Multifaceted dance artist to join ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre


Portrait of MK Ford.

The School of Music, Dance and Theatre at Arizona State University has announced that innovative dancer, choreographer and filmmaker MK Ford will be joining the faculty as a clinical assistant professor of dance and media design. Photo by Mark Williams

|

The School of Music, Dance and Theatre at Arizona State University has announced that innovative dancer, choreographer and filmmaker MK Ford will be joining the faculty as a clinical assistant professor of dance and media design.

As a creative artist who works in a variety of mediums, Ford makes work that features elements from dance, film/media studies, digital humanities, queer theory and visual arts. TheirMK Ford uses they/them pronouns. performative and choreographic work includes live performances, screendance and installations. 

“We are thrilled to have attracted an artist of MK Ford’s caliber to the dance program,” said Heather Landes, director of the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre. “MK brings a breadth of knowledge in dance media design and film and storytelling, and they will help our students explore technology to improve their communication, expression and message as dance artists.” 

Ford said they began exploring a range of tools, technology and techniques in a search to more expansively communicate through performance.

“There were people I wanted to support and things I wanted to say, and I needed more tools to do that,” Ford said. “It’s not so much innovation, but rather a process of needing to make something and seeing what’s present in the process to implement, augment or intervene with.”

Ford is interested in how dance and media overlap and applies this to their creative process, to live performance and to screendance. Their work has been featured on stages and screens across the country, including the American Dance Festival Movies by Movers, the Utah Dance Film Festival, the Cleveland Dance Festival and the Washington, D.C., Choreographic Showcase. 

“I find it exciting to reconsider what we consider as physical and what we consider as digital, and how that relates to mobilization with machines and technology,” Ford said. “I think of machines as things we are indoctrinated in systemically, socially, politically. When I think of ways to create change, ways to say something and listen at the same time — all of that is a technology that creators and performers know so fluently and use frequently.

“I love art, I love dance, I love talking about what fires people up. I have found art and the creative process as a source of joy, but I have also found it to be lifesaving.”

As an educator, Ford said this is an exciting time because of the accessibility of media. They want to help ASU students explore technology in strategic ways and develop students’ confidence in using technologies to create, network and communicate.

“It’s such an exciting time for people to be expanding their voices and implementing these tools,” Ford said. “They’re already working together in so many ways.”

Ford looks forward to building community at ASU and bringing their unique perspective to mentoring students. 

“I love working with people, and I love hearing what people have to say,” they said. “I am thrilled to provide my perspective and expertise. I am coming in from a very queer, punk, DIY perspective.”

They use that love of creativity and expression to create multimedia art experiences that help change lives.

“I believe art makes a real difference in people’s lives,” Ford said. “I really believe in the work that artists do.”

More Arts, humanities and education

 

An image of colorful video game equipment and screens in a photo credited to Stewart A. Elrod / Brandon Skeli on Flickr.

The future is a story

If there was one word reflecting the zeitgeist of today’s media environment, it might be “storytelling.” From its documented role in political conflict to its ubiquitous presence in influencer…

A shopping cart with a calculator, paintbrush and gear on a flat ASU maroon background

How AI is helping tailor the student experience at ASU

Editor's note: This expert Q&A is part of our “AI is everywhere ... now what?” special project exploring the potential (and potential pitfalls) of artificial intelligence in our lives. Explore…

A vintage maroon school desk floating on a flat ASU gold background

AI's role in enhancing education

Editor's note: This feature article is part of our “AI is everywhere ... now what?” special project exploring the potential (and potential pitfalls) of artificial intelligence in our lives. Explore…