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MPACT: Motion Performing Arts and Creative Training

Description

Motion: Performing Arts and Creative Training, also known as MPACT, will provide dance training to all levels and ages in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Our highly trained and knowledgeable dance educators will provide instruction that will inspire and foster

Motion: Performing Arts and Creative Training, also known as MPACT, will provide dance training to all levels and ages in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Our highly trained and knowledgeable dance educators will provide instruction that will inspire and foster creativity in a highly educational class setting that will prepare each student for a lifelong love for dance. Students will have the opportunity to perform in multiple settings and engage in class instruction from guest artists as well as MPACT’s educators.

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Date Created
2020-05

Reclamation: A movement-based exploration of the individual and collective narrative of apology in women

Description

Personal experiences with body image dysmorphia and an eating disorder necessitated that I do a thorough investigation into why they happened and why I felt this way about my body. For this project, not only was I motivated by my

Personal experiences with body image dysmorphia and an eating disorder necessitated that I do a thorough investigation into why they happened and why I felt this way about my body. For this project, not only was I motivated by my own struggles, but I noticed that these experiences were shared among my family, my friends, and my fellow peers in the dance community. We had been struggling since childhood. I began to realize that these behaviors and thought patterns were manifestations of apology, an apology that women have been learning, living, and spreading since our beginnings. Why do women apologize? How does this apology affect how we view, treat, and navigate our bodies in space? In what ways can dance be the mechanism by which we remove apology and individually and collectively find joy, freedom, and liberation? Not only was I interested in understanding the ‘why’, but I was deeply interested in finding a solution. Research for this thesis came from written materials, stories that the dancers and I shared, and choreographic research in the body. The final goal was to create a community-based performance of dance, spoken word, and storytelling that demonstrated the findings from each of those questions and catalyzed a conversation about how we can liberate ourselves. We used rehearsals to explore our own experiences within apology and shame, while also exploring how the ways in which we practice being unapologetic in the dance space can translate to how we move through the world on a daily basis.

Through a deep analysis and application of Sonya Renee Taylor’s book The Body Is Not An Apology, I discovered that apology is learned. We learn how to apologize through body shame, the media, family/generational trauma, and government/law/policy. This apology is embodied through gestures, movement patterns, and postures, such as bowing the head, hunching the shoulders, and walking around others. Apology causes us to view our bodies as things to be manipulated, discarded, and embarrassed by. After recognizing why we apologize and how it affects our bodies, we can then begin to think of how to remove it. Because the body the site of the problem, it is also the site of the solution. Dance gives us an opportunity to deeply learn our bodies, to cultivate their power, and to heal from their traumas. By being together in community as women, we are able to feel seen and supported as we work through uncharted territory of being free from apology in these bodies. By dancing in ways that allow us to take up space, to be free, to be unapologetic, we use dance as a practice for life. Through transforming ourselves, we begin to transform the world and rewrite the narrative of how we exist in and move through our bodies as women.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

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Bharatanatyam and its effect on Stress, Mood, and Anxiety

Description

Abstract
This study investigates the effects of Bharatanatyam dance on stress, mood, and anxiety. I have danced Bharatanatyam since I was 8 years old, it has offered me a way to release stress

Abstract
This study investigates the effects of Bharatanatyam dance on stress, mood, and anxiety. I have danced Bharatanatyam since I was 8 years old, it has offered me a way to release stress and anxiety. This study provides empirical data to support the claim that Bharatanatyam has therapeutic effects that release stress and reduce anxiety. This investigation was conducted through self-reports and interviews. A Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) scale was used to determine positive and negative effects. The average positive affect during the “dance weeks” (DW) was 46.6 and the average negative affect was 12.2. During the “no dance weeks” (NDW), the average positive effect was 23.7 and the average negative affect was 31. The participant’s interview PANAS results had an average positive effect of 39.8 and an average negative effect of 12.8. Analyzing the self-report journaling highlighted a more prevalent use of positive words during the DW and a more significant use of negative words during the NDW. The Bharatanatyam dancers who were probed to enter post-performance environment for an interview also used positive words to describe Bharatanatyam dancing. In conclusion, practicing Bharatanatyam had an overall positive effect on mood, and can reduce stress and anxiety.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Lullabye

Description

Psychology and dance both shed light on the question: how do our personal, life experiences affect our movement? This document introduces elements from psychology and dance through associative learning, attachment styles, muscle patterning, and partner improvisation as ways of exploring

Psychology and dance both shed light on the question: how do our personal, life experiences affect our movement? This document introduces elements from psychology and dance through associative learning, attachment styles, muscle patterning, and partner improvisation as ways of exploring this question. It aims to briefly introduce these theories and explain how they had a role in the research of the creative project. It also documents the inception, creation, and production of Lullabye, a dance work intended to be accessible to an audience with little to no experience viewing concert dance, with the target audience specifically being the writer’s mother. It has three sections, each featuring a different element of dance, storytelling, and individuality. It starts a conversation on how emotions and thoughts related to personal experiences can affect our movement.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Partnership Dance and Its Positive Effects on Patients With Parkinson's Disease

Description

While growing up, I was placed into dance classes, dance started out as a hobby, but as I grew up it became a way for me to escape from the struggles life itself brings. While I was taking a dance

While growing up, I was placed into dance classes, dance started out as a hobby, but as I grew up it became a way for me to escape from the struggles life itself brings. While I was taking a dance culture class at Arizona State University, I stumbled across research that revealed that dance does not just help people like myself, but it also has the ability to help those with more difficult life-altering situations like Parkinson’s Disease. With having about 970 million adults aged 65 years old and up (United Nations), around 10-million of these individuals have Parkinson’s Disease (PD) (Parkinson’s New Today). With these large numbers, Parkinson’s is the second leading neurodegenerative disease worldwide (Parkinson’s News Today) behind Alzheimer’s. Parkinson’s is a motor system disorder that affects the production of dopamine in one’s brain (Harvard). With the current treatment of PD being medication as well as surgical therapy based on the severity of each patient (Parkinson’s Foundation), there is one form of treatment that has been tested but not certified, partnership dancing. The way that partnership dance benefits those with Parkinson’s Disease is by using many areas of the brain to facilitate dopamine production. The four main areas used are the motor cortex, the somatosensory, the basal ganglia, and lastly the cerebellum (Harvard). With the vast amount of existing research, as well as the information gained through secondary research, I feel as though there needs to be a study to open the development of partnership dance as a therapy modality for those with many of the forms of degenerative mental diseases. Although unable to put on this research, I have outlined what this study could look like to be continued in the hopes of having partnership dance become a certified form of therapy for those with Parkinson’s Disease.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

Presence, A dance film exploring physical, mental, and emotional presence through movement across the country.

Description

As an artist, I set out to creatively answer three important questions that were discovered in a variety of ways over the course of my academic career. They all had one thing in common, the awareness and wonder around how

As an artist, I set out to creatively answer three important questions that were discovered in a variety of ways over the course of my academic career. They all had one thing in common, the awareness and wonder around how impactful presence is. But what is presence? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defined presence as, “The state or fact of existing, occurring, or being present in a place or thing.” And, “A person or thing that exists or is present in a place but is not seen. (Presence) After a tangible experience with loss, grief, disappointment, and extenuating life circumstances for many cast members involved in this seven-month movement research project, the internal battle for physical, mental, and emotional presence began to be a daily pursuit. The originally produced work, Presence-The Walk, takes a look into the unpopular practice of being still in an ever-moving society, as well as what the process of healing can look like for an individual. Videographer and MFA candidate Lawrence Fung was a large collaborator on the final product of this work. After having to adapt several different versions of the final product due to cast changes, opportunities for public performance, and the COVID-19 pandemic, dancer, mover, and artist Victoria Ward shares her experience and research exploring the constant pursuit of presence and what it looked like to present professional work given an even shorter timeline. Interdisciplinary collaboration with photographers, artists, and spoken word was also a key aspect of this work alongside the research completed by her cast of seven dancers.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

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Downloading Dance: How the Media has Revolutionized the Dance Industry

Description

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the dance industry has exponentially grown in its population and representation. As dance studios, companies, media platforms and films, dance industry continue to expand, there has been a substantial increase in the number of

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the dance industry has exponentially grown in its population and representation. As dance studios, companies, media platforms and films, dance industry continue to expand, there has been a substantial increase in the number of dancers around the world. Dancers are becoming more diverse with the styles they perform and how they perform a piece. One major factor to the growth of the dance industry is the ever-growing field of digital media and social platforms. These platforms expose people to different dance styles while also allowing dancers to showcase their art. Additionally, dance television shows and films contributed to this growth in the dance industry by developing a reputation and awareness of what dance is to the public. This project will analyze how certain aspects of the media influenced the modern dance industry, and whether this created a positive or negative impact.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

Immersion of Choice

Description

The topic of my creative project centers on the question of "How can the audience's choices influence dancers' improvisation?" This dance work seeks to redefine the relationship between audience and performers through integration of audience, technology, and movement in real-time.

The topic of my creative project centers on the question of "How can the audience's choices influence dancers' improvisation?" This dance work seeks to redefine the relationship between audience and performers through integration of audience, technology, and movement in real-time. This topic was derived from the fields of Computer Science and Dance. To answer my main question, I need to explore how I can interconnect the theory of Computer Science/fundamentals of a web application and the elements of dance improvisation. This topic interests me because it focuses on combining two studies that do not seem related. However, I find that when I am coding a web application, I can insert blocks of code. This relates to dance improvisation where I have a movement vocabulary, and I can insert different moves based on the context. The idea of gathering data from an audience in real time also interests me. I find that data is most useful when a story can be deduced from that data. To figure out how I can use dance to create and tell a story about the data that is collected, I find that to be intriguing as well. The main goals of my Creative Project are to learn the skills needed to develop a web application using the knowledge and theory that I am acquiring through Computer Science as well as learning about the skills needed to produce a performance piece. My object for the overall project is to create an audience-interactive experience that presents choices for dancers and creates a connection between two completely different studies: Computer Science and Dance. My project will consist of having the audience enter their answers to preset questions via an online voting application. The stage background screen will be utilized to show the question results in percentages in the form of a chart. The dancers will then serve as a live interpretation of these results. This Creative Project will serve as a gateway between the work that has been cultivated in my studies and the real world. The methods involve exploring movement qualities in improvisation, communicating with my cast about what worked best for the transitions between each section of the piece, and testing for the web applications. I learned the importance of having structure within improvisational movement for the purpose of choreography. The significance of structure is that it provides direction, clarity, and a sense of unification for the dancers. I also learned the basics of the programming language, Python, in order to develop the two real-time web applications. The significance of learning Python is that I will be able to add this to my skillset of programming languages as well as build upon my knowledge of Computer Science and develop more real-world applications in the future.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Translation of Physical Activity from Adolescence to Adulthood in Women: Investigating the Relationship Between Adolescent Engagement in Coordination and Performance Activities and Adult Physical Activity Levels

Description

Physical activity has been shown to be effective in primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (Warburton, Nicol & Bredin, 2006). Women tend to be much less active than males and are henceforth

Physical activity has been shown to be effective in primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (Warburton, Nicol & Bredin, 2006). Women tend to be much less active than males and are henceforth at a greater risk for developing these conditions (Biddle & Mutrie, 2008). This study addresses what impact type of physical activity in adolescence has on adult physical activity levels in the female population. Specifically, the study focuses on coordination and performance activities in adolescence, and how adult physical activity levels compare to both sedentary adolescents and adolescent endurance and ball sport athletes. Ninety-six female participants that were ages 20-29 (N=53) and 30-39 (N=43) were asked to fill out a survey about their adolescent activity levels and their current activity levels. Those participants who identified as participating in coordination and performance activity (N=43) were compared to those who were sedentary (N=14) and then further compared to those who engaged in other types of adolescent activity (N=39). It was determined that coordination and performance activities during adolescence did have a significant effect on frequency of female adult physical activity when compared to their sedentary counterparts (p=0.015). Adolescent endurance and ball sport athletes did tend to have a greater frequency of current activity in adulthood than those involved in coordination and performance activities, which was attributed to a greater frequency of practice per week in those sports. In conclusion, introducing a frequent amount of physical activity the female adolescent enjoys increases their likelihood of frequently engaging in physical activity as an adult.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-12

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Anthropology, Dance, and Education: Integrated Curriculum in Social Studies

Description

Students not only deserve to be actively involved and engaged in learning content knowledge, but it can in fact help them learn better. Arguably too few classrooms actually utilize teaching methods that support this kind of environment. There is perhaps

Students not only deserve to be actively involved and engaged in learning content knowledge, but it can in fact help them learn better. Arguably too few classrooms actually utilize teaching methods that support this kind of environment. There is perhaps fear that methods like integrated curriculum may detract from student knowledge. The purpose of this intervention study was to determine how the integration of dance and social studies with an anthropological framework effects student learning of content knowledge in social studies, as well as student attitude toward the topic. Research questions that were addressed in this study are the following: (a) How does the integration of dance and social studies with an anthropological framework affect students' chapter test scores when compared to typical instruction?; (b) How does the integration of dance and social studies with an anthropological framework affect students' attitude toward social studies when compared to typical instruction?. Participants were two 6th grade classes at the same elementary school. As a supplement to a unit on Ancient Egypt, the experimental group received four intervention lessons, taught by the investigator, incorporating creative dance to encourage student exploration and increased understanding of content. An anthropological framework was also implemented to foster respectful investigation of culture. Results show that at posttest the intervention group had significantly higher content knowledge, as measured by a chapter test, compared to the control group. This suggests that this program did in fact help students to reach a better understanding of content. Though surveys showed no difference in attitude between groups or over the course of the study, qualitative student responses from the experimental group suggest extremely positive feelings towards concepts covered in the intervention lessons.

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Created

Date Created
2015-05