New York

What work is

Anthropologist Manvir Singh and dancer-choreographers Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith ask whether work is a universal human experience

It is a given that, one way or another, you need to make a livelihood. But the idea of ‘work’ as a thing that is apart from the rest of life, involving a ‘job’ and a ‘career’ is not. This evening, embark on a cross-cultural exploration of the many meanings of work, and join in speculating what the future of work might be. Can we imagine ways to work that are more humane, fairer and involve care as much as competition?

image of Manvir Singh

Manvir Singh


Manvir Singh graduated with a PhD from Harvard’s Department of Human Evolutionary Biology in 2020 and is currently a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse. Manvir’s research investigates why societies everywhere reliably develop strikingly similar cultural traditions, such as myth, law, music, witchcraft and shamanism. His research has appeared in leading academic journals, such as Science and Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and has been covered in major media outlets, including The New York Times, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal. Since 2014, he has conducted long-term ethnographic fieldwork with the Mentawai, rainforest horticulturalists of western Indonesia.

Manvir can be found on Twitter and his official website.

image of Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith

Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith


Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith have been making dances in New York since 2006. Their recent works include gloria rehearsal (excerpt) (Baryshnikov Arts Center, 2022), Gloria (Abrons Arts Center, 2021), Body Comes Apart (New York Live Arts, 2019; documented by the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library and remounted for Live Artery, 2020), Basketball (PS122 and Baryshnikov Arts Center for COIL 2017), Rude World (PS122 and The Chocolate Factory Theater for COIL 2015), Tulip (Judson Now at Danspace Project, 2012; Roulette, 2013) and Beautiful Bone (The Chocolate Factory Theater, 2012). Molly and Eleanor were 2021 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship finalists and 2021/2022 Artists in Residence at Movement Research, and they received a 2020-2021 Jerome Foundation Performance AIRSpace Residency at Abrons Arts Center, 2019 FCA Emergency Grant for Basketball, 2019 BAC Space Residency at Baryshnikov Arts Center and 2018 Family Residency at Mount Tremper Arts. They were 2018 Bessie Schonberg Fellows at The Yard and 2018 DiP residency artists at Gibney. Molly and Eleanor also featured in the critic Alastair Macaulay’s review of ‘The Best Dance of 2017’ in The New York Times for Basketball, and they received the 2016 LMCC Process Space residency, 2015 Rosas Summer Studios residency, PS122’s 2014/2015 RAMP residency and 2014 BAC Space Residency at Baryshnikov Arts Center. They were nominated for the 2013 Bessie Award for Emerging Choreographer, and received the 2013 NYFA Fellow Finalist Award.

Molly and Eleanor have taught at The New School, Sarah Lawrence College and Connecticut College. Molly received a Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in 2016, works as a certified lactation counsellor, and has two daughters, Ruby (4 years) and Gloria (1 year). Eleanor is an MFA candidate in dance at Hunter College in New York City.

Molly and Eleanor can be found on Instagram and their official website.

Event and ticketing details

Date and time

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

6:30PM ’til late


Concession - $18

Full - $25


The Jane Hotel

113 Jane Street New York 10014

  • Doors open: 6.30pm
  • Performance starts: 7.30pm sharp
  • Bar food and beverages available for purchase throughout evening
  • Access your ticket for the event QR code using the Download PDF button at the bottom of your ticket email
  • Sophia Club New York events take place in the heritage building at The Jane Hotel. If you have accessibility requirements or queries, please get in touch with our support team at
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
The Jane Hotel,
113 Jane Street New York 10014
6:30PM ’til late

The Sophia Club is a new venture from Aeon Media, the publisher of Aeon and Psyche magazines.

Aeon is based in Melbourne, Australia and we respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which our Melbourne events take place, the Wurundjeri people of the Woiworung language group of the Kulin Nation.
We value the knowledge traditions and rich practice of philosophy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia, and all First Nations peoples around the world.