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The Ruby is a catalyst for creativity and a home for making art at Duke.
Date & Time
Tuesday, March 23Saturday, March 27
Venue
Gallery Room 235 at The Rubenstein Arts Center
2020 Campus Dr
Durham, NC 27708 United States
Description

Quare Dance: Fashioning a Black, Queer, Fem(me)inist Aesthetic in Ballet is a multi-media performance installation that examines the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in ballet, through the lens of Black Queer Women.

Artists Alyah Baker (MFA in Dance ’21), Kiara Felder, Cortney Taylor Key, and Audrey Malek combine Black feminist epistemologies with movement, images, text, and material artifacts to imagine and embody new possibilities for ballet. The installation and artists involved trouble dominant discourses on dance and identity, presenting important yet previously overlooked counternarratives. Quare Dance queers our understanding of ballet and the ballerina, offering a fresh perspective on what ballet is and can be as it moves through the 21st century.

Quare Dance is Alyah Baker’s MFA in Dance thesis project. The Duke Dance Program is presenting final projects throughout March and April. Find the full calendar here.

Visiting Hours

This event is only open to the Duke community. Visitors will need their Duke cards to enter the Rubenstein Arts Center. The gallery will be open at the following hours:

Wednesday, March 24: 10am–1:45pm; 3:30–6pm

Thursday, March 25: 10–11:45am;1:30–3pm; 5–6pm

Friday, March 26: 10am–6pm

Saturday, March 27: 12–4pm

“Quare Dance: Fashioning a Black, Queer, Fem(me)inist Aesthetic in Ballet” gallery.
“Quare Dance: Fashioning a Black, Queer, Fem(me)inist Aesthetic in Ballet” gallery.

Alyah Baker, MFA in Dance ‘21

As a Dancer, Entrepreneur, and Community Activator, Alyah Baker leads a multifaceted life that exists at the intersection of art and activism. She identified her passion for dance at an early age and spent decades exploring various techniques with a focus on classical ballet. In 2003 she graduated from Duke University in Durham, NC with a BA in Sociology and minor in Dance. After relocating to Oakland, CA, she began her professional dance career, performing with Oakland Ballet, Dance Through Time, and ABD Productions, among others.

Outside of dance, she honed her business skills during a 13-year career with Gap Inc. Alyah left her merchandising role at Gap in 2011 to open Show & Tell Concept Shop, a boutique in downtown Oakland focused on ethical and sustainable design. While working closely with independent artisans and makers, she realized there was a need for spaces that centered the marginalized communities being displaced in the shifting Bay Area landscape.

As a result, Alyah co-founded Qulture Collective in Jan 2015, a multifaceted community space and creative hub for Queer, Trans, and Non-Binary folks, with an emphasis on communities of color. In her role as Creative Director and Program Manager, Alyah facilitated hundreds of events and art openings over the course of four years. In 2019, Qulture Collective transitioned from brick and mortar into a national digital platform.

Alyah is currently pursuing an MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis at Duke University and spends the balance of her time running her businesses, performing, and teaching her signature dance class “Ballet for Black and Brown Bodies” in studios throughout the US.

Tune into events & opportunities!

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