Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Theatre and Dance

First Advisor

Margaret Wilson

Abstract

This creative project is a dance performance piece I have choreographed to challenge the mindsets surrounding racism and white privilege, specifically the mindsets around these topics in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. My experiences studying school and dance on the east coast last year leads me to believe that many people in this region don’t think that racism is still a big issue in the United States. This is a dangerous mindset which can result in inadvertent racism. Dance is a powerful method of communication. Nonverbal communication is a significant way to reach a wide range of people, and this piece will perform both at the American College Dance Association in Boulder, Colorado and at the Shepard Symposium for social justice in Laramie, Wyoming. I hope that it will spark thoughtful conversations about individual mindsets toward this topic, and that it will create empathy. My choreography is driven from feelings of frustration surrounding this topic. I’ve used unison group work to symbolize the mentality that we can all get stuck in because everyone else is thinking that way, and I’ve used solos and duets to symbolize thinking for yourself and listening to those around you. This piece creates an open dialogue about this topic and the confusion which surrounds it.

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