Edited by Lynnette Young Overby and Billie Lepczyk
Since 1989, Dance: Current Selected Research has presented manuscripts in the form of chapters, that have covered various aspects of the field of dance. Criteria for the consideration of manuscripts has included (1) original research on topics for which valid techniques in experimental, historical, ethnographic, movement analysis, or clinical research have been applied in the collection of data and with appropriate analytical treatment of data; (2) state-of-the art research reviews on topics of current interest with a substantial research literature base, or (3) theoretical papers presenting well formulated but as yet untested models. We also value community engaged and arts-based research.
About the Editors
LYNNETTE YOUNG OVERBY is a Professor of Theatre and Deputy Director of the University Community Engagement Initiative at the University of Delaware (UD). She earned her B.S. degree from Hampton University, M.A. in Dance Education from George Washington University and Ph.D. in Motor Development from the University of Maryland, College Park. She served as the UD founding Faculty Director for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning from 2008 - 2014. During her term as Faculty Director, Dr. Overby led a group of undergraduate research directors in establishing collaborative opportunities for research and service including, an annual Celebratory Symposium of undergraduate research and service, and a state wide Posters on the Green event. She is the author or coauthor of over 40 publications and eight books, has a record of over 100 major presentations and performances. Her contributions have earned her more than 20 state, district, and national awards and honors, including the 2000 National Dance Association Scholar/Artist, the 2004 Leadership Award from the National Dance Education Organization and the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Dance Education Organization. She is a strong believer in interdisciplinary education, and collaboration. Currently she is creating “Performing History” research projects with English Professor, P. Gabrielle Foreman. Lynnette’s 2012 Choreography, “Sketches: The Life of Harriet E. Wilson in Dance, Poetry and Music.” is based on research by P. Gabrielle Foreman, who edited Wilson’s 1859 book Our Nig. Their collaboration continued in 2014 with the premiere of “Dave the Potter” a multidisciplinary work designed to honor the history and creativity of an exceptional enslaved potter and poet, David Drake, through performance and poetry. The 2016 project “Same Story” Different Countries, extends the work to South Africa. The most recent project, Women of Consequence focused on women leaders in the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries. Dr. Overby was selected as the 2018 Life Achievement Awardee for the National Dance Education Organization.
BILLIE LEPCZYK is Professor of Dance in the School of Performing Arts, member of the Academy of Teaching Excellence, and Catalyst Fellow of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology at Virginia Tech. She earned her B.A. in Honors College from Michigan State University, and EdD from Columbia University where she was a Teachers College Fellow. She holds Dance Notation Bureau Certifications as Professional Notator, Laban Movement Analyst, and Labanotation Teacher. Her research includes movement profiles and analyses of vocabulary of classical ballet, Balanchine’s neoclassical style, and modern dance styles of Graham, Cunningham, Tharp, and the Pilobolus Dance Theatre. Through LMA she has deciphered the Seven Movements of Dancing that continues to be taught in ballet and Margaret H’Doubler’s Classification of Movement Qualities, a part of modern dance education. Lepczyk developed a general education course in creative dance that is innovative in that novice dancers and experienced dancers work together to create dances and floorplans are a component of each dance assignment. Her qualitative research studies have contributed to the understanding of the multiple facets of learning in a creative dance class. Currently her research focuses on transdisciplinary projects. Among her most prestigious honors are the Alumni Award for Research Excellence and the William E. Wine Teaching Award from Virginia Tech; and the Scholar/Artist Award and the University Dance Educator of the Year Award from the National Dance Association. Lepczyk is a Fellow and member of the Board of Trustees of the International Council of Kinetography Laban having served as its Chair for eight years and member of the Board of Directors of the Dance Notation Bureau and the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies.
Board of Reviewers
Loren Bucek, Ph.D. Dance Educator, Columbus, Ohio
Mary Lynn Babcock, Ph.D. Associate Professor, University of North Texas, Denton
Theresa Purcell Cone, Ph.D. Emeritus Associate Professor, Rowan University
Tina Curran, Ph.D. Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Texas, Austin
Sherry Goodill, Ph.D. Clinical Professor, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jill Green, Ph.D. Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Judith Lynn Hanna, Ph.D. Affiliate Senior Research Scientist, University of Maryland, College Park
Colleen Hearn Dean, M.A. Dance Educator, Leesburg, Virginia
Karen Hubbard, M.A. Professor, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
(University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press, 2018-08-28) Babcock, Mary Lynn
This article focuses on teaching and learning about dance through the use of digital media. The overarching topic is the concept of self as situated in one’s cultural practices, and how this sense of self plays out in choreographic projects. The theoretical methodology that supports this work are two-fold and are illuminated in this paper: One, based on the Embodiment theory whereby the body is the generating center of experience that receives and sends information to and from the external world and is situated in culture. The second aspect is the choreographic practice with media creates an alternate live realm inclusive of the live and virtual body. All projects carry the concept of self which does not require an actual onscreen dancer, but rather a depiction of self. The primary directive is to integrate an image with live dance and that self carries significant conceptual weight which guides the process.
(University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press, 2018-08-28) Dania, Aspasia
The aim of the present article is the presentation of a Laban Notation-based method for Teaching Dance (LANTD), as a practical example of a movement-based, nonlinear pedagogical approach applied to primary school traditional dance teaching. The author examines relevant literature underpinning the design of open-ended and student-centered dance learning environments and explores the potential of employing complex and nonlinear pedagogies as a means to this end. Nonlinear pedagogies involve the manipulation of task, performer and environmental constraints in a facilitative manner so as to encourage movement pattern variability, exploratory learning and student selforganization to goal directed behaviors. In the present case, the principles of nonlinear pedagogies are outlined, based on the dynamic systems theory, and suitable explanations are given regarding their relation to the lesson framework of LANTD. Emphasis is put on analyzing the constraints-led framework of selected LANTD lesson activities, as the latter were implemented in a classroom of fourth-grade students, learning Greek traditional dance. These practical examples aim to further support primary dance teachers in envisioning ways to shift away from ‘closed’ technical teaching perspectives to practices undergirded by notions of young students’ mature movement acquisition and self-conscious development.
This research analyzed various texts in Balanchine’s Agon for changes and continuity within the choreography and its performance over time. For purposes of this study, texts referred to multiple modalities, as defined in performance and coaching videos, reviews and criticism of the work, and Labanotation scores. Parameters for defining “Agon-ness” emerged through comparison and close analysis of these texts, which included tension, contest, extreme feats of technique, and complexity of rhythm and musical relationships. Further, the woman’s “Bransle Gay” solo from the “Second Pas de Trois” section provided a case study for deeper analysis through personal communication with New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan, and close readings of multiple performance videos and notation scores of the solo.
(University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press, 2018-08-28) Warburton, Edward
This essay considers the role of constraints on creativity in dance. I introduce a choreographic research project, Three Bodies, based on the Pythagorean Three-Body Problem. I ask, what are the possibilities inherent in dance when creativity is constrained by a particular problem space? An important goal of this essay is to build on Patricia Stokes (2005) research on creativity from constraints. Using a practice-based research method, I show how this artistic case study “makes research” as a theoretical inquiry into human creativity and the role of constraints. I present two historically significant case studies of creative choreographers—Balthasar Beaujoyeulx and Merce Cunningham from the Italian Renaissance and the modern 20th century eras, respectively—who used constraints on movement invention and compositional structure to advance the art of dance. I consider lessons learned from these cases, and consider them in light of the choreographic challenge of the Three-Body Problem. I conclude with thoughts about the role of constraints on dance creativity in art-making and education.
(University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press, 2018-08-28) Wilson, Lisa
Dance pedagogy for teaching dance in postsecondary education has seen significant developments in recent decades. Various voices have articulated different but related contemporary approaches to teaching dance that has shifted dance teaching away from its traditional teacher-centered, authoritarian mode to pedagogies that are more studentcentered, democratic and even critical. One underdeveloped dimension in the Western dance pedagogy discourse, however, is the cultural perspective, meaning how dance teachers consider students’ cultural experiences in teaching Western dance. With increasing diversity in schools teachers, including dance educators, are being challenged to find diverse and culturally relevant approaches to teaching (Ladson-Billings, 2006) that will situate the content to be learned within students’ cultural knowledge and understanding. This is so that learning can be more meaningful, students are engaged and empowered in their education, and can achieve. This chapter discusses the author’s experimentation over four years, with shaping a culturally relevant dance pedagogy for teaching contemporary dance, based on the principles of Rastafari, to predominantly Black learners in postsecondary dance in Jamaica and South Africa.
Educational practices exist in which teachers and students literally move around ideas, using the most universal, but severely underused educational tool available to us at all times – the body. This method of teaching and learning, through movement and the body, is the subject of this paper. Recent research of embodied cognition in various cognitive areas of education has important implications for learning and teaching and supports the wider integration of movement activity into curricula content (learning through movement). Creative movement method is one of teaching and learning approaches, which emphasizes the use of movement and dance in learning. The main goal of our research was to determine teachers’ ideas and viewpoints on creative movement in teaching and to document the student outcomes noted by teachers before and after attending the educational program. The sample included 112 teachers from various regions of Slovenia, who all took part in the creative movement educational program. The program was designed and executed as continuing professional development for education practitioners. Quantitative and qualitative research approaches were employed. The main results show that the creative movement educational program encouraged teachers’ positive attitude towards teaching with and through movement and dance. After the educational program, the teachers’ attitudes towards using creative movement in classrooms, changed in favor of holistic and experiential teaching and learning. Improvement in the teachers’ well-being was detected. Additionally, teachers reported the positive effects of this teaching method in the social-emotional and cognitive development of the children in their classes.
For 50 years (1965-2014) peer-reviewed research on the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance’s (AAHPERD) annual program was published in abstract form in Abstracts of Research Papers (1965-1991) or the annual abstract supplemental issue of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (1992-2014). Given organizational restructuring that has occurred since 2014, the purpose of this study is to represent and preserve the history of dance scholarship within the Research Consortium for posterity. Following the historiographic paradigm and supported by content analysis methodology, dance research is described over this five decade time period. There were a total of 232 dance research abstracts published, with the peak 10-year interval being 1985-1994. There were 317 unique abstract authors/coauthors representing 153 unique institutions. Representing nearly twothirds of the abstracts, dance education and dance science/health were the most frequent overarching topics; the majority of studies were aimed at a dancespecific audience, using non-experimental/descriptive research designs, and a balanced blend of qualitative and quantitative methods. Representative research topics are summarized in tabular format, as are the most visible dance researchers and institutions. This study demonstrates the vast contributions dance scholars have made within the Research Consortium toward advancing dance as a discipline in and of itself, as well as its contributions to other sub-disciplinary areas within AAHPERD. Apparent in this work is the depth, breadth, and meanings of dance as more than “just” a physical activity.
In response to changing demographics in the United States, there has been a call from dance education scholars to reconsider what a college dance education should include in relation to cultural diversity and the shifting role of dance in contemporary society. Although research about cultural diversity in postsecondary dance major programs exists, it typically does not include students’ perspectives. This chapter contextualizes and analyzes postsecondary dance major students’ perceptions of cultural diversity using a mixed method research design to reveal what is working and what changes still need to occur to more fully embrace cultural diversity in postsecondary dance education. The data analysis concentrates on four interrelated areas: survey respondents’ overall perception of if and how their programs value cultural diversity to better sense the “pulse” of cultural diversity; the titles of their dance history and content of their first creative-focused courses to gather information about if and how cultural diversity is present in both theory and practical courses; the dance courses in which they enrolled to illustrate the diversity of dance forms present in curricula; and their awareness of culturally diverse artists as a means to assess their knowledge of cultural diversity within dance. Because the data indicates that dance programs privilege modern dance and ballet but value cultural diversity, the chapter includes pointed questions for dance educators to consider as they continually refine dance curricula that reflects the cultural diversity of the US.
(University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press, 2018-08-28) Wright, Laura Pettibone; Tharin, Catherine
Erick Hawkins (1909-1994), one of the great American modern dance pioneers of the 20th century, was committed to the creation of “theater poetry,” in which dance, music, and visual designs work together to create a complete theatrical work. His lifelong commitment to artistic collaboration and his unique place in the history of modern dance is understood by examining, analyzing and interpreting archival materials related to Hawkins’ seminal dance, Plains Daybreak (1979). Hawkins created dances that brought together like-minded collaborators that included composers Alan Hovhaness and Lucia Dlugoszewski as well as sculptors Ralph Lee and Ralph Dorazio. Experiences with early mentors, choreographers George Balanchine and Martha Graham were important steps in the development of his creative process. His personal aesthetic grew from his immersion in the ideas of philosophers F.S.C. Northrup and D.T. Suzuki as well as the ceremonies and arts of the Pueblo and Plains Native Americans. A chronological timeline of the creation of Plains Daybreak is generated from notebooks and correspondence in The Erick Hawkins Collection in the Library of Congress, interviews with collaborating artists, and the authors’ personal experiences as members of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company.
(University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press, 2018-08-28) Heiland, Teresa
This article provides innovative learning taxonomies that extend Bloom’s taxonomies, and those of other educational theorists, to dance education outcomes, particularly regarding dance notation pedagogy. These dance notation-based learning taxonomies are intended to clarify specific learning outcomes and make particular functions of dance notation explicit and accessible. This article provides a brief history and working definition of dance notation-based dance literacy and how it can frame learning taxonomies (Cognitive Processes Domain, Knowledge Dimension, Affective Domain, Psychomotor Domain, and Conative Factors) found in other disciplines. The dance notation taxonomies presented here detail outcomes that can be gained when dance notation-based dance literacy is integrated into dance education curricula.
(University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press, 2018-08-28) Cobb-Dennard, Trudy
In 1976, the New York Amsterdam News published an article by little known dance researcher Joe Nash as the complete September/October National Scene Magazine supplement. The 1976 article, Dancing Many Drums, quickly gained the attention of the community of African American dancers, artists and historians. This paper will focus on how the seminal article by Nash came to be written and published and its ultimate impact on the research and publication of articles and books on the artistic contributions of African Americans to the field of concert dance. Excerpts from personal interviews with Nash will illustrate how the publication forever changed his life.