Fall 1999/ Winter 2000
THE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE
Friday, December 3, 1999 Gender Benders:
Diane Torr, Drag King for a Day (workshop description)
Diane Torr is an artist and director who has been making performances in New York for over 20 years. Her innovative performances are know for their wit, humor and for their experimental use of movement, film, slides, written text and evocative materials such as smell-boxes. Torr's work in the 80s explored notions of gender, as in GIRLS WILL BE BOYS WILL BE QUEENS and the erotic, as in GO-GO GIRLS SEIZE CONTROL, and focused on strategies to reinvent the narratives of sex and gender. In addition, she received much comment and acclaim for her contemporary performance adaptations from classical literature, such as Lautreamont's "Les Chants de Maldoror" and the poems of Robert Burns. Her recent 90s productions position Torr's work in a unique place in the performance lab. OPEN FOR FLAVOR is a celebration of the senses of touch and taste that give authority to the sensual. Her solos, in which she impersonates various male characters, are rendered with an understated intensity in their close inspection of so-called masculine characteristics. Torr has presented her award-winning performances throughout the U.S. and Europe in performance venues and festivals, including PS122, New York, I.C.A.London, SUSHI, San Diego, Solo Mio Festival, San Francisco, a/d Werf Fesitval, Utrecht and Schmidt Theatre, Hamburg. Torr is a graduate of Dartington College of Arts, England and a fellow of the Whitney Museum Independent Studies Program. Her movement/bodywork background includes the study of Release, Contact, Aikido and Shiatsu. She holds a second degree black belt in Aikido from New York Aikikai. She has found a niche in popular culture as the creator of "Man for A Day Workshops", which she began teaching in 1989. She was recently nominated by the London Guardian newspaper as one of the women of the millennium with the title, "Drag King Ambassador to the World". In 1995, the British National Television Channel BBC2 documented her work in on one its Q.E.D. series. Torr has also been a guest on several talk shows in the U.S. and her performances covered by HBO's "Reel Sex". Her work has been the subject of profiles in The Washington Post, the Village Voice, The London Independent, German Vogue, etc. Torr has received grants and awards from NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, Lila Wallace Readers Digest Fund, Art Matters among others.
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