Ariel Nereson -



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MA - English, SUNY Buffalo

BA - Dance & English, St. Olaf College



Ariel Nereson is a fifth-year PhD candidate finishing her dissertation on the role of emotion in cognitive meaning-making processes in the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company repertory. Her dissertation research is supported by the American Society for Theatre Research Helen Krich Chinoy Dissertation Fellowship and the Andrew Mellon Dissertation Fellowship. She earned her BA in both Dance and English from St. Olaf College and her MA in English from SUNY Buffalo. Ariel's choreography at Pitt includes Sparagmos and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


Ariel has coordinated panels and presented her work at international and national conferences, including the Mid-Atlantic Theatre Conference, ASTR and ATHE annual meetings, and Congress on Research in Dance meetings. Her publications appear in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Studies in Musical Theatre, and Slavic and Eastern European Performance. Her essay, "Queens 'Campin'' Onstage: Performing Queerness in Mae West's 'Gay Plays'" was awarded this year's ASTR Gerald Kahan Scholar's Prize.


“Queens ‘Campin’’ Onstage: Performing Queerness in Mae West’s ‘Gay Plays.’” Theatre Journal, Vol. 64, No. 4, December 2012. 513-532.

“Embodying the Undiscussable: Documentary Methodology in Bill T. Jones’s Still/Here andthe Culture Wars.” Studies in Musical Theatre, Vol. 5, No. 3, Winter 2011. 297-304.

“Krump or Die: Krumping and Racist Ideologies in the Production and Reception of Rize.” Gnovis Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, Fall 2010.

Review: Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer, by Liz Lerman. Theatre Survey, Vol. 54,No. 3, September 2013. 460-462.

Review: Choreographing Empathy: Kinesthesia in Performance, by Susan Leigh Foster. Theatre Journal, October 2013.

Review: “Exodus, Resonance, and Innovation in Kazimierz Braun’s Production of The Cherry Orchard.” Slavic and Eastern European Performance, Vol. 29, No. 2. Spring 2009. 57-61.


“Embodied Archives and Revision.” ATDS Works-In-Progress Session. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. 29 March 2013.

“Revising a History of Subjection in Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land.” University of Pittsburgh Grad Expo, Pittsburgh, PA. 21 March 2013. Awarded “Outstanding Paper.”

“‘Achilles loved / Patroclus died’: Queer Affect and the Revision of Myth in Bill T.Jones’s Achilles Loved Patroclus.” MATC Annual Meeting, Saint Louis, MO. 8 March 2013

“Corporeal Historiography and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s ‘Lincoln’ Trilogy.” ASTR Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN. 2 November 2012.

“‘An Impulse to Testify’: Blackness and Embodied Memory in the Work of Bill T. Jones.”ATHE Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. 5 August 2012.

“Audiences Divided: Empathy, Spectatorial Response, and Gay Kinship in Mae West’s‘Gay Plays.’” International Conference of American Drama and Theater, Universityof Seville with ATDS, Seville, Spain. 29 May 2012.

“‘There is some grace to it, we are professionals’: Labor, Performance, and Identity in The Trash Project.” MATC Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL. 3 March 2012.

“‘I’ll have to do splits to straighten myself out’: Queer Performance Networks and Mae West’s ‘Gay Plays.’” CORD Special Topics Conference: Meanings and Makings ofQueer Dance, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 17 February 2012.

“Laboring Toward the Real: Onstage Labor and Documentary Impulse in Jérome Bel’s Véronique Doisneau.” ASTR Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, CA. 18 November 2011.

“Staging ‘Poetic Facts’: Documenting Experience Through Embodiment in Still/Here.”(Revised.) ATHE Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL. Bruce Kirle Memorial Panel. 13 August 2011.

“The Drama of the Helping Hand; the Bodies of Kris Verdonck and Phenomenological Experience.” 11th Annual Arts and Sciences Grad Expo. University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, PA. 24 March 2011. Awarded “Outstanding Paper.”

“Trauma and Empathy in Anna Sokolow’s Dreams: The Double-Bind of the Performer.”ASTR/CORD Joint Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA. 20 November 2010.

“Krump or Die: Racist Narrative in the Spectacle of Black Moving Bodies.” SDHSAnnual Meeting. London, UK. 9 July 2010.