About Tom Sapsford
New York, NY
Tom Sapsford (CBA ’19) studies performance in ancient Greek and Roman contexts. He received his PhD in classics from the University of Southern California and is an early career associate at the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama at the University of Oxford. Sapsford has published work on dancers in Greco-Roman Egypt, contemporary dance adaptations of Homer’s Odyssey, and gender ambiguity in Powell and Pressburger’s film, The Tales of Hoffmann. Prior to academia, he danced for the Royal Ballet, Wayne McGregor, and Michael Clark. His choreography has been commissioned by the Royal Opera House, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (UK), and Channel 4 Television.
At CBA, Sapsford will develop the first English translation and critical commentary of descriptions of ancient dance-forms recorded and briefly explained by a number of Greco-Roman writers. These dance-forms fall under the ancient Greek heading of schemata (poses), a term used also for rhetorical figures, philosophical concepts, and even sexual positions. In addition to compiling, translating, and editing this body of literature, Sapsford will examine how ancient Greeks and Romans codified nonverbal phenomena and how these diverse forms of poses – choreographic, erotic, and philosophical – interrelate in the classical imagination.