Graduation Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Fine Arts


Music, Dance and Performing Arts

Director of the Honors Program

Lynn Sondag, MFA

First Reader

Thomas Burke, MFA

Second Reader

Kara Davis


This thesis examines some of the roles artists take on as humans, separate from their lives as artists and how said roles impact in the forming of our identity. Applying the deconstructionist theory by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, phenomenology by Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau- Ponty, and the journals of students involved in the study, the idea that the body and mind must work as one in order to create movement is dissected and reconstructed. Beginning with investigating the roles artists are born into, create for themselves and think they have, dancers involved in the study use their own journals from this investigation to create movement on themselves. The movement is then deconstructed by the choreographer using Derrida’s method of deconstructing text, and reset onto the movers. Using the theory of phenomenology by Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, the movers then examine the question “am I my body or am I in my body?” The process of creating movement from journals is repeated as well as the action of deconstructing the movement. Identity is examined in its two parts, ID and entity, and the choreographer sets movement on the dancers. Maslow’s humanistic theories of self-actualization are studied after the completion of the choreographic process.

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Destroy yourself. Rebuild yourself. Repeat. -Pauline Mosley