Diane Torr


Originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, after graduating from Dartington College of Arts, England, Diane Torr moved to New York in 1976. Over 25 years, she developed her artistic career as an integral part of Manhattan’s lively downtown art scene. During that time, Diane created over 35 original performance works, videos and installations, and her work was presented in downtown spaces such as Franklin Furnace, The Kitchen and also in clubs including The Mudd Club, the Pyramid Club and Danceteria. Her performances have been seen internationally at venues and festivals such as an-de-werf Festival, Utrecht and Migros Museum, Zurich. She is a fellow of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and in 2003, she gained a Masters Degree in Fine Art from the Milton Avery Graduate School, Bard College, New York. In 2002, Diane moved from NYC to Glasgow where she has a studio and continues her art practice. She is a visiting lecturer at Glasgow School of Art. Diane is considered a physical philosopher – a thinker of the body. She has extensive research, knowledge and practice of several areas of body knowledge: the Japanese martial art of aikido in which she has a 3rd degree blackbelt from New York Aikikai; somatic dance forms such as Contact Improvisation, Release Technique and Movement improvisational techniques; body mechanics including kinesiology and postural alignment; and bodywork such as shiatsu massage therapy and touch-for-health. She has taught extensively at European academies such as The European Dance Development Centre (EDDC), Arnhem, The School for New Dance (SNDO), Amsterdam and Helsinki Theatre Academy. Diane is best-known internationally as one of the pioneers of “drag king” performance (female-to-male drag). In 2002, she co-directed and co-curated, together with Berlin artist, Bridge Markland, the godrag! Festival at Tacheles, Berlin. This was a groundbreaking, and now legendary, one-month long international festival of women performing masculinity, femininity and androgyny. For over 20 years, Diane has taught her renowned Man-for-a-Day workshop across Europe and North America, and in Brasilia, Istanbul and New Delhi. Her performance Drag Kings and Subjects and Man-for-a-Day workshop feature prominently in the documentary film Venus Boyz (2002). Diane has written a book about her work co-authored by Stephen Bottoms. Sex, Drag and Male Roles; Investigating Gender as Performance, which was published by University of Michigan Press in October 2010. The Man for a Day feature film by Berlin filmmaker, Katarina Peters, and in which Diane stars, premiered on February 10, 2012, as the opening film for the section, Perspektive Deutsches Kino in the 62nd Berlinale Film Festival. The film is now on general release.

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