Friday, May 2, 2014

#whydancematters - Happy National Dance Week!

Happy National Dance Week!

Why does dance matter?

For the past few months, I've been working with a group of university dancers. In addition to exploring dance technique, we explored parallels between dance and life, adding intention to their performance and my composition. This year, marking the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, I felt it important to include discussions and physical investigations of ways that our country has changed and continues to change into the semester. Through guided exercises, the dancers explored how non-verbal communication provides insight into an individual, beyond what might be said aurally. The dancers embodied movements from each other and in doing so, reported that they felt they better understood their classmates and developed deeper friendships. They experienced kinesthetic empathy and further understood this term from a scholarly perspective by reading literature, discussing their research, and participating in live performance as dancers and audience members.

I understand that some people who haven't been exposed to Modern Dance or abstract art may find a Concert Dance performance challenging. To help their audience understand the journey of the work, I asked my dancers to provide some insight into their own processes. I invited them to reflect:
What have you discovered - or what layers have you uncovered during this process?
What will you take away from this process? What are some of the things you have learned?
What do you want the audience to know about these pieces? What do you want the audience to take away from this performance?

I projected their words during their performance and am including them below.


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