• A Choreographic Exploration of Judeo-Christian Themes

      Davis, Jacqueline; Duane, Beverly Cordova (1987-05-01)
      This thesis investigates the potential of using the art form of dance, in a secular setting, to educate religious thought, and elicit an uncommon way of worship. Three Judeo-Christian themes, Grace, Prayer, and Body, form the creative inspiration for this choreographic thesis project. Within this thesis, grace is defined as the freedom from the need to strive or work with effort; prayer is the physical, emotional, mental or spiritual communication with God; and body represents both the “Body of Christ,” and the Christian Church, as well as the human body as an image of God. Bach’s “Magnificat in D Major” was chosen as the musical score for its central importance in portraying Judeo-Christian spirituality. The score was performed in the original German and Latin languages, to allow the music itself to inform the choreography. The resulting septet suite of ecclesiastical dance was performed in the secular theatre setting of Hartwell Hall, and its examination and evaluation form the basis for the text of this thesis.
    • An Analysis of the Rivero Modern Dance Technique

      Fraleigh, Sandra; Cumberbatch-Lynch, Gene; The College at Brockport (2001-05-12)
      The Rivero Modern Dance Technique, which incorporated elements of the Graham Technique to serve as a model, developed out of Afro-Cuban folk forms. It is not widely known outside of Cuba. This study proposes to analyze this technique and to show its uniqueness in style and form.
    • An Exploration of the Success of Implementing a Creative Movement Lesson in a Special Education Classroom

      Schwarz, Kaleigh C.; The College at Brockport (2011-01-01)
      This study describes the experience of implementing a creative movement lesson in a special education classroom. The lesson was videotaped for further analysis by the researcher, and students were interviewed by the researcher following the lesson to detail their feelings about the experience. The researcher hoped to identify perceived successes and note possible challenges for the instructor and students when implementing a creative movement lesson. Participants in this study were 3rd-5th grade students from a suburban elementary school in Western, NY. The district serves primarily working, middle class families, and all participants were in the mid to low socio-economic range. Each participant received special education services in a 12: 1 : 1 classroom setting. In this setting, the amount of adult support is maximized for students' academic needs because there is a ratio of 12 students to 1 teacher and 1 teaching assistant, and the class size cannot exceed 12 students. Disability classifications for the students included learning disability, speech language impairment and other health impairment. Student participants did not present with any physical disabilities or restrictions.
    • Ballet No Kata

      Oakes, Stephanie; DeLorme, Katherine J.; The College at Brockport (2015-05-12)
      The purpose of this this is to investigate the relationship between ballet and judo. Ballet and judo are movement practices that emerged from specific cultural contexts, are codified forms that maintain traditions of the origin while continuing to evolve to new generations of practitioners, and both require coordination between the body and the mind to be performed successfully. To gain a deeper understanding of these physical parallels between ballet and judo, I went beyond my daily practice to study the movement vocabulary. I learned the first three sets of the traditional judo kata, Nage No Kata, which served as inspiration for an original ballet movement study that I created and performed. It was important to my investigation that my choreographed work be a duet. Classical ballet is performed as an individual or with others in a duet, trio or group. However, judo cannot be done without a partner. In judo, whether in contest or kata, the uke and the tori are always facing one another; close contact is required for the throws to occur. When creating “Ballet No Kata’’, my initial inclination was to establish the same spatial relationship between the dancing bodies. Yet, while partnered dancers may be in an intimate proximity to one another, rarely do they stand face to face. Such a stance would not be consistent with classical ballet’s presentation of the body to the audience. As I created “Ballet No Kata”, I was also interested in how two dancing bodies could be in an established relationship without being physically connected. Relationship is critical in both ballet and judo; there must be trust, synchronization and understanding between the bodies no matter their orientation in space. During the course of this research, both the analysis and the performance, I was able to move beyond the expression of a personal journey to show the interdisciplinary link between practices. There is a lack of connection between the world of dance, and the other physical disciplines that fall under the dichotomy of sport. By analyzing the movements in the ballet vocabulary and the judo vocabulary and finding parallels, I hope to present greater acknowledgement that these two worlds are closely related. Moreover, movers of any kind are informed from their lifetime of physical work. When parallels are made between past and current experiences, the information can be drawn upon to supplement growth.
    • Body Language: Seeking a Living Vocabulary for the Dancing Body

      Suarez, Juanita; Culley, Colleen Theresa; The College at Brockport (2015-05-13)
      Language is an important part of the dance tradition, used by dance teachers to convey images and understandings of the body for technical skill and expressive development. Furthermore, language does not exist in isolation; it shapes understanding and reveals the conceptual undertones of understanding. Recognizing language as a possible site to integrate theory and practice, I began to ask, "How does the cuing commonly used in dance education influence understandings of the dancing body?" In order to investigate this question I analyzed language commonly used in dance classrooms based on the contemporary metaphor theories developed by cognitive theorists George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. Through this lens, I noticed an important distinction between language that references the dancing body through non-living metaphors as very different than language where the body is spoken of in terms of a living system. This research identifies several common metaphors used in dance in which the body is understood in terms of non-living systems like instruments, machines, computers, commodities, and wars. Next, this research looks at movement practices where the body is understood as a living, generative and changing system. The focus of this section is on somatic practices, especially Continuum and the work of Liz Koch, where the possibility of change towards what is possible is the preference. Finally, based on this research, I suggest that dance and movement educators develop a practice of attending to the language of training the dancing body; after all it is a powerful tool for affecting potential.
    • Conscious Conversations: An Experiential Study of Improvisation in Sound and Movement

      Maloney, Mariah; Gonzalez, Maya S.; The College at Brockport (2015-06-16)
      Art is a conscious practice. It is a method of live manifestation and a process of creative and individual expression. We perceive art and its meaning both physically and metaphysically through the vessels of body and mind, bridging connections between the abstract and the explicit. Creative process offers a method through which we may open our minds and channel inspirations so that we can explore and manifest greater meaning than ourselves. Art is the connective tissue of consciousness. Art offers truth beyond what we seem to know, and it intrigues us in ways that pull us deeper into the void of being. As it manifests, art is all one mechanism of life. Knowing that art operates from a place void of distinction, we can recognize opportunities to close the circle on differentiations we have defined—even within art itself. Artistic expression has been categorized into separate entities, defining lines between music, dance, poetry and theatre, among many other self-proclaimed forms. Different channels of creativity are segregated by form, restricted to their world of creative expression. But bringing forms together in free-flowing play illuminates the universal language of creativity and inspires personal creative exploration. This project operates on two levels of creative conversation: it seeks to diminish those lines through collaborative improvisational explorations between music and dance, and, through a synthesis of research and practice, establishes awareness of the bodymind- spirit relationship in improvisation. By bringing music and dance into one creative space while investigating the conversation between body, mind and spirit, the creative process is altered, freeing expression from form and offering new palettes for play.
    • Dance and Sport

      Oliver, Suzanne; Corvera, Anna H.; Alejo, Yokastheline; Buehler, Elizabeth; The College at Brockport (2014-04-17)
      The purpose of this research is to investigate dance and sport as two individual yet intertwining fields. Areas of inquiry include the artistic/aesthetic sports of the Olympic Games particularly rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming, and ice dancing; the artistry and athleticism of cheerleading, dance team, and dancesport; the athleticism in dance companies such as STREB, Pilobolus, Bandaloop, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre; and the athleticism in the dance training system of Lester Horton. Similarities in corporeal and intellectual practices of athletes and dancers are also explored as they manifest in cross-training, somatics, dance and sports medicine, higher education, and collaboration. The culmination of my research is the creation of Sound Mind Sound Body, a choreographic work bringing a team of dancers together to collaborate and train as athletes as well as performing artists.
    • Dance Integration Professional Developments: Impacts of Dance in Teaching

      Carson, Christian; Cogovan, Haylee; State University of New York College at Brockport (2020-09-14)
      Imagine you are back in elementary school. What is the first memory that comes to mind? Are you drawing a picture of your pet? Are you playing your favorite game in gym? Are you working on fun projects? It is likely that the significant knowledge you gained was not reinforced through routine worksheets or standardized tests. Students recollect information more readily and clearly when their learning is engaging and fun. A great way to get students involved and engaged in learning is through arts integration. “Arts integration is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form” (Silverstein & Layne, 2010, p. 1).
    • Dancing as a Tool for Successful Transitioning to Adulthood for Individuals with Disabilities

      Pérez Rodríguez, Edith Mariely; The College at Brockport (2016-12-13)
      The purpose of this synthesis project was to identify the skills dancing can develop in individuals with disabilities that can help them have a successful transition into adulthood. This project aimed to identify information on the benefits of dance and match those benefits to important transitioning skills found in the literature. Life after school can be an area in which young individuals with disabilities can face many challenges. Challenges include socializing, physical inactivity, unemployment, and relationships, among others. Findings from this synthesis project show that dance has both major and minor benefits in the lives of individuals. Socialization and physical fitness were identified as major benefits. These findings coincide with the findings on major needs for transitioning in which the major need that emerged was socialization. Conclusions were made that dance programs should be designed to maximize their socialization benefits to maximize their effect on the transition to adulthood of individuals with disabilities. Recommendations were also made that the physical benefits of dance provide an additional advantage to transitioning as many jobs that individuals with disabilities may acquire are of a physical nature.
    • Dancing With Hitler: Examining the Movements of the Nazi Movement and Geopolitics of Dance

      Bohman, Allison; The College at Brockport (2013-01-01)
      Dancing With Hitler: Examining the Movements of the Nazi Movement and Geopolitics of Dance The physical location of the body combined with the political climate of a given culture plays critical role in shaping what kind of movement aesthetic is accepted by society. In examining the geopolitics of dance with a focus on Nazi Germany between the years 1930-1945, this presentation discusses what was happening to dance in Europe under Hitler’s control. From being utilized as a weapon of manipulation and propaganda, to dictating what art could be created, to forcing dancers to flee the artistic oppression and collaborate with Western dancers, there is no denying the sway geography and politics had in influencing modern dance. Dance has the power to control; and Hitler’s Nazi party was cunning in utilizing the strength of physical movements to literally mobilize an entire nation into falling under their oppression. Whether it was militaristic marching, or the infamous Nazi out-stretched arm, the movements implemented by this regime combined with inevitable geopolitical factors ultimately impacted dance as we know it today.
    • David Gordon: Exploring All Sides

      Maloney, Mariah; Frazier-Smith, Matthew (2018-12-20)
      Regarded as one of the founders of postmodern dance, David Gordon is a revolutionary choreographer, theater director, and performer. Gordon often blurs the perceived boundaries between theater, dance, and performance art by utilizing a subversive approach to art making, and his ability to produce and maintain ambiguity is at the heart of his work. Through an examination of interviews, scholarly analysis, performance reviews, and Gordon’s repertory, this research highlights the inventive methodologies Gordon employs in order to generate ambiguity within various performative contexts. The primary site of inquiry for investigating these methodologies is Gordon’s Dancing Henry Five (2011). This dance demonstrates three of Gordon’s primary techniques for producing ambiguity as a choreographer: exploring all sides of movement material and props in order to redefine their utilities and meanings; reframing relationships between various production elements to reveal a banquet of possible interpretations; and employing a neutral performance quality of the dancers to allow the perception of the content to remain mutable. These ground-breaking methods for producing and maintaining ambiguity are central to Gordon’s iconoclastic repertory, and they allow for his work to breathe anew with each reinterpretation.
    • Freedom, Gravity, and Grace pt.1

      Fraleigh, Sondra Horton; The College at Brockport (1999-01-01)
      The author begins her discussion on the relationship of freedom, gravity and grace to the field of dance.
    • Freedom, Gravity, and Grace pt.2

      Fraleigh, Sondra Horton; The College at Brockport (2000-10-01)
      In this article, the author concludes her exploration of the relationships between the elements in the title (freedom, gravity and grace), and shows how the dancer utilizes them to expand the range of freedom and art.
    • In the Margins: Dance Studies, Feminist Theories and the Public Performance of Identity

      Keefe, Maura; Zdrojewski, Julia; The College at Brockport (2014-06-06)
      During the last decade of the twentieth century, there was a rush of ideologies and theories, discussed and applied to dance, shifting traditional dance history into dance studies. Of particular interest in this paper, is the strong relationship with dance and feminist theories. The historical and social context of feminism and dance scholarship became and still is a topic of politics, representation and meaning. Female bodies playing a key role in dance evokes questions of how feminist theories help performers and non-performers alike better understand gender and gender roles in performances. Within the topic of dance scholarship, this paper will address what a feminist is, where and how feminist theories and the study of dance first met, as well as reference specific works and choreographers that showcase the connection between the two. Specific attention will be paid to four different women who are considered literary, dance and/or feminist icons, including Isadora Duncan, Zelda Fitzgerald, Patti Smith and Yvonne Rainer. The writer will focus on these four women and the public performance of feminist identities as it relates to each of them individually, as well as their writing- biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, etc. In addition, it will seek to answer what a feminist dance looks like, according to the writer, and how this idea can change and modify according to the audience members, or viewers. Lastly, it will work to question whether or not there has been a shift in feminist theories as they relate to dance and the power of the relationship today.
    • Katherine Dunham Technique and Philosophy: A Holistic Dance Pedagogy

      Suarez, Juanita; Christie Gonzalez, Molly E.; The College at Brockport (2015-05-16)
      Artist/scholar/educator Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) focused her life’s work on finding ways to educate people about themselves and each other, through a pedagogy that emphasized an integration of the thinking mind, emotional self and expressive physical body.Over her lifetime as an educator, anthropologist, performer, choreographer, writer, activist, and humanist, she developed and enacted a holistic model of pedagogy that remains an exemplary model in the field of education. The Dunham Pedagogy promotes intercultural awareness and understanding, social skills development, artistic training, and encourages scholarly pursuit, through its foundation in the Dunham Philosophies of Form and Function, Intercultural Communication and Socialization Through the Arts. This thesis will trace Dunham’s dual training in dance and anthropology and the intertwined development of the Dunham Technique, Philosophies, and Pedagogy. It will explore the underlying values and aesthetics present in the physical Technique, the cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary curriculum within Dunham schools, the role and practice of a teacher within a Dunham classroom, and the process of Dunham Teacher Certification.
    • Mapping: The Relationships Between Concert and Commercial Dance

      Keefe, Maura; Kaplan, Nicole; The College at Brockport (2013-05-01)
      Mapping: The Relationships Between Concert and Commercial Dance investigates the dichotomy of concert and commercial dance performance in the 21st century. Commonly set as polar opposites along a vertical hierarchy of value, I instead propose a horizontal spectrum based solely on context. I argue that context, the who, what, where, when, why, and sometimes how of dance making is what not only frames a particular work, but determines how the audience will then make meaning from what they see on stage. While both ends of the continuum have the potential to perpetuate stereotypes and accepted norms, I investigate the choreographic process itself to determine how those expectations either fulfill or challenge the work in fruition. I begin by defining concert and commercial dance as distinct forms of performance, intentionally setting them as absolutes as a way of illustrating the accepted hierarchy from high to low. I then deconstruct the notion of context by elaborating on each fundamental element as an equal contributor to the overall performance. Using examples from The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Twyla Tharp, Mia Michaels, and Rennie Harris as support, I demonstrate how acclaimed artists today have already began exploring this continuum on both stages of concert and commercial dance alike. I conclude with a description of two projects that I have worked on as a way of exploring dance performance through the lens of context. I first discuss Mapping, the physical embodiment of the preceding research, followed by a description of Brockport Breaks the Chain, a community-based dance project.
    • Math in Motion: How Integrating Dance and into a Math Classroom Affects a Student’s Ability to Learn

      Van Wormer, Vanessa; Buranich, Rebecca; The College at Brockport (2016-05-13)
      This research explores how placing dance and whole body movements into the math classroom at an elementary level help children better understand and develop a greater appreciation of basic mathematical concepts. More specifically, it looks at what effect the muscle memory that is developed while moving has on retaining information in a scholastic setting. Due to decreased funding in schools, programs in the arts are disappearing. I look at the positive effects of the arts in schools and how the integration and implementation of them with a core subject can be essential to a child’s learning experience. With the help of research from Karl Schaffer and Erik Stern, specialists in the field of math and dance for over thirty years, connections are made between the studies of mathematics and dance. Lesson plans focus on dance concepts with pattern recognition, symmetry, and basic geometry at an elementary level to improve mathematical thinking in children through the methods of the Multiple Intelligences Theory and Arts Integration.
    • Moments of Geopolitical Choreography: Performance of Cultural Ideals in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Beyond

      Keefe, Maura; Bohman, Allison; The College at Brockport (2015-05-15)
      This research analyzes the standardized regimens of bodily training characteristic of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union and dance in general. Not only were the movements of daily life such as gesture choreographed within these contexts, but also the dance scene at large was highly designed to represent the political ideals of the government. Through analysis of gesture, marching parades and mass movement choirs in Nazi Germany combined with discussion of censorship and artistic repossession in Soviet ballet, themes of conformity and individuality are extrapolated to trends in movement culture in the United States today. This is a study of bodies, not much different than our own—these bodies once moved through contexts we never will fully get to embody ourselves, but through looking at what physical movements defined their experiences, we can begin to grasp a better understanding of the history they moved through. Looking at history from the lens of movement and dance opens up a wider knowledge of the world we live in today. Dance inherently puts meaning into motion, and this written research puts physical motion into meaning. Your body is a sponge, absorbing the geopolitical climate you move through, and as you dance through life, consider the context and how it is leaving its inevitable mark on you.
    • Somatic Value System for Life and its Integration into Dance Practices

      Maloney, Mariah; Good, Bethany; The College at Brockport (2015-05-15)
      As somatic practices become increasingly included in dance degree programs in higher education, it is important to understand how they influence teaching, dancing and choreographing. This thesis is an investigation in how dance practices are influenced by the integration of values defined through somatic practices. After defining somatics for the purpose of this work, the author’s personal somatic values are defined as the existence of truths in the body, a sensory component, and ease of movement. This work will demonstrate how somatic values can impact dance practices including teaching, performing and choreographing. Scientific knowledge and imagery are presented as supports for developing somatic integration. In addition to exploring the role of scientific knowledge and imagery in relation to somatic experiences, this work looks at dance professionals and scholars who have integrated their somatic ideals into dance practices. These professionals include Erick Hawkins, Eva Karczag and Jane Hawley. The work concludes with a written reflection by the author based on personal applications of somatic values into the creative choreographic process.
    • Teaching Culture Through Dance to Kindergarten Students

      Ekeze, Karen; The College at Brockport (2006-12-01)
      The arts are a defining part of our personal culture and history as well as a means to understand and experience global culture and history. According to the New York State Social Studies Curriculum, kindergarteners should be developing self-awareness and growing as individuals; teaching these concepts, through the arts, helps students answer basic questions about themselves and others. In order to address the scarcity of accessible resources, this thesis project creates and explores how to incorporate both creative dance and cultural dance into kindergarten social studies curriculum while addressing the kindergarten NYS Social Studies standards. The creative lesson plans (included in the Appendices) provide educators, with or without a background in dance, an accessible way to use dance to help students explore their own unique qualities as well as similarities and commonalities to others. The objective of the unit was twofold. First, the students received instruction in creative dance and second, they viewed and learned a dance from another culture. The active research was conducted in a rural district in Western New York, in a general education kindergarten classroom with ten participants. The unit plans include six, 30 minute lessons. Pre and post questionnaires and field notes were analyzed and study conclusions include the observation that while the unit of instruction was effective, more time is required, developmentally and experientially, for students at this level to realize the full benefit of dance as part of the social studies curriculum.