Zane Booker’s Portraits

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Emma Kraus, Nicole Sabella, Maya Johnson and Justin Bryant briefly pause to pose.
Tony Jackson, Maya Johnson and Justin Bryant reach in different directions.
Johnson's performance was inspired by actress Josephine Baker.
Bryant began his work by researching James Baldwin.
Tony Jackson
The group begins in a line.

Zane Booker, a well known Philadelphia dancer and director, presented a small group production of his new work Portraits. Five young dancers performed the work-in-progress, which they created with Booker as a Swarthmore Project this summer.

Each dancer chose a historical figure, doing research and creative writing about the person before turning their thoughts into movements. Among their inspirations were James Baldwin, Gloria Steinem, and Josephine Baker; each character struggled with discrimination—sexism, homophobia, racism.