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Byron Suber

Senior Lecturer

Byron Suber

Schwartz Ctr-Performing Arts, Room 233
pbs6@cornell.edu
607-256-1009

Educational Background

M.A History of Architecture and Urban Dvelopment, Cornell University

B.A. History, Cornell University

 

Overview

Byron Suber is originally from New Orleans, LA, and moved to Ithaca in 1991 after ten years of living and working in New York City. His work there included choreography, music, theatre, costume design and performance art. His pieces have been  exhibited at La MAMA Inc., Performance Space 122, the Kitchen, DANSPACE, the American Dance Festival and The Wigstock music festival. He has received grants and awards from the Harkness Foundation, Art Matters Inc., New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Cornell Council for the Arts. He has taught at the American Dance Festival at Duke University, Dance Space and Steps, in NYC, as well as various universities in the States and Europe. Since coming to Cornell he has continued to create work in dance and theatre as well as entering the realm of digital sound and visual media, for instance in collaboration with professors and students from MIT on a pair of digitally wired sneakers that produced music when the dancer moved. At Cornell, Suber teaches ballet and modern technique, yoga, dance history and criticism, dance composition, and digital media. Outside of his position in the Department of Theatre, Film and Dance, he completed a M.A in the History of Architecture and Urbanism in the School of Art, Architecture and Planning at Cornell.

In his architectural work, in looking for a site for study where the moving (or immobile) body is inescapably bound to architecture, his present project titled, Unreconciled Spaces: a Poetics of Incarceration, considers the ways in which prison space behaves as a persistent metaphor while engaging the body as a specific form of cultural production. This requires an exploration of how the body and carceral environment intersect with urban space, domestic space and theatrical space, specifically in the sphere of cinematic expression. Continuing his research, he is exploring American and European national identities as influenced by non-white bodies, particularly when juxtaposed to modern spatialities in American, Italian, French and North African films and urban spaces. Additionally, he is working on a book titled Strebtopia that considers the philosophical implications of the work of choreographer Elizabeth Streb. He is also working on a textbook titled Identity and Ideology in Classical Ballet. This text considers the history of western classical dance as it both perpetuated and confronted western ideology in the realms of race, class, gender and sexuality. In 2005, through Cornell, Suber developed a summer program in Performance and Media Studies in Rome, Italy. Since then the program expanded to include parallel programs in Dublin, Ireland, Barcelona Spain and Paris and Marseilles, France.

Departments/Programs

  • Performing and Media Arts

Research

  • Byron Suber's work encompasses projects in performance (ballet/modern technique, yoga, movement composition, dance and technology and dance history in the context of cultural studies) and interfaces with the study of cinema, architectural/urban history and social theory. He is a creative artist in the realms of choreography and experimental video, music and theatre, as well as an historian in the fields of dance and architeture. As a choreographer he works in the genres of ballet, modern and dance theatre. As an historian his areas of interest are French History 1600-present, Italy from antiquity through modernity, History of Russia and Soviet Union, French, Italian and Spanish Colonialism, French, Italian and American Global Cinemas, the Global South, and Carceral Histories, Modernism, Classicism, Urban Planning, and the History of Classical Ballet
  • Suber's present creative projects engage in the development of performance work in both body movement and vocalization and incorporates digital video projections and sound design. For several years, Suber has been working with William Forsythe's system of movement development elaborated in Forsythe's "Improvisation Technologies".
  • Suber cointinues to work with a related system of movement development he created in the mid 90's incorporating work he has done with Cornell Professor Francis C. Moon, Joseph C. Ford Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Moon is the Curator of the Cornell Collection of Reuleaux Kinematic Models (http://kmoddl.library.cornell.edu/). This is the most extensive collection of kinematic models created in the 19th century demonstrating basic elements of mechanical motion. Suber  also works with architectural students who working in scenic design and who also create architectural interventions focusing on framing body movements in various locations around Ithaca and beyond. Most of Suber's creative work culminates in a full performance in March of each year in the theatrical frame of a Kiplinger proscenium theatre, with smaller performances each preceding December as well as presenting work in cities such as New Orleans, Paris, Rome, New York and Philadelphia.
  • A course Suber developed titled, "50's Movie Musicals and Modernism" explores the ways in which the tensions between stage and screen and cinema and television produced a preoccupation with tenets of Modernism essentially predicting a "pre-post-modern" aesthetic. The course focused specifically on Modernism in Dance and Architecture and worked towards deconstructing notions of modernism as it relates to concepts of folk art and primitivism.
  • In his Masters thesis in History of Architecture and Urbanism he was looking for a site for study where the moving (or immobile) body is inescapably bound to architecture, his present project titled, The Poetics of Incarceration, considers the ways in which prison space behaves as a persistent metaphor while engaging the body as a specific form of cultural production. This requires an exploration of how the body and carceral environment intersect with urban space, domestic space and theatrical space, specifically in the sphere of cinematic expression.
  • Suber continues to explore his interest in Utopia as a literary genre, architecture genre while proposing a similar categorization for Western concert dance while working to decenter the west as the location of embodied performance. Looking to the position of master of choreography, a modernist notion, the isolated worlds of Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and George Balanchine will be closely examined as possible utopias in comparison to self proclaimed utopias in other fields.

Courses

Publications

2019  CODED-DATA:.H.OME.IS.W.(S)HE.ART.(S)HE.ART. IS.:ANALYSIS (full length choreography with video projections) LGD

2018 CODED-DATA:.H.OME.IS.W.(S)HE.ART.(S)HE.ART. IS.:ANALYSIS(excerpt) Mini-LGD

2018 Slivering and Slathering in LGD 

2017 Relentless Women (R)ejecting the Can(n)on (in 12 chapters) LGD in “Captured Spaces” 

2016 Piecing Together a Canon

2015 The Krewe of Doberge Ball

2015 Atmosphère? I'm Not Atmosphère!

2014 Ottoman Sectionals

2013 edgeofthegorge #6

2012 Bach (excerpts); Color Film Test #1 December 3-5. 2012; Nymamy March 7, 2012

2011 Fragments and Fractures II, Feb 12, 2011, Ithaca Ballet

2009 Fragments and Fractures, Cornell University May 6-8, 2010; Basic Black and Baby Blues Etudes; Doberge, Micadanses, Paris, France June 19, 2010, and at Cornell University May 6-8, 2010, and at Ithaca Ballet, Ithaca, NY January 27, 2010

2009 Bach Solo Cello Suite #1 March 3, 2009, Ithaca Ballet, Ithaca, NY

2008 Dvorak Piano Quintet...Modernized, May 1, 2008, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Dvorak Piano Quintet, February 5, 2008, Ithaca Ballet, Ithaca, NY

2007 Pulcinella Suite, November 20, 2007

2006 Bach Solo Cello Suite #1, February 17, 2006, Ithaca Ballet, Ithaca, NY

2005 That Sadness that Dissipates but Forever Remains Unresolved, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY May 5, 2005

2004 Gothic Mechanization Amidst Persistent Novelty, February 15, 2004, Johnson Museum, Cornell University; Reflections in an Eye of Titanium, March 10, 2004, Cornell University; Soundings, May 6, 2004, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

2001 Corelli, I, II, III, July 24, 2001, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Broken Heart III, May 5, 2001, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Broken Heart II, March 25, 2001, Frostburg State University, Frostburg Maryland; It’s More What I Don’t Say, March 5, 2001, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

2000 Broken Heart, December 5, 2000, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Bach Solo Cello Suite #1, Baton Rouge, LA; Pulcinella Suite, Covington, LA

1999 Shoesic, July 19, 1999 American Dance Festival, Duke University, Durham, NC; Enfolding RopesJuly 19, 1990, American Dance Festival, Duke University, Durham, NC

1998 Enfolded Rope, March 6, 1998, Cornell University; Disgrace, collaboration w. Jumay Chu March 6, 1998, Cornell University; Attack of the Floating World, the sequel, May 20, 1998, ADF, Duke, Durham, NC; Pulcinella SuiteJune 10, 1998, Roanoke Ballet Theater and Roanoke Opera, Roanoke, VA

1997 Sprinting Towards Void w/dog(s), July 12, 1997, ADF, Duke, Durham, NC; Chemically Disposed, July 24, 1997, ADF, Duke, Durham, NC; Untitled, Uncentered, Untended, Untendered (a ballet, March 14, 1997, Cornell University; Nude Tumbling Down StaircaseMarch 14, 1997, Cornell University

1996 The Gism From the Schism of the Isms: hey but where’s the egg mama?, Cornell University March 12, 1996

1995 Sprinting Towards Void w/dog, December 7, 1995; Fake Plastic TreesDecember 7, 1995; Big Stephie and ...March 15, 1995; An Immodest Medieval Romp, March 15, 1995, Cornell University

1994 The Violent Years of Hegel’s Feast, November 25, 1994, Performance Space 122, NY, NY; Attack of the Floating World, March 10, 1993, Cornell University; Tarzagna, January 20, 1994, Chichester, England

1993 Cry Baby, May 5, 1993; Conjugal Blisster (collaboration w/Joyce Morgenroth) March 12, 1993; The Epistemology of Female TroubleMarch 12, 1993, Cornell University

1992 Solo Finales for Materials Engineer, May 6, 1992; The Untitled Perfect Rose Etudes, May 6, 1992; Chopin Solo, May 6, 1992, Cornell University

1990 Because I Love (d) You II, December 7, 1990, Cornell University; Because I Love (d) You, November 29, 1990; I Want What You WantNovember 29, 1990, Kitchen, NY, NY; 42nd Street, Xavier High School

1989 Bye Bye Birdie, Xavier High School

1988 Because I Love You, September 28, 1988, Cunningham Space, NYC; Prokofiev’s One Etude for One BoyJune 17, 1988; Les Mysteres des Voix BulgaresJune 17, 1988, St Francis Xavier Rectory; Hello Dolly, St Francis Xavier High School, NY, NY

1987 Cher and Cher Alike, August 21, 1987, Triplex Theatre, NY, NY; Camelot, Xavier High, NYC

1986 Bad Timing, June 26, 1986, Triplex Theatre, NY, NY

1985 Bach Solo Cello Suite #1February 22, 1985; Dvorak Pas de DeuxFebruary 22, 1985, Ft, Wayne, IN

1982 Go Go Barocco, June 12, 1882, Delta Festival, New Orleans, LA

1978 The Absent Minded Fairy, April 23, 1978, Asphodel Plantation, LA; Lucy Ricardo Blues Suite, February 7, 1978, Baton Rouge, LA

1977 Disco Wizard of Oz, December 4, 1977, Baton Rouge, LA

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