Bachelor of Fine Arts
Music, Dance and Performing Arts
Director of the Honors Program
Lynn Sondag, MFA
Gay Lynch, PhD
Casey Thorne, MFA
This thesis explores the themes from Walking Each Other Home, the work I choreographed as part of my graduation requirements in the Alonzo King Lines BFA Program at Dominican University. I begin by making the case for the academic discussion of dance, including barriers to the development of the field and my place in it. Asserting that dance is a subject of religious merit, I place my piece within a broader context of dance pieces that deal with topic and themes of myth and spiritual truth. I then give a brief overview of Buddhism, centering around the Four Noble Truths and their connection to love as it is defined in Buddhism; loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and inclusiveness. From there I discuss the process and production of my piece, Walking Each Other Home, which has its roots in Buddhist thought and understanding. Reflecting on the process, I relate the construction of the piece to Buddhist principles, and see where I upheld and deviated from them. Unfolding from the original question of “what makes life worth living?”, I rehash the journey that I took throughout the creation of the piece, ultimately realizing that the way I constructed my piece didn’t reflect the truths I was trying to describe, and resolving to learn from the experience as an example of Buddhist praxis. It is my hope that this thesis will encourage the further development of dance as an academic area of study, provide a context with which to place the development I have undergone throughout my college career, and serve as a reminder that the proper response to the suffering inherent in our world is compassionate, loving understanding.
O'Leary, Aidan, "Moving Through, Moving On: Examining the Life Well Lived Through the Lense of Impermanence" (2019). Honors Theses. 45.