Author

Avery Mauel

Date of Award

2014

First Advisor

Wendy Shifrin

Second Advisor

Kathryn Boswell

Third Advisor

Chris Coggins

Abstract

PNEÚMA is a two part thesis that explores the use of breath in movement and creative inspiration while also investigating meditative and therapeutic techniques that combine breathing and movement. The performance was about 20 minutes of dance choreographed by myself. The content was inspired by breath in a variety of contexts including, but not limited to, silence, communication, connection, coming into self and body, and spirituality. The set was comprised of three hollow fabric columns suspended from the ceiling and reaching the floor. Researched topics are qigong practices and Mind-Body Centering therapy. Qigong has evolved into a practice involving a series of movements and breathing exercises that align body and mind. While exploring the practice itself, chapter two examines examines how this body awareness and body practice is used as self-empowering force outside government strictures in Post-Maoist China. Mind-Body Centering therapy, discussed in chapter three, is a similar practice that aligns body and mind to form a unified and compassionate being. This practice occurs in a private space but the effects are gradually seen in the public body as the individual gains more awareness and self-acceptance. The final chapter recounts the experiences during my production process, goes into length explaining the process behind each piece, the set, and the costumes. This chapter also details how meaningful creating such an excellent production was to my personal growth and finding a true passion.

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