About Gillian Lipton

New York, New York

Gillian Lipton’s (CBA ’20) research interests include dance and social justice, ballet, postwar American concert dance and performance, as well as archival theory and practice. She holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from NYU and with Ford Foundation support recently completed a multi-year research and performance initiative with Arthur Mitchell on the development of his archive and related performance projects. As a performer, she recently collaborated on several exhibitions with the Museum of Modern Art, New York. A participant in the Mellon Postdoctoral Program in Dance Studies, her writing on dance and performance can be found in The Drama Review and Performance Research, and in a forthcoming anthology on dance The Futures of Dance Studies. Lipton has taught Critical Dance Studies and Performance Studies most recently at Yale and previously at Barnard, and Queens College, CUNY.

“I Was Dancing Civil Rights”: Arthur Mitchell, Racial Justice, and Ballet in America

Lipton’s CBA Fellowship project builds on her multi-year research project with Arthur Mitchell—African-American dancer and institution builder—to investigate how concerns for racial justice during civil rights era America coalesced in Mitchell’s career and became manifest on the American ballet stage. As a CBA Fellow, her project will analyze key performances of Mitchell’s early dance career (1952-1961) including select appearances in opera, musical theater, modern dance, and with the New York City Ballet. Lipton will illustrate that these performances were foundational to Mitchell’s formulation of ballet as a vehicle for the expression of racial justice in America.