• Arthleticism: Figure Skating and Modern Dance in Parallel

      Suarez, Juanita; Limer, Chiquita; The College at Brockport (12/13/2016)
      The focus of this paper will address the implication of modern dance theory of the body into the form of figure skating. Figure skating is both art and sport. Arthleticism is a term I coined specifically in figure skating, which means a skater can perform both artistically and athletically. However, the aesthetic verticality in figure skating was influenced by many different factors, but mainly from classical ballet. The goal of this paper is to challenge the form of figure skating with three-dimensional body movement on ice, and the key to achieve that is the awareness and utilization of the spine through modern dance practice.
    • David Gordon: Exploring All Sides

      Maloney, Mariah; Frazier-Smith, Matthew (12/20/2018)
      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.
    • Tap Dance Choreography: An exploration of tradition and innovation

      Carrasco, Tammy; Silveira Karnas, Luiza; The College at Brockport (4/1/2018)
      Tap dance is a genuine American art form that has evolved from consolidated traditions to unexpected innovations in its technique and aesthetic. With awareness to social and cultural contexts, I aim to clarify the cyclical process between tradition and innovation in tap dance choreography. Through critical investigation of tap history, thorough study of the aesthetics developed by avant-garde female choreographers, and detailed description of my own creative process, I address choreographic possibilities in which tap dancing can evolve based on the relationship between tradition and innovation inherent to this dance form. With a research scope focused on women, this thesis also discusses about female role in tap throughout history and how choreographers like Chloe Arnold and Michelle Dorrance have achieved authority and recognition in the tap dance field. Ultimately, my purpose is to promote and cultivate tap dance making as an artistic process by fostering the dialogue between innovation and tradition in my personal choreographic investigation.
    • Dance and Sport

      Oliver, Suzanne; Corvera, Anna H.; Alejo, Yokastheline; Buehler, Elizabeth; The College at Brockport (4/17/2014)
      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.
    • A Choreographic Exploration of Judeo-Christian Themes

      Davis, Jacqueline; Duane, Beverly Cordova (5/1/1987)
      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.
    • TheROOTS : Bridging the Gap Between Africa, Minstrelsy and Hip Hop

      Saleem, Khalid; Bailey, Danisha Nicole; The College at Brockport (5/1/2006)
      TheROOTS: Bridging the Gap between Afi"ica, Minstrelsy and Hip Hop IS a thesis project written to look at the effects minstrelsy had on the early development of black dance in the United States, to pay tribute to Professor Sterling Stuckey's research on "slave culture," and the African-based tradition of the "Ring Shout," which is performed in the Southern United States, as well as examine the contributions that African American, Jamaican, Afro-Brazilian and Puerto Rican culture, dance and music had on the early development of hip hop. The root of Hip Hop shows how artistic movements can be a vehicle for social change, cultural identity and passive/aggressive resistance against oppression.
    • Mapping: The Relationships Between Concert and Commercial Dance

      Keefe, Maura; Kaplan, Nicole; The College at Brockport (5/1/2013)
      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.
    • Combined Perspectives: Re-determining Aesthetic Value through Cultural Immersion

      Suarez, Juanita; Wang, Yang; The College at Brockport (5/1/2014)
      This study examines the shift of a personal aesthetic value in dance through experiencing the different dance educations and cultures in the different countries. Through the demonstration of the dance education I obtained in both China and the United States, I aim to illustrate why and how my previous aesthetics in dance and choreography were developed and expanded. In Chapter two, it demonstrates a circular theory that I observed from the study of Chinese classical dance and American modem dance. Through deep analysis of the different dance training systems, aesthetics, and cultures, I explained why these two types of dance look differently although a circular motion similarly exists in both of the dance styles. The observation of Laban Movement Analysis furthered my research as it developed my acknowledgment of a circular theory and how it aesthetically and culturally influenced me as an international artist. Through observing the movement qualities, space harmony, and choreographic procedures in different sections in the dance work Time Line, Space Point, I illustrated how my re-determination of aesthetic value in dance has been changed through a visual demonstration.
    • An Analysis of the Rivero Modern Dance Technique

      Fraleigh, Sandra; Cumberbatch-Lynch, Gene; The College at Brockport (5/12/2001)
      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.
    • Body Language: Seeking a Living Vocabulary for the Dancing Body

      Suarez, Juanita; Culley, Colleen Theresa; The College at Brockport (5/13/2015)
      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.
    • Climb into your skin: A Look at Personal Intimacy in Gaga Practice and Performance

      Oakes, Stephanie; Bernat, Morgan; The College at Brockport (5/13/2016)
      This paper looks to combine the seemingly disparate worlds of dance and psychological theory to unravel the work of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. The investigation hopes to further understand Naharin’s work beyond what is physically seen and what could potentially be felt by his dancers. Using one of Naharin’s most noted works as the subject of investigation, this paper questions if through the physically, mentally, emotionally challenging work of Naharin’s technique, Gaga, the physical practice of dance becomes a multi-faceted inquiry of the soul.
    • Translating Embodiment: A Look at Language and Cognition of Dance Performance from Studio to Stage

      Oakes, Stephanie; Johnson, Samantha E.; The College at Brockport (5/13/2016)
      “Cognition is embodied insofar as it emerges not from an intricately unfolding cognitive program, but from a dynamic dance in which body, perception, and world guide each other’s step,” says cognitive dance researcher Edward C. Warburton. This research connects phenomenological theories of embodiment with long-standing and emerging theories of cognitive science. Specifically, it discusses cognitive science topics of the “thinking body,” autopoiesis, appraisal and arousal, kinesthetic empathy, and linguistic determinism with an eye towards the dancing body. How might such scientific notions play into answering questions of corporeity and embodiment explored so exquisitely in dance creation and performance? How might we use the dancing body as a site of cognitive embodiment research? With cognitive scientific terminology as a guiding lens of analysis, we open up a new, concerned point of view for what it means to embody, understand, and generate meaning.
    • Dance Theater—The Physical Art of Perception

      Carrasco, Tammy; Wang, Jiali (5/13/2017)
      This research analyzes the inner energy of human perception and the invisible effect and influence between perception and physical dance theatre. Not only the insight and interpretation of the relationship between the psychological and physical area, but also the analysis of aesthetics, thinking, and concept from a perceptual process to physical language in different works of physical dance theatre. In this way we come to understand how artists create works as a perceptual process, and how audiences perceive expression in terms of artists’ intention and intuition. Through physical movement in the theater and the language on the stage, people perceive creative thought as a reflection of the historical or current state of a society and changeable world. My thesis is a study of physical language in dance theatre with both psychological and physical analysis. Therefore, in the form of physical dance theatre, we feel the spirit inside their movement language, much like the conversation of a human self through the perception of a physical, theatrical, spiritual, psychological, and unknown world.
    • Body Percussion, Choreography and the Concert Stage: Developing Diasporic Literacy Among American Audiences

      Carrasco, Tammy; Woolever, Audrey (5/14/2020)
      modern dance by researching body percussion specifically. This is not to say that body percussion is a part of American modern dance. Rather, I am interested in incorporating elements of body percussion within a modern dance work in order to draw out Africanist aesthetics that can be found in both body percussion and modern dance today. Through an analysis of such aesthetics found in body percussion, my goal is to trace how these characteristics are woven into American modern dance and serve as foundational aesthetics to the Europeanist art form. My research will also investigate African diaspora during the postmodern era to shed more light on the idea of intertextuality in twenty-first century modern dance. To fulfill the creative portion of my thesis requirement, I will create a work that blends body percussion, full-bodied movement and the rhythmic musicality that interests me as a modern dancer. By incorporating elements of body percussion with modern dance, my artistic research is preceded by a dissecting of movement to identify its Africanist influences. Proceeding this step, my work attempts to visually illustrate how the amalgamation of both showcases the inherent roots of Africanisms in European American modern dance and, how this can lead to greater acknowledgement of the Africanist aesthetic.
    • Moments of Geopolitical Choreography: Performance of Cultural Ideals in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Beyond

      Keefe, Maura; Bohman, Allison; The College at Brockport (5/15/2015)
      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 (5/15/2015)
      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.
    • Katherine Dunham Technique and Philosophy: A Holistic Dance Pedagogy

      Suarez, Juanita; Christie Gonzalez, Molly E.; The College at Brockport (5/16/2015)
      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.
    • Oshun, Xica and the Sambista: The Black Female Body as Image of Nationalist Expression

      Warner, Kevin; Akinjiola, Oluyinka A.; The College at Brockport (5/17/2014)
      The context of this work explores black female iconography from the African Diaspora including Oshún, Xica da Silva, and the Deusa de Ebano. These representations of black female dancing bodies are integrated into images of nationalist expressions in Brazil, Cuba and Nigeria. Oshún, the Yoruba deity from Nigeria and Benin represents ultimate femininity from the African perspective. Xica da Silva was an Afro-Brazilian slave who became the richest woman in Minas Gerais through her romantic union with João Fernandez. The Deusa de Ebano, or ebony goddess, becomes the symbol of blocos afros during the yearly celebration of Carnaval in Salvador, Brazil.
    • In the Margins: Dance Studies, Feminist Theories and the Public Performance of Identity

      Keefe, Maura; Zdrojewski, Julia; The College at Brockport (6/6/2014)
      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.
    • Reverence for Éire: Expanding the Tradition

      Suarez, Juanita; Kelly, Briana B.; The College at Brockport (7/1/2017)
      Many aspects of Irish movement have been lost or forgotten due to the emphasis on oral tradition. Other features of Irish culture, literature for example, were well-documented, while Irish dance was neglected. This thesis recognizes the Irish body as an important historical site to research as well as a vessel for immense creative potential. It is an example of the exploration and documentation necessary for such a vast and varied subject. For centuries prior to the 1990’s Irish dance revival, Irish dance was known by those who participated in the dance form and was otherwise unknown to the global population. But, after the debut of Riverdance Irish dance became a global phenomenon. Now what? How can Irish dance be presented on stage in alternative ways? What impact can it have now? My research is focused on how Irish dance can not only exist but thrive within a contemporary context. Irish dance is still at such a beginning and I aim to uncover its creative potential through physical exploration and choreographic innovation. My aim is to establish a new set of relations through which Irish dance can be seen and recognized by challenging some defining limitations of the form.