Faculty & Staff Profiles

Charli Brissey

Assistant Professor of Dance

Charli Brissey is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and teacher who works choreographically with various technologies and materials. This primarily includes bodies, cameras, objects, language, instincts, and ecosystems. Their research integrates studies in choreography, feminist theory, technology, and science. Brissey has been creating performances, installations, experimental videos, and written scholarship for over seventeen years, and has been presented in various galleries, conferences, film festivals, and performance venues nationally and internationally. This includes the National Queer Arts Festival, Movement Research at Judson Church, The Eye Film Institute, Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center, Center for Performance Research, Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Zurich Moves! Dance Festival, Paris International Feminist Film Festival, The Arts in Society Conference, Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Queer Publics Symposium, International Conference on the Image, and several others.

Projects have included a four-month investigation into the porous materiality of desire and eroticism in caves of Virginia, developing multi-critter movement scores to research the oscillation patters of tides on the islands of British Columbia, and a one-month ethnographic study into the choreographic relationship between stray cats and the local restaurant economy of Lefkada Island in Greece.

In 2010 Brissey founded Maeko Productions, an interdisciplinary production company that offers video production services on a sliding scale payment system, including promotional videos, documentational videos, Kickstarter videos, performance reels, and the like. Under this moniker Brissey has worked with over fifty choreographers in the field of contemporary dance, providing low-cost production assistance at various stages of projects, from promotion to interactive installation to post-production editing. They also served as the Video Producer at the prestigious American Dance Festival from 2014-16, and as an adjudicator for the 2018 EnCore Dance Film Festival and 2019 Third Coast Dance Film Festival.

Brissey has been awarded “Best of Festival” awards for numerous projects at film festivals internationally, as well as a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship for their work in video and Kinley Memorial Fellowship for their thesis research integrating choreography with discourse in “new materialisms”. Their work has been funded through various university grants as well as Yellowhouse NYC, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation.

Brissey is currently producing an interdisciplinary multi-year study called Agua Viva: Choreographies of the Sea, set to premiere in September 2020. This project looks choreographically at the evolution of fish and benthic ecosystems as potentially radical sites to inform how we move through our precarious terrestrial future. This research is emerging through intersections of dance, science and technology studies, and queer/feminist theory. It will result in an evening length performance, a video series, and an interactive archival website that will document the research process and include all field notes, data sets, interviews, videos, writing samples, photographs, diagrams, and other process components.

As an extension of this project they are also developing a book manuscript titled Dancing at the End of the World: Choreographies of Time and Uncertainty. Weaving theory, speculative fabulation, personal anecdote, and science fiction, this experimental text moves between various sites to examine our relationships to material environments in our current political-ecological climate. It centers dance and choreography as invaluable methodologies to research social, political, technological, and environmental phenomena.

Bio last updated February 2019


BFA (dance & choreography), Virginia Commonwealth University
MFA (kinetic imaging), Virginia Commonwealth University
MFA (dance), University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

Selected Video Work

Reconfigure Mapping, 2017

Revolution Study 1, 2016
-DesArts//DesCinés Dance & Cinema Festival Saint-Ettienne, France
-8th Annual Feminist Film Festival. Champaign, USA
-Twisted Oyster Experimental Video and Art Festival. Chicago, USA

Dead Draw, 2016
-Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center. New York, USA
-Kolkata International Short Film Festival. Kolkata, India
-Festival de Videodanza de Palma. Malorca, Spain
-Cinematica Videodance Festival. Ancona, Italy
-Twisted Oyster Experimental Video and Art Festival. Chicago, USA

Limestone Erotics, 2015
-Witch Rave. Berlin, Germany. Curated by Coral Short.
-Salzburg Porn Fest. Salzburg, Germany.
-Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Pas, 2013
-Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center. New York, USA
-Paris International Lesbian and Feminist Film Festival. Paris, France.
-Dance Camera West. Los Angeles, USA
-Bucharest International Dance Film Festival. Bucharest, Romania
-D.C. Independent Film Festival. Washington, DC. USA
-Bangalore Queer Film Festival. Bangalore, India

Selected Scholarly Publications

Queerly Inhuman: A Materialist Approach to Gender, Desire, and Radical Resistance
Imagine Queer Conference. Newcastle University. Newcastle UK. Oct 12-13, 2018

Towards an Open Erotics: A Choreographic Take on Desire and Queer Sex
Queer Publics Symposium. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Feb 4, 2017.

20 Rue Jacob: A Cross-Disciplinary Reimagining of the Portraits of Romaine Brooks
International Multidisciplinary Conference. Retzhof Castle. Austria. Dec 15-20, 2016

Choreographing Pleasure in the 21st Century (Plenary address)
Queer Media in the 21st Century. Texas Christian University. Nov 3-6, 2016

Public Pleasure: The Transformative Potential of Queer Internet Porn
“Doing the Body in the 21st Century.” University of Pittsburgh. March 31-April 2, 2016

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