I am Associate Professor in the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University and author of the open-access book Perpetual Motion: Dance, Digital Cultures, and the Common (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). From 2014-2019, I co-edited The International Journal of Screendance with Simon Ellis, and in 2021, I co-edited the special issue This Is Where We Dance Now: Covid-19 and the New and Next in Dance Onscreen with Alexandra Harlig. My writing has also appeared in Screen, The Drama Review, Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, The International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, and Performance Matters, as well as The Bloomsbury Companion to Dance Studies, Routledge Dance Studies Reader (3rd ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen, Choreographies of 21st Century War, and Dance on Its Own Terms, among others. For nearly a decade, I have collaborated with Kate Elswit to bring the digital humanities and dance history into greater dialogue through computational analysis and data visualization. Our projects together include Dunham’s Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry, which won the 2021 ATHE/ASTR Award for Excellence in Digital Scholarship (Ref: AH/R012989/1; https://www.dunhamsdata.org), and more recently Visceral Histories, Visual Arguments: Dance-Based Approaches to Data (https://visceralhistories.wordpress.com/).
Associate Professor, The Ohio State University, Department of Dance
Affiliated Faculty in: Translational Data Analytics; Theatre, Film, and Media Arts; Folklore; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
PhD, Culture and Performance, University of California, Los Angeles (2009)
MA, Performance Studies, New York University (2003)
BA, Women’s Studies, University of Utah (2001)
BFA, Ballet, University of Utah (2001)
American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum, Pre-primary–Level 5 (2021, 2022)
200 hour yoga teacher certification, Yoga on High, Columbus, OH (2019)
Monograph: Perpetual Motion: Dance, Digital Cultures, and the Common. University of Minnesota Press, 2020.
Online open access: https://manifold.umn.edu/projects/perpetual-motion
PDF and Epub: https://kb.osu.edu/handle/1811/91417
Movement on the Move, with Kate Elswit (ongoing) http://movementonthemove.osu.edu/
Visceral Histories, Visual Arguments: Dance-Based Approaches to Data, with Kate Elswit, 2022-2025: https://visceralhistories.wordpress.com/
Dunham’s Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry, with Kate Elswit, 2018-2022 (Ref: AH/R012989/1) https://www.dunhamsdata.org
“Dance in Transit” with Kate Elswit, 2016-2018: https://movementonthemove.osu.edu/project-dance-transit
“Mapping Touring” Database and data visualization 2014- (paused): http://movementonthemove.osu.edu/project-mapping-touring
“Mascot Moskovina” 2013 http://scalar.usc.edu/works/mascot-moskovina/index
Peer Reviewed Publications
“Visceral Data for Dance Histories: Katherine Dunham’s People, Places, and Pieces,” with Kate Elswit. The Drama Review (TDR) 66.1 (2022), pp. 37-61. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1054204321000708
“Cinematography, Choreography, and Cultural Influence: Rethinking Maya Deren’s The Very Eye of Night.” Screen 62.4 (2021), pp. 439-458. https://doi.org/10.1093/screen/hjab050
“Dance History and Digital Humanities Meet at the Archives: An Interim Project Report on Dunham’s Data,” with Kate Elswit. Dance Research 38.2 (2020), pp. 289-295.
“Katherine Dunham’s Global Method and the Politics of Dance’s Everyday,” with Kate Elswit. Theatre Survey 61.3 (2020), pp. 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0040557420000253
“Analyzing Afrique: One Dance and Three Methods,” with Baylie MacRae, and Kat Sprudzs. Research in Dance Education 21.1 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1080/14647893.2019.1708889
“Mapping Touring: Remediating Concert Dance Archives,” Dance Research Journal 51.3 (2019): 4-27. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0149767719000342
“Dance Touring and Embodied Data: Some Approaches to Katherine Dunham’s Movement on the Move,” with Kate Elswit, Current Research in Digital History 2.1 (2019). https://doi.org/10.31835/crdh.2019.12
“Screendance,” Sherril Dodds, ed. The Bloomsbury Companion to Dance Studies. New York and London: Bloomsbury, 2019. 219-244.
“‘Complex Temporalities’: Digitality and the Ephemeral Tense in Adam H. Weinert’s ‘The Reaccession of Ted Shawn’,” Jens Giersdorf and Yutian Wong, ed. Routledge Dance Studies Reader 3rd Edition. New York: Routledge, 2018. 364-373.
“Arranging (enchaînement),” Rachel Fensham, section ed. “Doing and Making” in Celia Lury, ed. Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods. London: Routledge, 2018. 41-46.
“Mapping Movement on the Move: Dance Touring and Digital Methods,” with Kate Elswit, Theatre Journal 68.4 (2016): 575-596. https://doi.org/10.1353/tj.2016.0107
“Dancing in Digital Archives: Circulation, Pedagogy, Performance,” Maaike Bleeker, ed. Transmission in Motion: The Technologization of Dance. London: Routledge, 2016. 155-167.
“Improvising Philosophy: Thoughts on Teaching and Ways of Being,” Performance Matters 2.1 (2016): 86-91. http://performancematters-thejournal.com/index.php/pm/article/view/31.
“Affective Temporalities: Dance, Media, and the War on Terror,” Gay Morris and Jens Giersdorf, ed. Choreographies of 21st Century War, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2016. 157-179.
“Monstrous Belonging: Performing ‘Thriller’ After 9/11,” Melissa Blanco, ed. Oxford Handbook of Dance and the Popular Screen, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014. 393-411.
“Gestural Choreographies: Embodied Disciplines and Mobile Media,” The Oxford Handbook to Mobile Music Studies, New York: Oxford UP, 2014. 238-256.
“‘Single Ladies’ is Gay: Queer Performances and Mediated Masculinities on YouTube,” Melanie Bales and Karen Eliot, ed. Dance on Its Own Terms: Histories and Methodologies, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013. 127-151.
“Screendance 2.0: Dance and Social Media,” Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, special edition Screen Dance Audiences, 7.2 (Nov. 2010). http://www.participations.org/Volume%207/Issue%202/special/bench.htm.
“Anti-Gravitational Choreographies: Strategies of Mobility in Screendance,” The International Journal of Screendance 1.1 (2010): 53-61. http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v1i0.6138
“Computational Choreographies: Performance in Dance Online,” The International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media 5.2 and 3 (2009): 155-169.
“Media and the No-place of Dance,” Forum Modernes Theater, 23.1 (2008): 37-47.
Selected Short Pieces, Videos, and Editor Reviewed Publications
Interview. New Books Network. Podcast. 2020. https://newbooksnetwork.com/perpetual-motion
Interview. kNOwBOX #dancebehindthescreen. Podcast. 2020. http://www.knowboxdance.com/69–harmonybench.html
“Datasets are Research,” with Kate Elswit, Dunham’s Data Research Blog. Web. https://dunhamsdata.org/blog/datasets-are-research
“Editorial: Screendance Now,” with Simon Ellis, The International Journal of Screendance 10.1. 2019. http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v10i0.6850
“Pathways, Histories, and ScreenDance Diaries: Sarah Elgart in Conversation,” The International Journal of Screendance 10.1. 2019. http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v10i0.6831
“Dancing with the Unexpected,” public TED-style lecture for Research and Innovation Showcase at The Ohio State University, April 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IxIrsJMezg&feature=youtu.be
“Be the Street 2018 Final Video.” Dir. Harmony Bench, with Doug Dangler and Mason Chapello (video capture) and Scott Sprague (video editing). Be the Street. 2019. http://go.osu.edu/Ckcs
“Scaffolding Story: Becoming Devisers.” Be the Street. 2018. http://go.osu.edu/CENz
“Be the Street Welcome Video.” Dir. Harmony Bench, with Doug Dangler and John Slavnik (video capture) and Scott Sprague (video editing). Be the Street. 2017. http://go.osu.edu/CBgJ
“Life Becomes Art: Devising Performance with Albany Park Theater Project.” Be the Street. 2017. http://go.osu.edu/B5RV
“‘Being Human is Interdisciplinary’: Building Ensemble with Albany Park Theater Project.” Be the Street. 2017. http://go.osu.edu/B3zZ
“Dance on Camera at 45,” The International Journal of Screendance 8.1 (2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v8i0.5840
“Editorial: Solo/Screen,” with Simon Ellis, The International Journal of Screendance 8.1 (2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v8i0.5891
“Editorial: Field Perceptions,” with Simon Ellis, The International Journal of Screendance 6.1 (2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v6i0.5250
“Screendance: Learning, Teaching, Living,” an interview with Jason Bahling, Ben Estabrook, Natalie Gotter, Eric Nordstrom, and Ellen Maynard, The International Journal of Screendance 6.1 (2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v6i0.5232
“Editor’s Note: On Community, Collaboration, and Difference,” with Simon Ellis, The International Journal of Screendance 5.1 (2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v5i0.4866
“Mobilizing Subjectivity: An Interview with Victoria Marks,” The International Journal of Screendance 5.1 (2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v5i0.4662
“Maya Deren: A Prologue,” The International Journal of Screendance 3.1 (2013). https://doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v3i0.5694
“Introduction: Amelia Jones,” The International Journal of Screendance 2.1 (2012). https://doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v2i0.6894
“Of Skins and Screens: Hyperdance, Haptic Cinema, and Contact Improvisation,” Extensions: The Online Journal for Embodiment and Technology 3 (2007). http://www.performancestudies.ucla.edu/extensionsjournal/bench.htm.
Selected Grants, Awards, and Fellowships
OSU Artificial Intelligence in the Arts, Humanities, and Engineering: Interdisciplinary Collaborations, 2022 ($24,569 for “Artificial Intelligence for Creative Movement Analysis and Synthesis: Overcoming racial bias in algorithms for spinal motion tracking in Black dance performance capture”; Harmony Bench Principal Investigator; Crystal Perkins, Roger Crawfis, Vita Berezina-Blackburn Co-Principal Investigators; Mirkamil Mierkamili Graduate Student Researcher)
OSU Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme Society of Fellows: Archival Imaginations, 2022 (to pursue Visceral Histories, Visual Arguments: Dance-Based Approaches to Data)
OSU Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme, 2020 ($21,000 for Audiences and Online Reception: Before and After COVID; Harmony Bench Principal Investigator; Yana Hashamova, Hannah Kosstrin, and Danielle Schoon Co-Investigators)
Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2018 (£566,000 for Dunham’s Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry; Research Grant AH/R012989/1; Kate Elswit Principal Investigator; Harmony Bench Co-Investigator)
Open Access Monograph Initiative Publication Subvention, 2018 ($15,000 for Perpetual Motion: Dance, Digital Cultures, and the Common)
OSU Virginia Hull Research Award, 2017 ($2,500 for “Transmissions: Katherine Dunham on the Global Stage)
OSU Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme, 2016 ($100,000 for “Be the Street: A Performance Studies Project on Human Mobility and Placemaking”; Ana Puga Principal Investigator; Harmony Bench, Katherine Borland, Paloma Martinez-Cruz, Shilarna Stokes, Co-Investigators)
Battelle Engineering, Technology and Human Affairs with OSU College of Arts and Sciences, 2016 ($55,000 for “Dance in Transit”; Harmony Bench Principal Investigator; Kate Elswit Co-Investigator)
OSU Research and Creative Activity Grant, 2014 ($19,000 for “Mapping Touring”; Harmony Bench Principal Investigator; )
Selected Leadership and Service
Guest editor, The International Journal of Screendance, special issue: This Is Where We Dance Now: COVID-19 and the New and Next in Dance Onscreen, with Alexandra Harlig 2020-2021 https://doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v12i0
Convenor, This Is Where We Dance Now: COVID-19 and the New and Next in Dance Onscreen, international virtual symposium connected to journal special issue, with Alexandra Harlig. Nearly 300 registrants. March 12-13 and 19-20, 2021 https://u.osu.edu/thisiswherewedancenow/
Co-editor, The International Journal of Screendance with Simon Ellis 2014-2019:
–Screendance Now 10 (2019): https://doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v10i0;
–Solo/Screen 8 (2017): https://doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v8i0;
–Field Perceptions 6 (2016): https://doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v6i0;
–Community & Screendance 5 (2015): https://doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v5i0
Board of Directors, Congress on Research in Dance 2012-2015; Recording Secretary 2013-2015
Co-convenor, Performance/Politics Working Group, Humanities Institute, Ohio State 2012-2015
Steering Committee, Digital Arts and Humanities Working Group, Humanities Institute, Ohio State 2012-2014
Editorial Board, The International Journal of Screendance 2010-2014
Editor, Extensions: The Online Journal for Embodiment and Technology 2003-2008