In Summer 2021, Dance Place hosted GAZE: a Queer research and performance gathering, and partnered with Excessive Realness (ER) – an LGBTQ+-centered dance intensive – to foster a week’s worth of virtual queer arts happenings. As part of this, and as part of their new dance journalism series developed in partnership with Lisa Traiger, Creative Entry, Dance Place commissioned Matthew to write about the activities. The following piece, In Search of a Queer Gaze, weaves together Matthew’s reflections of participating in the festival, as an artist educator with ER and in the GAZE events, along with interviews with other artists involved.
“And maybe that’s it: rather than trying to understand what queer dance is, I could instead grapple with different factors that make up this “force of disruption” that Clare Croft offers us. What does it mean to be a part of queer dances? What are the histories that inform or influence these understandings? Who gets to decide these things? And, for me specifically, how does my privilege and power as a white, cisgender person who identifies with maleness intersect with my queerness?”Matthew Cumbie