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Scholars Day: April 9, 2014

Beyond the Skirts: An In-Depth Look at Gender Roles and Stereotypes Associated with Western Concert Dance

Scholar Jennifer Fisher , in her article "Rethinking the 'Making it Macho' Strategy" through looking at the popular show "So You Think You Can Dance", states “Female dancers are often allowed to display both softness and strength, but any male contestant whose limbs drift too languidly or curve into a form that might be interpreted as too soft or vulnerable may have his masculinity questioned in uncertain terms”. We see a similar phenomenon in western concert dance, male dancers and female dancers are represented in different movement, costuming and astatic choices given by the chorographer. During the fall 2013 semester, the presenter began work on a dance trio on three men in which he began to investigate the Fisher claim as well as other scholars on what was acceptable dance moments for men. Simultaneously, as he began this project it was his goal to create a work that allowed men to move in a more feminine way but not appear as females rather as men investigating their own vulnerability . Through various scholarly journals, as well as a performance case study, he investigated this phenomenon of gendered movement in western concert dance . Through visual studies in cross reference to contemporary theoretical dance literature, he will attempt to answer the following questions: Can dance be viewed as an art form free of social ideals such as masculinity and femminity? Can movement originally created for men be transposed to women ? Are there any differences between male and female performers doing the exact same movements?

Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenter: Brett Cox (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Dance
Location: Strasser Studio, 152 Hartwell
Time: 9 am Session I