About Frances Chiaverini
Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Frances Chiaverini (CBA ’20) (BFA Juilliard 2003) is a performer, activist, and choreographer born in Pittsburgh who uses interactive performance and community engagement to discuss ideas of human objectivity, reproduction, valuation, and the politics of formalized dance aesthetics. In 2017 with writer Robyn Doty (MA Goethe University Frankfurt 2019), her Fellowship collaborator, she co-founded Whistle While You Work, a public interface for calling out sexism, harassment and discrimination in dance and performance. She is a two-time recipient of the Frankfurt am Main Cultural Funding Grant and was a Resident Fellow for two years at Pact Zollverein Choreographic Center in Essen. She was a dancer in The Forsythe Company in its final seasons, a choreographic consultant for Anne Imhof since 2015 for works at The Venice Biennale, Art Basel, Tate Modern, and others and now works with Trajal Harrell in Zürich. Chiaverini directs workshops internationally, most recently for the Goethe Institute in Mexico and Armenia, for the Dramaturgische Gesellschaft Germany, Tanz im August Berlin, Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Tanz Frankfurt and The Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
Myth of the Genius, Myth of the Muse
To truly understand how to bring gender equity to dance is to understand the systematic structures at play within the creation of choreographic work and in the daily practice of dance training. Perpetuating the myth of the single male genius oppresses the collaborators – the women, the muses – and unjustly erases their place in the tradition.
Through engaging in and documenting direct discussions with dancers, dance makers, and teachers surrounding power structures that challenge the autonomous artist, Chiaverini and Doty aimed to develop practical guidelines that uphold ethical creative practices for dance and performance-focused workspaces while at CBA. This collaborative project aimed to keep the dancer at the center of the work while acknowledging the impact of upholding damaging tradition and also empowering and inspiring a future beyond it.