Bachelor of Fine Arts
Music, Dance and Performing Arts
Director of the Honors Program
Lynn Sondag, MFA
Thomas Burke, MFA
This thesis explores the concepts of editing and manipulating through the deconstruction and rebuilding of ideas. Inspiration sprung through researching the job of a film editor, and noting how an editing action takes place in everyday life. Using Thelma Schoonmaker’s body of work, which includes her film editing on a number of Martin Scorcese's films, I examined this idea of manipulation through choreographing my Senior Dance Project. Titled 16:9, the dance also shows the power of deconstruction through a thoughtfully constructed short film, which is presented halfway through. A film editor can take documentary footage and make the end result completely different from the series of events that actually happened. We in turn do this in our lives every day. This editing action shows up in simple ways such as us making slight changes in our dialogue based on who we are talking to. We can also exhibit big personality shifts based on changes in our environment. Arguably the most common way we manipulate ourselves in real life is through social media, and the sculpting of an electronic reality which does not mirror our actual lives. In doing this, it changes people’s perceptions of us, and of ourselves, in the same way that tools film editors use change the viewer’s perception of reality. Deception is incredibly powerful. Using this motif of manipulation to inform my choreographic process, I was able to create a world on stage where the audience was left to distinguish what was real from what was not.
Weeks, Samantha, "16:9 - A Study of Manipulating Perceptions Through Movement" (2019). Honors Theses. 46.