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Scholars Day 2006, Wednesday, April 12

Finding Common Threads: An Investigation of Choreographic Conventions

This presentation analyzes critically how the choreographic conventions of retrograde, pedestrian gestures, accumulation, and personal stories link the text and the dance in Bill T. Jonesí Last Supper at Uncle Tomís Cabin/The Promised Land. This 15-year-old dance work utilized text and movement to dissect racial, gender, and spiritual controversies. After observing this evening length work, Ferris investigates the choreographic conventions, which connect the four sections and interludes of the piece. Questions guiding this study include: What motivated the use of this specific text? How is text from outside sources interweaved with the personal stories of performers involved in this production? What is the relationship between the structure of the text and the structure of the movement? And what social implications did this work provoke in the audience?

Presenter: Kelly Ferris (Graduate Student)
Topic: Dance
Location: Hartwell Dance Theater
Time: 9:45 am (Session I)