this apparent emptiness, lies the raw material for countless stories, mysteries and choreographic ideas waiting to be gleaned, synthesized and given form. I seek to reveal ways in which dancers and choreographers perceive and embody spatial possibilities both in performance and in the creative process. Specifically, I will examine how interstitial space becomes ground zero and the sustaining infra-subject of a choreographic work.

Christopher Pilafian, Vice Chair of Theater and Dance and Director of Dance, performed internationally for 15 years as associate director of Jennifer Muller/The Works in NYC. Recipient of the Doris Humphrey Scholarship and Louis Horst Fellowship at The Juilliard School, he has created over 50 works for concert, theater and opera productions across the United States and abroad. As artistic director of Santa Barbara Dance Theater since 2012, he produced the full-evening, A Leap of Faith (2013) and Time in Motion (2014), including a reconstruction of José Limón’s 1949 masterpiece, The Moor’s Pavane. He teaches choreography and contemporary dance technique in the Dance program. He is also a visual artist.


The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts.
Please contact Andrea Ballatore (893-5267, to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking.

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ThinkSpatial: Christopher Pilafian