Ralph Lemon, choreographer and cross-disciplinary performer and artist, inaugurates the Art+Invention Speaker Series, which engages iconic artists in thought-provoking conversations about creativity, innovation and discovery across the disciplines. This conversation will introduce Lemon’s rich portfolio and focus on his Geography Trilogy. The fruit of a 9-year investigation through travel to West Africa, South and East Asia, and the American South, Geography followed the artist’s decision to disband his postmodern dance company and search for a new relationship to his work. Lemon is an artist-in-residence at the Stanford Institute for Diversity in the Arts.
Presented by Stanford Lively Arts and the Stanford Institute for Creativity in the Arts (SiCa) in collaboration with the Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA), and the Dance Division, Department of Drama. The Aurora Forum is cosponsored by the Office of the President and Provost and Stanford's Office of Public Affairs.
Ralph Lemon, an artist who defies categorization, is Artistic Director of Cross Performance, a company dedicated to the creation of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary performance and presentation. Lemon's projects expand the definition of choreography by crossing and stretching the boundaries between Western, post-modern dance and other art forms and cultures. For each project, Lemon builds a team of collaborating artists-from diverse cultural backgrounds, countries and artistic disciplines-who bring their own history and aesthetic voice to the work. Projects develop organically, over a period of years, with frequent public sharings of work-in-progress, and the culminating artworks derive from the artistic, cultural, historic and emotional material uncovered in this rigorous creative research process.
In 2005, Lemon concluded The Geography Trilogy, a decade-long international research and performance project that spanned three continents as it explored race, history and memory. The project featured three evening-length dance/theater performances: Geography (1997); Tree (2000); and Come home Charley Patton (2004); two Internet art projects; the publication of two books by Wesleyan University Press; and several gallery exhibitions. Other recent projects include the three-DVD set of The Geography Trilogy; Konbit, a video collage about Miami's Haitian community; Three, a dance/film created with choreographer Bebe Miller and filmmaker Isaac Julien; and Persephone, a book with Philip Trager's photographs of Lemon's choreographic work, with text by Lemon and Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, and poems by Rita Dove and Eavan Boland.
Mark Gonnerman is founding director of the Aurora Forum.