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Diane Torr

First at Khoj
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DIANE TORR is a performance artist, writer, director and educator who developed her career in New York over a period of 25 years. In the past three years, she has taken up residence in Glasgow, where she was invited to teach an interdisciplinary course at Glasgow School of Art, and to work with the company Mischief-La Bas, Glasgow, in a new devised production, Painful Creatures (2004). She had previously worked with them on a production of Bull(1998) at Tramway. Her solo performances, in which she impersonates various male characters, “are rendered with an understated intensity in their close inspection of so-called masculine characteristics.”(The Villager, NYC). She has also found a niche in popular culture as the creator of Drag King Workshops, which she began teaching in 1989. Diane presents her solo performances in performance venues, museums and theatre festivals – including PS122 New York, Whitney Museum, New York, I.C.A. London, SUSHI San Diego, TNT Bordeaux, and Schmidt Theatre, Hamburg. Her group works, in which she directs and sometimes performs, are frequently adaptations from literature, such as Maldoror’s Grey Lark (from Lautreamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror) or deal with specific issues such as identity and cross dressing, as in Context:Desire (1995), and are produced by such venues as The Arches, Glasgow, Oval House Theatre, London, Judson Church and La Mama Theatre, New York. In teaching her gender transformation workshops, Diane has worked extensively in the gay and trans communities in New York, and through Glasgow Women’s Library, Glasgay, Diverse Arts, and Glasgow University. In 1995, BBC2 interviewed Diane and presented her work as part of its QED series. She is the main protagonist in Gabriel Baur’s feature film VENUS BOYZ (2002), and her work has been the subject of profiles in publications including: The Scotsman, Glasgow Herald, GQ, Washington Post, Village Voice, The Guardian, The Independent, German Vogue and others. In July 2002, Torr co-directed “godrag!” in Berlin – the First International Festival of women performing femininity, masculinity, androgyny, and drag in theatre and cabaret. This festival represented ten years of Torr’s teaching and performing in theatre and art academies throughout Europe, with performances by Torr and by ex-students and colleagues from New York, Berlin, Leeds, Vienna, Italy and Scandinavia. In 2003, Torr received her MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate Center for the Arts, Bard College, New York. She holds a third degree black belt in Aikido from New York Aikiki, where she practised the Japanese martial art of Aikido for 25 years. Diane is a Fellow of the Whitney Museum Independent Studies Program and of the Macdowell Art Colony. Personal grants and awards include New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Lila Wallace Readers Digest Fund, Yorkshire Arts, and Art Matters, among others.