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Finding Intimacy at the Borders of Fatalism: When Winin’ Becomes a Crime Scene

The first meeting of the 2016-2017 Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies! Free & open to the public.

Lecture by Adanna Kai Jones, Ph.D. (Visiting Faculty in Dance, Stanford University)

How does the performing pleasure during this year’s (2016) pre-Carnival, J’Ouvert festivities in Brooklyn, NY complicate how we understand anti-black violence and #BlackLivesMatter? The sweaty labor produced by the very act of rolling one’s hips and winin’ dong di streets fuh J’Ouvert reveal the intimately microscopic ways in which winers navigate the colliding politics of pleasure, gun-violence, and state policing. As winers take up public space in a foreign place—namely a place that recognizes or presents their winin’ bodies as in but not of that nation—their rolling production of sweat remain rooted to a bodily logic (i.e. winin’) that reads as fatalistic. Dr. Jones argues that “[…] winin’s association with sexual play leaves especially the female winer vulnerable to depictions of fatalism, nihilism, and ultimate tragedy (e.g., beliefs that skilled female winers are prone to prostitution, out-of-wedlock motherhood, or sexual violence).” In effect, this further positions them within and along the interstices and borders of contesting feelings of blackness, contesting uses of pleasure, as well as contesting performances of (trans)nationhood, or rather a sense of belonging. Ultimately, this talk attends to the unsettling link between violence, pleasure, and blackness, as it is navigated by the dancing body.

Adanna Kai Jones received her Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside, and her BFA in Dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts—Rutgers University. She has performed in professional dance companies based in NYC, including the Julia Ritter Performance Group and Souloworks with Andrea E. Woods. In general, her research remains focused on Caribbean dance and identity politics within the Diaspora, paying particular focus to the rolling hip dance known as winin’. She has published the chapter “Can Rihanna Have Her Cake And Eat It Too?” in The Oxford Handbook of Screendance Studies, which became the point of discussion for a roundtable conversation hosted by the Oxford Comment podcast series. Her upcoming chapter, “A Waist Full of Winin’ Counter-Tails/Tales,” will appear in The Futures of Dance Studies edited volume next year. In her own creative pursuits, she has choreographed dance theater pieces that were not only based on her research, but were also used as tools for generating more research questions. In July 2015, she presented “Wine & Tales” in Port of Spain, Trinidad, which was commissioned by New Waves! 2015 and the Dancing While Black Performance Lab. And in May 2016, she presented “Rum & Coke” in New York City at Field Studies 2016. Both performances were rooted in her ethnographic fieldwork on the wine and Caribbean Carnivals within the US. Currently, she is a Lecturer at Stanford University in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies. This quarter, she is teaching two research driven dance courses. One is a survey class on folkloric and popular Afro-Caribbean dances and the other is fusion class that brings together Afro-Caribbean dance techniques with contemporary US-concert dance practices.

Dr. Jones’ lecture on Nov. 1, 2016 marks the inaugural meeting of this year’s Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies, which is curated around the theme of “Dance on the Move: Migration, Border Zones, and Citizenship.” All events are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. For map and parking info, visit:

Stay tuned for the year’s schedule of presenters, coming soon! To join the Colloquium’s mailing list, contact Heather Rastovac Akbarzadeh:

The Stanford Colloquium on Dance Studies is sponsored by the Mellon “Dance Studies in/and the Humanities” initiative and is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Administrative support provided by the Department of Theater & Performance Studies.



Tuesday, November 1, 2016. 05:30PM


Roble Gym Room 139