Lailye Weidman

Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance
Lailye Weidman
Contact Lailye

Mail Code DB
Lailye Weidman
Music and Dance Building 114
413.559.6298

Lailye Weidman is a choreographer, dancer, and writer based in western Massachusetts.

Her recent projects include Showman, an homage to the resonance of hardcore music; Social Animal Please Tame Me, an ensemble dance theater work investigating consent and consensus; birthing room, a solo tracing textures of place and displacement; and Dike Dance, a site-specific performance and community dialogue in collaboration with scientists from the Atlantic Research Center. As a member of the Movement Party, she collaboratively produced Fleet Moves, an annual site-based dance festival on Cape Cod for four seasons. She is also a member of Femmelab, a queer research and movement collective. She teaches dance and dance studies in academic and community settings and is a contributing editor for Contact Quarterly.

Lailye received her B.A. in dance from UCLA and an M.F.A. in dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work has been shown at the Domestic Performance Agency, Movement Research, and the New School in New York City; Anatomy Riot and Pieter PASD in Los Angeles, CounterPulse and Joe Goode Studios in San Francisco, Green Street Studios and the Aviary Gallery in Boston, Figure One Gallery and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Champaign, IL, and K77 Studio in Berlin. In 2018, she was an artist-in-residence with Meredith Bove at APE Ltd Gallery, researching creative companionship and “co-dramaturgy.” She has also been an artist-in-residence at Light Box in Detroit, the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance (iLAND) in New York City, at Hothouse UCLA, and the SEEDS Festival at Earthdance.

Personal Website

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • This beginning-level course invites students to develop movement, making, and performance practices as vehicles for thinking about and supporting new beginnings. The course will function as dance class, rehearsal, and research seminar where we will examine assumptions about whose bodies are afforded the opportunity to be expressive, and learn to trust what our bodies already know. We will also work to expand our capacities for embodied play, experimentation, meaning-making, physical and intellectual rigor, and employ a range of creative modalities (including use of the written word, video and digital media) to contextualize and process embodied experience. Our work will be bolstered by the study of theoretical underpinnings of contemporary dance, art-making, and performance practices. We will share our work informally at the conclusion of the semester, with possible performances (live or virtual) early in February 2023. No previous dance experience is necessary. Keywords: critical dance studies, performance, embodiment.

  • Building on foundational principles of dance composition, students in this course will be invited to apply those principles to collaborative group choreographic processes. The studio will be our laboratory as we individually and collectively examine kinesthetic and aesthetic impulse, and the ways group process reconciles, expands, and challenges those. Employing design and chance methods, we will attend to the negotiations engendered by relations between makers, performers, audiences, communities, identities, and place as well as the inherent societal implications of making art of, for, and by the expressive body in space and time. Together, members of the class will work to support one another in developing a nurturing space for curious investigation, boundary expanding rigor, generous feedback, and playful discovery. Choreographic works that emerge from this semester-long process will be shared informally at the end of the semester and may be included in Hampshire's Winter Dance Concert (S23). Keywords: performance, art-making, embodiment, movement, choreography.

  • This course invites students to dive into choreographic thinking, movement generation, experimentation, and dance-making research. Together we will define and expand choreographic possibilities through weekly dance-making assignments-both solo and collaborative. Students will produce choreographic studies that address specific concepts, lenses, and methods for crafting dance. Specifically, we will explore dance as a poetic medium-using movement as an entry into dwelling with rhythm, phrasing, mood, and tone. We will reflect together on one another's work, looking to provide generative, generous, and insightfully critical feedback. Final projects will evolve over the latter portion of the semester and be performed in an informal showing. Other requirements include viewing live performances at the Five Colleges and in the community, viewing dance on video, and engaging with readings, discussions, and reflective writing assignments. No previous experience in dance is required. Concurrent study of dance technique is encouraged. Keywords: dance, choreography, performance, poetry, theatre

  • Athletes taking a knee, bodies marching in the street, dance movements that go viral. How can Dance Studies help us see and understand the urgency of [social] movement in our current moment? At the same time, how does dance challenge normative conceptualizations of history and politics? Exploring dance and embodied politics of the 20th and 21st century through the lens of Dance Studies, this course works from the perspective of "Critical Moves" proposed by late dance theorist Randy Martin: "Critical moves. Steps we must take. Movement that informs critical consciousness." The interrelationship between theory and practice will be emphasized through reading, writing, movement exercises, and creative workshops. Students will regularly read, write, and move; view and discuss performances; pursue a final research project through embodied, visual, and text-based methods; and work on a collective performance intervention that will take place on campus during the semester. No dance experience necessary, just open curiosity. Keywords: dance, performance, politics, activism, body

  • No description available

  • This course invites students to train in contemporary dance technique and build collaborative performance through the lens of multiplicity. When we move, are we just one body or are we more? The body is capable of moving and organizing itself in myriad ways. Our bodies carry our histories, influences, our knowledge of ourselves, and our ties to one another. In the studio and beyond, we will engage dance as a method to embrace and move with our unique capacities and histories. And we will experiment with movement as a way to find new neural pathways and possibilities. Contemporary dance technique classes (1 day/wk) include full-bodied dancing, principles and forms, somatic approaches, and improvisational techniques. The second class per week functions as rehearsal leading toward a culminating collaborative performance. All students will contribute toward the choreographic process and final performance. (Suggested: some prior experience of dance, theater, or other movement practice) (keywords: dance, movement, performance, body, embodiment)

  • This course invites students to dive into choreographic thinking, movement generation, experimentation, and dance-making research. The word choreography originally meant fixing movement in written form. Today, choreography includes setting movement, scoring improvisation, embodying images and ideas, creating problems to be solved in motion, instigating public intervention, and more. Together we will define and expand choreographic possibilities through weekly dance-making assignments-solo and collaborative. Students will produce choreographic studies that address distinct elements of craft and frameworks for making. We will reflect together on one another's work, looking to provide generative, generous, and insightfully critical feedback. We will learn new strategies for seeing/feeling dance and articulating its impact. Final projects will evolve over the latter portion of the semester and be performed in an informal showing. Additional work includes viewing live online performances, viewing dance on video, readings, discussions, and reflective writings. No previous experience in dance is required. [Concurrent study of dance technique is encouraged.] (keywords: Dance, choreography, body, performance, theater)