Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design fosters the study, exploration, and management of the arts: media, design, performing, and visual. A center for creativity, the college offers 19 undergraduate and eight graduate programs and presents a robust calendar of public programming in arts and culture. The college’s curriculum integrates studio education and experiential learning with the study of aesthetics, function, history, ethics, technology, economic realities, and the importance of addressing the pressing issues of the time. In 2015, the Center supported Westphal College in bringing acclaimed French choreographer and conceptual dancer Boris Charmatz to Philadelphia for a 12-day residency and presentation of his performance piece for 24 dancers, Levée des conflits. In 2017, Westphal continued its collaboration with Charmatz for the Center-supported Philadelphia Museum of Dance, a large-scale, all-day performance event throughout the grounds of the Barnes Foundation. A 2019 Project grant supports a new commission with composer and artist Ari Benjamin Meyers, a collaborative project with Curtis Institute of Music that brings together artists from various creative practices for a large-scale public event.
Drexel University's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design brought acclaimed French choreographer and experimental dancer Boris Charmatz to Philadelphia for a residency and public presentation of his performance piece for 24 dancers, Levée des conflits (Suspension of conflicts), at Drexel's Mandell Theater co-presented by FringeArts. Viscerally and conceptually compelling, Levée des conflits is a work for 24 dancers based on 25 repetitive movements that unfold over time. Each dancer develops a movement that is transmitted to the performers, accumulating in space, and building person by person, from a solo into more direct relationships and interactions, and finally expanding into a performance of the full series by the entire cast. The mesmerizing piece provides, in Charmatz's words, "a blurring of the way one looks at the circulation, the passing, the appropriation of gestures [dance] that drift among a group." Activities surrounding the performance included movement workshops with Philadelphia dancers, and a conversation between Charmatz and independent curator Simon Dove.
*Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.*