Title of Showcase Submission

Storytelling in Dance: The Exercise of Approaching Strangers and Manipulating Movement to Convey Their Stories

Student Type

Undergraduate

Faculty Sponsor

Tricia Zweier

Date

4-12-2022

College Affiliation

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

Dance

Submission Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Global society at large is growing in apprehension of human interaction, through insecurities of potential rejection, lack of personal enjoyment, or inability to conduct conversation. Refusal to engage with others in person can lead to decreased levels of happiness and a lack of understanding with those who hold different perceptions. Divisions can grow between members of society. The benefits of dance can be used to engage with others and combat division through storytelling. Under the direction of senior Dance major Jaime Meier, three dancers ventured onto Main Street St. Charles to accumulate strangers’ stories. The dancers composed movement phrases on-site that were inspired by strangers’ answers to the question, “In whom or what do you place your hope?” Movement qualities and tempos were manipulated to portray emotions shared in strangers’ answers. This experience allowed the dancers to practice embracing discomfort in safely approaching strangers, gaining new perspectives, and making space for unifying conversations in a currently divisive global culture. During the presentation, improvisation and composition will occur in real time to demonstrate this storytelling process.

Publication Date

2022

Date

3/16/2022

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Apr 12th, 12:00 AM

Storytelling in Dance: The Exercise of Approaching Strangers and Manipulating Movement to Convey Their Stories

Global society at large is growing in apprehension of human interaction, through insecurities of potential rejection, lack of personal enjoyment, or inability to conduct conversation. Refusal to engage with others in person can lead to decreased levels of happiness and a lack of understanding with those who hold different perceptions. Divisions can grow between members of society. The benefits of dance can be used to engage with others and combat division through storytelling. Under the direction of senior Dance major Jaime Meier, three dancers ventured onto Main Street St. Charles to accumulate strangers’ stories. The dancers composed movement phrases on-site that were inspired by strangers’ answers to the question, “In whom or what do you place your hope?” Movement qualities and tempos were manipulated to portray emotions shared in strangers’ answers. This experience allowed the dancers to practice embracing discomfort in safely approaching strangers, gaining new perspectives, and making space for unifying conversations in a currently divisive global culture. During the presentation, improvisation and composition will occur in real time to demonstrate this storytelling process.