“IT’S ALL OF ME THERE, ALL OF THE TIME”: MEANINGS AND EXPERIENCES OF A HOLISTIC VIEW OF THE INDIVIDUAL WITHIN THE CHOREOGRAPHIC COLLABORATION.
Lecturer / Ph.D. Candidate
This ethnographic research explores the dancer’s experience of choreographic collaboration. The voices of five professional contemporary dancers from New Zealand are drawn upon, seeking to understand how dancers believe they are both perceived, and perceive themselves, as holistic beings within the dance-making process. The notion of a holistic view of the individual, drawn from the person-centred theory (Rogers, 1961, 1969, 1977, 1980) is engaged as a way to understand the dancers’ creative and agentic potential within this context. Emerging from interviews, points for discussion are: being an individual, intellectual engagement, feeling cohesive, and dancing a self-responsive identity. Through addressing these ideas, aspects of a ‘dancer-centred’ paradigm will begin to be identified.
Sarah Knox is a doctoral candidate and lecturer in Dance Studies at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her teaching and research interests include dance technique and choreographic pedagogy, choreographic collaboration, performance and dance in Asia. Her doctoral research explores the acculturation of creativity within choreographic education. Sarah completed her Master of Creative and Performing Arts in 2013 investigating professional contemporary dancers’ experiences of agency within choreographic collaboration, resulting in the development of a new dancer-centered paradigm. Sarah graduated from the New Zealand School of Dance in 2001 and has had a successful performing and choreographic career.
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PERFORMING DISFIGURATION: CONSTRUCTION OF THE ‘PRIMITIVE’
AND THE AMBIGUITIES OF REPRESENTING PAIN IN KATHAKALI
Ph.D. Candidate, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Kathakali is a highly stylized dance-drama practice from the south Indian state of Kerala. The paper explores the complex performative construction of the primitive and pain in a process that I term as performing disfiguration. To look at the process of disfiguration in the context of Kathakali, I will take up the kari-veṣaṁ (black costume) and the role which it represents, the rākṣasi (she demon), and her mutilated bleeding figure niṇaṁ, as my case study to conceptualize how Kathakali deals with the articulation/manifestation of disfiguration and how the carefully controlled body of a Kathakali performer negotiates with differing terrains and modalities of performing disfiguration. How Kathakaḽi, a ‘classical’ dance form negotiates the ambiguities of performing pain and the performative construction of the primitive.
Akhila Vimal C is a PhD candidate at the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her main research interests are disfiguration and the staging of relationalities of disability, gender and caste in the Indian textual and performance practices. She has published an article titled Prosthetic rasa: dance on wheels and challenged kinesthetics in Research in Dramatic Education: The Journal of Applied Theater and Performance. She also published an interview with Kathakali maestro Chemancheri Kunjiraman Nair in Acting for the Stage, edited by Anna Weinstein and Chris Qualls, Routledge.
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EMBODIED, EMPLACED, EMBRACED:
PERFORMING THE CHAIN SWORD DANCE OF BLATO (CROATIA) IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
PhD Candidate, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney, Australia
Sydney is home to a large number of immigrants from Blato, Croatia, and is the only place in the world outside of Blato in which the kumpanjija or chain sword dance is performed. On April 25th 2015, the fiftieth consecutive performance of this dance took place, and it is on this event that the paper is focussed. Working primarily from a framework surrounding the body and sensorium, the dance event is deconstructed, noting the means through which embodied, sensorial experiences educe emotional bonding between those present at the event. The paper also examines the re-creation of Blato within a novel space: a ballroom in suburban Sydney. Finally, it explores the ways in which bodies and senses combine to elicit transnational nostalgic connections amongst performers and audience members.
Jeanette Mollenhauer is a final year PhD student who has had a lifelong interest in traditional dance, especially amongst immigrant groups in Sydney. Her doctoral research concerns the ways in which the continuation of dance practices post-immigration affects identity construction for individuals and communities as they fashion new lives in multicultural Australia. Jeanette is also a recreational folk dance teacher and the current President of Folk Dance Australia. She has presented papers on her research in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. Jeanette is a member of Ausdance, Musicological Society of Australia, ICTM, CORD and the American Folklore Society.
An earlier version of this article was developed as a conference paper published in Dance, Senses, Urban Contexts. Proceedings of the 29thSymposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology, 2016 edited by Kendra Stepputat. Herzogenrath, Germany: Shaker Verlag.
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ONLINE PRESENTATION OF AMERICAN HIGHER EDUCATION DANCE PROGRAMS OFFERING AFRICAN DANCE TECHNIQUES COURSES
Melanie Dalton, Ph.D.
Lecturer, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Greensboro, North Carolina, United States of America
Although African and African diaspora culture have shaped American heritage including dance for centuries, many dance programs in higher education continue to exclude study of African dance forms from the curricula. However, there are a growing number of university dance programs across the country choosing to incorporate African dance study in some way. This paper presents an overview of online data depicting how the study of African dance techniques is currently being included in the curricula of various dance programs at several colleges and universities across the United States. The paper examines the ranks of faculty teaching courses in African dance forms, where the courses are placed within the curriculum, and the levels of courses offered. The data from this sample of 29 programs suggest varying degrees of African dance study integration exposing inconsistencies existing among these American dance programs.
Melanie Dalton, PhD is a lecturer in Dance at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and Assistant Director of The E. Gwynn Dancers of NC A&T. Affiliated with the student company since 1993, Dalton has studied traditional dance forms in Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, South Africa, and Ghana. Dalton is a recent graduate of Texas Woman’s University. Her dissertation is titled African Dance in Diverse Higher Education Settings: Perspectives from the Practices of Five Experienced Instructors. Her research area is world dance in higher education with particular interest in dance of Africa and the African Diaspora.
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HOW DO GOVERNMENTS SUPPORT CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANIES?:
A CASE STUDY OF JAPAN AND USA
JSPS Research Fellow, Ph.D. candidate, University of Tokyo, Japan
Undergraduate student, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States of America
Most contemporary dance companies need to seek money in order to make their activities financially stable and continuous. Each country has different strategies to support their art organizations. In Japan and the United States, both economically developed, how does government support contemporary dance companies? In order to explore the financial situation of the contemporary dance companies, the authors conducted a multi-case study of four different contemporary dance companies considering the macro-level art policy in Japan and United States. Key findings are as follows: American contemporary dance companies have larger budgets than Japanese contemporary dance companies; income from dance education programs covers a small percentage of the total budget of American contemporary dance companies; and American contemporary dance companies rely more on private donations than government grants, whereas Japanese companies rely more on government grants than private donations.
Hiroki Koba is a dancer, choreographer, researcher, and a graduate student at the University of Tokyo, majoring in education. His research interest is dance education, especially the history of dance education in Japan and the U.S. As an exchange artist of the US-Japan Friendship Commission Program and as a Ph.D. candidate, he studied in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Dance Department from September of 2013 to September of 2014. His papers were published in some journals including Choreologia, which is annual journal of JSDR.
Palmer Mathews is a student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison pursuing a double major in Dance and Economics. His research interests lie in the financial management of arts organizations. In 2015, Mathews presented research on this topic in Singapore with his colleague, Hiroki Koba, at the World Dance Alliance – Asia Pacific conference. He has received a scholarship supporting a senior thesis for researching different dance making processes of different choreographers.
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