May 24th 2018

A screening of “Unstoppable Feat, The Dances of Ed Mock,” a documentary film and archive exploring the late San Francisco postmodern choreographer. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker and artist Brontez Purnell, in conversation with Chase Joynt.

Ed Mock died in 1986 at the height of the AIDS epidemic; his story continues to engage contemporary conversations. Purnell states, “I believe Ed Mock is the missing choreographic link between Alvin Ailey, Anna Halprin, and Bill T. Jones. He is my direct predecessor, creatively. We – artists, black queers, Bay Area dancers, gay men – have to extract our collective past and create the historical record.”

Purnell reimagined the work and life of Ed Mock through archival research, interviews, choreographic interpretations, music and film. The new and re-created choreography significantly expands Mock’s publicly accessible archives for future dance audiences. Purnell wrote, choreographed, produced and directed the final film.

Brontez Purnell is an Oakland-based black gay filmmaker, musician, dancer, and writer, whose “explorations of blackness, queerness, maleness, and Southernness take sharp, confident turns between raunch and rhapsody.” Hailing from Triana, Alabama, he relocated to the Bay Area at 19, began playing in bands, touring North America, South America and Europe many times. He is the author of the cult zine Fag School, frontman for the band the Younger Lovers, and the founder and choreographer of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company. He is the author of The Cruising Diaries, Johnny Would You Love Me If My Dick Were Bigger, and Since I Laid My Burden Down.

Hosted by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. This event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, the Office of LGBTQ Student Life – The University of Chicago, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs – The University of Chicago, The University of Chicago Center for Identity + Inclusion, University of Chicago Creative Writing and Poetics, and the Department of Cinema and Media Studies.

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