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School of Dance Assistant Professor Presenting at TEDxFSU

Published March 20, 2019

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Tiffany Rhynard

Assistant Professor Tiffany Rhynard

Tiffany Rhynard, an artist, dancer, film maker and educator who works to examine the complexities of human behavior and address social issues, will be a keynote speaker at Florida State University’s 2019 TEDxFSU. Rhynard currently works as the Assistant Professor in the School of Dance at FSU, and her research focuses on the intersection of technology and social dance practices, and the potential of these systems enhancing human empathy.

In “Shared Space: Destabilizing Practices for Social Change,” Rhynard examines notions of community, human connection, and identity within the context of the physical and social practice of Contact Improvisation, a dance form utilizing athletic and spontaneous partnering. How can the skills of falling, being off balance, and fully trusting a partner prepare us for the daily actions of navigating social spaces where the dynamics of race, class, and gender are bumping up against each other? How can the practice of destabilizing the body in an improvisational dance setting help prepare us for adapting to unfamiliar environments and unpredictable circumstances? Can the act of trusting and supporting another person be a space to process through historical and ancestral trauma? By exploring the poetic intimacy and physical urgency inherent in the practice of Contact Improvisation, Rhynard seeks to redefine a new training ground for social justice practices where the intelligence of the moving body takes center stage.

Moreover, her past works exhibit and promise a high level of quality. Rhynard’s award winning documentary, Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America, received a 2018 Television Academy Honor for its airing on LogoTV in partnership with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  Forbidden was awarded the first ever Social Justice Film Award from the Southern Poverty Law Center, received the Freedom Award from Outfest Film Festival, and was featured on American Airlines as part of their summer 2017 Pride campaign for LGBTQ advocacy. A cross-disciplinary artist, Rhynard has worked with esteemed collaborators including choreographer Christal Brown, internationally renowned composer Lei Liang, real-time digital media artist Marlon Barrios Solano, and mezzo-soprano Sahoko Sato Timpone.

Join Rhynard, and other amazing speakers, on April 12th, 2019, to see how they visualize and address this year’s TEDxFSU: Question. Defy. Redefine.