Senior Research Projects
Class of 2011
The medium of movement allows the journey of Generation Y to take place in a condensed time frame and is produced with the hope that audience members will imagine themselves in the shoes of Generation Y for the duration of the piece. I have consciously selected movement vocabulary that combines the verticality of traditional ballet with the groundedness, spiraling, weight transfer and falling, which I was exposed to in contemporary dance while at Denison. By focusing on movement qualities as opposed to technique, I transcend stereotypes associated with specific genres and focus instead on the expression of ideas through movement. This style is represented in my choreographic work “Y Us?” and will continue to be represented throughout my career of dance making
Class of 2010
Class of 2009
Megan Castranio, "Let It Within"
This piece was an exploration of the merging of ballet (my training previous to Denison) and contemporary (dance form I was introduced to at Denison). I had the opportunity to "meet" many different kinds of choreography and many different dance works of art in my coursework, but I wanted to get a sense of what that merging felt like in my own mind and body.
I created movements while dancing with one barefoot and one pointe shoe by visualizing ideas and movements, drawing and writing them down. Then I went to the studio to test these ideas and develop them further. I also tried choreographing on the spot during rehearsals. I used music to inspire me but did not commit to using the same music in the final performance. My goal was to make a new kind of vocabulary that was my own, and still not make a separation between ballet and contemporary dance.
Diana Dixon, "Desde Siempre"
When studying abroad during the summer of 2007, I took tango lessons twice a week from dancers/choreographers Luis Boccia and Cesar Agazzi in Buenos Aires, Argentina. These tango lessons were the highlight of my summer. I fell in love with the passion, energy and attitude of the tango. 'Desde Siempre' is an exploration of my two passions ... Spanish and dance.
This work was inspired by the history of Argentine Tango. Translated into English, the title means "Since always" or "Since forever." I captured and condensed the inspiration and meaning of the piece into three sentences:
The tango is the identity of Argentina .... desde siempre.
The tango has been a part of me .... desde siempre.
I have been creating this project in my body, mind and life .... desde siempre.
Brittany Jackson, "All These Mixed Up Illuminations"
My project is based on words. Dance is not my only study; I am also an English major. When trying to choose a topic to research through dance, the answer was obvious: words.
I chose five of my favorite texts from childhood, from high school, from present day and from then. I re-read all these texts and started dancing. The movements were derived directly from the texts and represent my responses (and those of the dancers) to those tales.
What is presented is not a story; it is, instead, an exploration of emotional and physical response to the written word. My charge to the audience: May these words, dances and ideas move you as they have moved us.
Class of 2008
Tasmin Pepin-Perry, "I AM"
I started my Senior Research Project with the idea that I could tell my story, which I've struggled with my entire life. I had an incredible urge to understand and relate to those who were like me, people who struggled with their identity on a daily basis. This need to relate was sparked by my young cousin who was asked one day, "what are you?" This is a question I have been asked my whole life. My cousin answered, "I am a pineapple." This innocent, but insightful answer made me wonder, "when does a person start questioning his or her identity and making categories for themselves?" My cousin truly believed her answer was correct even if others didn't understand it. She hadn't placed herself in a category of being a biracial child; she hadn't claimed race at all. This made me question whether we learn identity from our parents or the environment? This became the topic for my senior research: "how does a person define his or her identity and is there a way to find a balance emotionally, psychologically, or even socially between being an individual and being part of a group?" I began on a journey to discover my identity. As I travel through life, I am looking for an answer to who I am. Through this research, I am sharing my view of identity to other people. We all face the inevitable question, "who am I?"
Class of 2007
Erin Davidson, "Mapped Motion: The Process and Result"
Every student that dislikes mathematics will tend to ask the question, "When will I ever use this outside of school?" With my research project, I hoped to answer this question by minimizing the gap between dance and mathematics. Together with a group of eight university dancers, I rehearsed in different environments around the campus of Denison University and Granville. We explored the mathematical concepts being observed in these spaces through imagination and improvisational techniques. The site-specific dance phrases that we produced were transplanted into the studio space of Doane Dance and adapted by the dancers and myself for performance. During the performance, I chose to have the audience travel through the space with the performers and become part of the piece as well. Through my senior research, we (audience members, dancers and I) all had the chance to explore mathematics and dance in action.
Sarah Drake, "Sucrose and Spice"
For my senior research, I wanted to explore what inspires dance. I think it is safe to say that every work of art has that point just before it is an idea, when it is just a spark. Knowing this, I wanted to investigate on myself where and how movement originates. Are there "good" and "bad" ideas of a piece? Can art truly come from anywhere or anything? To approach these questions, I guess you could say I picked an unusual topic for a dance. I selected several molecules and chemical structures I learned about in chemistry classes for my minor that I further explored in movement. In doing so, I discovered for myself how to use ideas and topics that I am exposed to in life that I can interpret into dance.
Mariel Gallet, "Dance Movement Therapy: An Overview of the Therapeutic Process of DMT as it applies to Adolescents in a Pediatric Behavioral Health Facilty"
In my study, I chose to investigate the effects that Dance/Movement Therapy exercises have on levels of group cohesion in the Extended Day Partial Hospitalization Program at St. Vincent Family Centers, located in Columbus, Ohio. My interest in the subject began when I chose to explore ways to combine my interest in dance and psychology. Although from the surface these two areas of study may not seem intertwined, I learned the two fields combine in an interesting and beautiful way to form Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT).
Class of 2006
Jennifer Guglielmi, "Eyes, Ears and Mouths Open"
This Honor's choreographic research project culminated in an evening length work that was presented on March 24-25, 2006. This contemporary dance work, exploring the lives of teenage girls through popular culture, was performed by six students and utilized spoken text taken from books by Judy Bloome, music by Alanis Morrisette and popular films Clueless, and 10 Things I Hate About You. The movement and text inspired by these sources provides an avenue for isolating, revealing and magnifying the issues of adolescence and offer new interpretations of that, which is already familiar.
Abeje Maolud-Sneed, "Culture Shock!: Teaching Ethnic-Based Dance Forms in the Granville Intermediate After School Program"
In this day and age, because fewer dance forms are being supported in communities, it is imperative that the community takes personal responsibility to share with students our burning passions about certain cultural aspects, and knowledge of diverse art forms. In an increasingly global society, it is of great importance that youth be educated and exposed to cultures and experiences beyond their immediate ones. The purpose of my project is to offer dance classes of ethnic-based dance forms in an after-school program of a homogeneous community with the hopes of making an impact on the students' interests in a culture other than their own.