Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program

Dance

Project Advisor 1

Peggy Florin

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Rather than defining my artistic values, it seems more honest to speak of describing the interaction of multiple sensibilities and intentions and to induce the values that are already present in material created. The process of selecting and arranging material, on the micro level of each movement and macro level of the piece, necessarily involves a manifestation of values in that choices and preferences necessarily involve value. The process of evaluation does not necessarily involve rational or even conscious thought; intuitively, each person experiences, processes, and understands the universe differently, and each will express a unique manifestation. For this reason, imposing a formal process to create movement reveals a unique and specific sensibility. Each iteration of a formal structure creates unique and revealing material, with which the practice of selection and arrangement can interact.

In approaching the solo piece that later became BackViewFace, I had been puzzling over the inability to know yourself, the hollowness of that conceit and the strength of the urge to know more. Each person seems to be disjointed, fragmented even, constantly reinventing self-image and attitude, unable to reach final conclusions. A process of examination and judgement ensues, an inspection of components and qualities. There is something tender and simultaneously assertive about recognizing the multiplicity and continuities of selves that occur in interacting and experiencing. I wanted to make more concrete the sensation of self-reflection. To me this includes an acceptance of vulnerability, a willingness to reconcile with a holistic understanding of the self. One image I was inspired by was ‘Vitruvian Man’, the drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci. I was struck by the simplicity of representing the human body, the physical honesty of the drawing that also signifies the mysterious nature of individuals.

The trio entitled First Play and Playing on works with how imagined environments and contexts inform the style of movement as well as the meaning movement signifies to both viewer and dancer. In the solo portion of the piece, phrases selected and arranged from a David Foster Wallace story are, spoken by myself as I dance, playing off the fragmentation of the narrative. In the duet section of the piece, both dancers interact aurally with selected samples from ‘Attaboy’, a song by Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Stuart Duncan, and Edgar Meyer. The two contexts, one derived from traditional, textual narrative, and the other from the musical tradition in dance, reveals potential narratives in the dancing that occurs simultaneously to the verbal and musical narrative, while the dancing provides embodied action upon which to situate contextual narratives.

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