Dominican University of California
 

Presentation or Panel Title

Sonder - Locating the Unessetialised Self

Location

Guzman 201, Dominican University of California

Start Date

4-20-2017 5:00 PM

End Date

4-20-2017 5:30 PM

Department

Honors Program

Student Type

Undergraduate - Honors

Faculty Mentor

Gay Lynch, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

“Listen to me, your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest—thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.” ~ Beau Taplin

While the desire to search within for a stable, identifiable self – a temple – is understandable, within the field of dance – a field dominated by techniques and the disciplined body – the image of a temple produces an idea of self that is unhelpful. Just as a forest, though appearing to have a quantifiable identity, is comprised of emergent nuances and complexities – life and death, renewal and aging, myriad shades and temperatures – in dance, we, too, rather than “finding” an enduring, essential self, must use an alternative framework of “becoming self.” To conceive of self in this way – with an unstable core that is, in many ways, not locatable – allows us to reconcile our lived experience with the multiplicity of our future. This premises the idea that, in any given moment, we are becoming ourself. Our lived, and embodied, experiences are playing a dynamic role in emergence of self. Dance, thus, pushes at the boundaries of what we can feel, sense, perform, and become, throughout our lifetime.

To show the compelling relationship between dance and “becoming self,” my Senior Project comprises a year-long choreographic process, the resulting performance of the piece titled Sonder, and academic research drawing on the field of performance studies, dance studies, and both queer and gender theory.

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Apr 20th, 5:00 PM Apr 20th, 5:30 PM

Sonder - Locating the Unessetialised Self

Guzman 201, Dominican University of California

“Listen to me, your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest—thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.” ~ Beau Taplin

While the desire to search within for a stable, identifiable self – a temple – is understandable, within the field of dance – a field dominated by techniques and the disciplined body – the image of a temple produces an idea of self that is unhelpful. Just as a forest, though appearing to have a quantifiable identity, is comprised of emergent nuances and complexities – life and death, renewal and aging, myriad shades and temperatures – in dance, we, too, rather than “finding” an enduring, essential self, must use an alternative framework of “becoming self.” To conceive of self in this way – with an unstable core that is, in many ways, not locatable – allows us to reconcile our lived experience with the multiplicity of our future. This premises the idea that, in any given moment, we are becoming ourself. Our lived, and embodied, experiences are playing a dynamic role in emergence of self. Dance, thus, pushes at the boundaries of what we can feel, sense, perform, and become, throughout our lifetime.

To show the compelling relationship between dance and “becoming self,” my Senior Project comprises a year-long choreographic process, the resulting performance of the piece titled Sonder, and academic research drawing on the field of performance studies, dance studies, and both queer and gender theory.