2022 Pilot Award
Slingshot: Educator Resources for a Decolonized Dance World
In 2021, Professor King directed Decolonizing Dance Writing, a writing project with five international artists and five writers with thinkingdance.net. The purpose was to publish interviews and short expository essays about selected artists whose works resist the tropes of colonization. In concert with Kent State’s commitment to anti-racism, equity, and inclusion, and the need to diversity discourse in dance, he proposed Slingshot, the generation of educator resources, to accompany the written scholarship of the five writers of color who worked closely with dance and performance artists from Peru, Columbia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Ghana throughout 2021. The goal of Slingshot is to deepen this work in such a way that it generates curricular tools that challenge students to think beyond the status quo and look to Black choreographies for their potential to decolonize the Black dancing body.
Professor King continues to partner with Slingshot colleagues: Dr. C. Kemal Nance (University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign), Alex Christmas (Ohio State University), Selena Carter (Indiana University, and Jennifer Edwards (Scholar in Residence, Jacob’s Pillow). The workshops and scholarship that emerge from Decolonizing Dance Writing are supported by grants from Critical Minded and the Anti-Racism and Equity Institute at Kent State University.
Gregory King is a culturally responsive educator, performance artist, activist and movement maker who received his MFA in choreographic practice and theory from Southern Methodist University. He has served as dance faculty for Texas Ballet Theatre and Boston Ballet, as well as visiting assistant professor of dance at Temple University, Dean College, and Swarthmore College. King is a dance writer for Dance Magazine, Jacob’s Pillow, and thINKingDANCE. Professor King’s response to the Dancing for Justice Philadelphia event was cited in the U. S. Department of Arts and Culture’s resource guide, “Art Became the Oxygen,” and was the 2018 recipient of the Outstanding Creative Contribution award from the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Kent State University, where he currently serves as associate professor of dance, and artistic director of the Kent Dance Ensemble. For the academic year 2019 – 2020, Professor King was appointed Provost Faculty Associate Fellow, and is a member of the Anti-Racism Task Force. In 2021, he directed Decolonizing Dance Writing, an international writing project bringing together dance practitioners from Peru, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Columbia, and Ghana. www.gregoryaking.com