Author: Thompson, Karen
During my MFA Studies at Simon Fraser University, I conducted and presented research on dance via a number of different modes and platforms; written essay’s, art works, interdisciplinary workshops, conferences and practical laboratories. All of these initiatives were designed to explore notions of power, i.e., hierarchy, resistance and empowerment, surrounding the articulation and presentation of dance as an art form itself. This cumulative research process has resulted in the creation of two final works that comprise my graduating project, “Re-marks on Source Material” and “Play Role”. I began the MFA Interdisciplinary Arts program with the specific purpose of examining notions of power as these pertained to my experience as a dance artist. Questions surrounding agency , i.e., the dynamics of the collaborative process, and the empowerment of individuals within educational, creative and viewing contexts, all helped to refine my research. I was able to identify more easily the hierarchical structures that exist within the discipline of dance itself, the relationship of such hierarchies to the perception and actions of choreographer, dancer and audience, and how dance artists have historically and are currently addressing these concerns through their various practices.
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