Graduation Date

5-2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Department

Music, Dance and Performing Arts

Director of the Honors Program

Gigi Gokcek, Ph.D.

First Reader

Molly Rogers, M.F.A.

Second Reader

Gay Lynch, Ph.D.

Abstract

For my Senior Dance Project, which represents the culminating work of the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program, I created a work of choreography with a chosen cast of five dancers and explored the vast theme of memory. The choreographic process helped me narrow down and identify the specific theme I wanted to explore, namely, the relationship of memory to the physical and moving body. As the piece developed and as I drew more experience from working with my dancers, I became particularly interested in the body as a repository of truth and how the body sustains truthful knowledge over significant periods of time. My research led me to uncovering such topics as social memory (shared history that shapes our perception of ourselves as part of a social group), inscribed transmissions of memories and, conversely, memory as embodied cognition. These I will explore in great depth, in order to show the following: a bodily retention of memory is more important than inscribed transmission, i.e., remembering the exact factual aspects of the past. Drawing on the process and time with my dancers, as well as the final product presented onstage, Scattered Swirls will begin to uncover a source of memory that extends far beyond the mere lobes of the brain. This investigation is valuable both personally and universally, because uncovering collected knowledge can help make sense of the fading past while continuing to move through the present; in a word, memory will always be sustained in the physical body.

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Dance Commons

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