Scripps College choreographer, performer, educator, and activist Suchi Branfman is one of The Claremont Colleges’ 2020 Faculty Diversity Teaching Award recipients. The Claremont Colleges Diversity Teaching Award recognizes those who regularly and effectively address issues or concerns related to diversity, equity, and inclusion through their classroom practices and curriculum.
Branfman joined Scripps in 1994 as a lecturer in dance. She has danced and made dances from the war zones of Managua to Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre and from Uganda’s formidable Luzira Prison to New York City’s Joyce Theatre, as both a soloist and ensemble member. Branfman is currently in the middle of a five-year choreographic residency正规365体育投注 at the California Rehabilitation Center, a medium security state men’s prison in Norco. Through this residency, she has danced in a number of prisons, including Angola Prison (LA), Orleans Parish Prison (LA), Auburn State Penitentiary (NY), Luzira Prison (Kampala, Uganda) and York Women’s Prison (CT).
Branfman’s engaged teaching is grounded in a constant reconsideration of form, content, and context. She has developed dance pedagogy that is inclusive, empowering, and engaging. Her pedagogical practices include an embodied understanding of self and culture, the ability to build a dance practice, the confidence to create alone and in collaboration with others, and development of a critical understanding of dance as an act of empowerment or of conformity, as a commodity or to build community. She creates spaces that invite critical dialogue around race, class privilege, ableist ideas of moving, and queer theory.
Her work has received support from numerous arts funders including National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, New York State Council for the Arts, and Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.
Other recipients of The Claremont Colleges 2020 Faculty Diversity Awards in Teaching include Derik Smith (Claremont McKenna College) and Jorge Moreno (Pomona College).