Border Crossings: Exile and American Modern Dance 1900-1955

Event Date: 

Thursday, January 25, 2024 - 5:30pm
Friday, January 26, 2024 - 9:30am
Saturday, January 27, 2024 - 10:00am
Sunday, January 28, 2024 - 3:00pm

Event Date Details: 

JAN 25 | 5:30 PM
Border Crossings Exhibit | AD&A Museum

JAN 26 Symposium | 9:30 AM
Reception to follow
Ballet Studio | Performing Arts Theater

JAN 27 Symposium | 10:00 AM
​Ballet Studio | Performing Arts Theater

JAN 28 Performance | 3:00 PM
Hatlen Theater

Event Price: 

JAN 25 | Free

JAN 26 | Free | RSVP Required

JAN 27 | Free | RSVP Required

JAN 28 | Buy Tickets

Border Crossings: Exile and American Modern Dance 
1900 - 1955


A bi-coastal exhibition, book, and symposium curated by Ninotchka Bennahum, Bruce Robertson, and Rena Heinrich, and performance series curated by Brandon Whited and Delila Moseley, celebrates the heroism of immigrant and BIPOC artists and challenges previous histories of dance to consider how war, exile, inequality, and injustice shaped 20th century performance art. A manifesto of the unsung, Border Crossings demonstrates how exiled and marginalized artists catalyzed modern dance, giving voice to crucial issues of geopolitical circumstance and structural racism. Crossing borders—physical, geographic, racial, artistic, spiritual—either by choice or by force, became an historical circumstance out of artists’ control. These crossings are woven into the grammar of “the modern” in dance; they are its DNA. 

The Border Crossings exhibition highlights the myriad ways in which dance is documented and showcases rare films, photographs, costumes, designs, and archival objects to tell both biographical and generational stories.

The exhibition curators ask the viewer to consider two fundamental questions: What is a choreography of social justice? How is dance a weapon for social change? 

Learn more about the New York Public Library exhibition

The exhibition includes works by artists from many communities: Tom Two Arrows, Aida Overton Walker, José Limón, Carmen Amaya, La Argentina, Si-Lan Chen, Katherine Dunham, Edna Guy, Michio Ito, Yeichi Nimura, Pearl Primus, Uday Shankar, Anna Sokolow, and lesser- known companies such as the New Dance Group (1932), the Wisconsin Dance Group (1947) and the First Negro Classical Ballet (1949). Placing the present in conversation with the past, the exhibition includes new interviews with contemporary choreographers, Michelle Manzanales, Kyle Abraham, Eiko Otake, Kiri Avelar, Dianne McIntyre, Preeti Vasudevan, Pam Tanowitz, Dante Puleio, Richard Move, Muna Tseng, Rachna Nivas, and Pam Tanowitz who reflect on exile and border crossings within their work. This exhibition has been receiving world class attention from Dance MagazineFjord Review, and Thinking Dance.

This exhibit is coming to UCSB's Art, Design, and Architecture Museum, January 25 - May 5, 2024

Symposia Days 1 & 2

The Border Crossings Symposium is a 2-day gathering of artists and scholars in the Ballet Studio Theater. Panels, artists’ roundtables, lecture demonstrations, spoken word performances, rare film showings, and reception will follow. The Border Crossings Symposium embodies the “live” accompaniment to the exhibition catalogue with scholarly and artistic contributors in attendance, including: Thomas F. DeFrantz (Northwestern), Anurima Banerji (UCLA) Emily Wilcox (William and Mary) Jessica Friedman (Northwestern/UCSB), Linda Tomko (UC Riverside), Hannah Kosstrin (OSU), Mana Hayakawa (UC Davis), Kiri Avelar (UCSB), Tara Rodman (UC Irvine), Wendy Perron (Dance Magazine), Rena Henrich (USC), and Constance Valis Hill (5 College Dance Program). In addition, graduate students from the Universities of California, and UCSB artists and faculty moderators will present. The Symposium days include live dance performed by the José Limón Company and Flamenco artist Chitli Ocampo. 

After the conclusion of our Symposia, UCSB Arts and Lectures will present the José Límon Dance Company at the Granada Theater in Downtown Santa Barbara on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 8:00 PM. 

Border Crossings: Voices of Exile and Hope

Limón Dance Company, Santa Barbara Dance Theater, UCSB Dance Company

Sunday, January 28, 2024 | 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Post-Show Q + A
Hatlen Theater, UCSB

Culminating the week of events connected with the museum exhibition and symposium of Border Crossings: Exile and American Modern Dance – 1900-1955, the on-campus performance aspect will include dances featuring Limón Dance Company, Santa Barbra Dance Theater, and UCSB Dance Company.  The work of Jose Limón will be featured by members of the Limón Dance Company, as well as through performances by the UCSB Dance Company (distinguished senior dance majors) restaged by Alice Condodina (Dickson Emeritus Professorship 2023-24). Santa Barbara Dance Theater—UCSB’s resident professional company—will present new and recent works by Eric Parra and Rosie Herrera tapping into lineage and contemporary interpretations of the themes of Border Crossings.

Members of the Limón Dance Company will perform excerpts from Exiles (1950), Danzas Mexicanas (1939), and Chaconne (1942).  UCSB Dance Company will perform  Limón’s “The Running Dance” from Psalm (1967), and a suite of dances from Limón’s Missa Brevis (1958).  Santa Barbara Dance Theater will share a restaging of Rosie Herrera’s Querida Herida (2018)—originally commissioned by the Limón Dance Company—and a new work La Luz/The Light (2023) by LDC dancer Eric Parra.  Following the performance there will be a post-show Q&A with Limón Dance Company artistic director Dante Puleio, and SBDT guest choreographers Rosie Herrera and Eric Parra.

Border Crossings is made possible thanks to generous support from Jody and John Arnhold ’75 | Arnhold Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts, and the Department of Theater and Dance.

About Limón Dance Company
Dante Puleio, Artistic Director

Founded in 1946 by José Limón and Doris Humphrey, the Limón Dance Company has been at the vanguard of American Modern dance since its inception and is considered one of the world’s greatest dance companies. Choreographer and dancer José Limón is credited with creating one of the world’s most important and enduring dance legacies— an art form responsible for the creation, growth and support of modern dance in this country. Acclaimed for its dramatic expression, technical mastery and expansive, yet nuanced movement, the Limón Dance Company illustrates the timelessness of José Limón’s work and vision. The Company’s repertory, which includes classic works in addition to new commissions from contemporary choreographers, possesses an unparalleled breadth and creates unique experiences for audiences around the world.

About Santa Barbara Dance Theater
Brandon Whited, Artistic Director

Santa Barbara Dance Theater holds a unique position as a professional dance company in residence at UC Santa Barbara, a world-class research institution fostering creative and educational connections between students, company members, guest artists/scholars and colleagues. An integral component of the Department of Theater and Dance, the company was founded in 1976 and celebrates its 47th Anniversary Season in 2023. SBDT is dedicated to collaborative exploration and the creation of new works for performance. The company’s creative process, driven by the Artistic Director’s unique vision and fueled by the talents of accomplished professionals, generates exciting productions and offers an expanding view of human potential to a diverse and growing audience.

About UCSB Dance Company
Delila Moseley, Artistic Director

The UCSB Dance Company 2023-24 is a 17-member student dance company under the direction of Delila Moseley. Now in its 34th year, the company offers graduating senior dance majors the opportunity to perform and travel as a pre-professional dance company. The company performs at the University, in downtown Santa Barbara, on tour in California and other western states, and has toured internationally, twice to China, three times to Mexico, and has toured Europe each year since 2011. (Except during the pandemic).This year the tour will include Poland, Prague, Czech Republic, and Italy. The UCSB Dance Company presents lecture-demonstrations in elementary schools, high schools, and community colleges as well as repertory concerts in theatrical venues. Each year the company features works by guest choreographers, from reconstructions of classic works of modern dance to contemporary choreography.

The department's productions are not targeted to children. | Please contact 805-893-3022 with special needs.
Season schedule subject to change.