A STUDY OF DANCE IMPROVISATION IN AFRICANIST AND POST-MODERN CONTEXTS AS EXPERIENCED BY PHILADELPHIA-BASED ARTISTS
|This thesis examines the philosophical and aesthetic characteristics of dance improvisation in two enormous contexts: Africanist dance forms and the diverse genres that this term encompasses, and postmodern dance practices that grew out of the work of the Judson Dance Theater in the sixties. The impetus for this study grew out of previous research in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in West Africa where I collaborated with a Burkinabe dancer to uncover how our histories influence our approach to movement-making. I soon realized that we possessed different understandings of dance improvisation, and I endeavor to unpack those differences in this study. I seek to evidence the range of understandings of dance improvisation that exist in the United States by including the voices of six Philadelphia-based artists who I have interviewed for the purpose of this research. Although I initially contacted Olivier Tarpaga, Zakiya Cornish, and Cachet Ivey for their work with African dance genres, and Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Marion Ramirez, and Molly Shanahan for their work with postmodern practices of improvisation, the amount of overlap between the two contexts soon became apparent. In exposing the diverse practices of improvisation, I hope to spark a conversation about what constitutes dance improvisation in the United States.
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|A STUDY OF DANCE IMPROVISATION IN AFRICANIST AND POST-MODERN CONTEXTS AS EXPERIENCED BY PHILADELPHIA-BASED ARTISTS
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