In Consideration of the Performance Öffentlichkeit

Bruehlman, Alyssa Kathleen (Spring 2010)

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From my earliest years as a dancer, I have been encouraged to embody and exude perfection. Endless hours of class and rehearsal all strived to prepare me for some final performance, an opportunity for technical and presentational excellence. However, as my training has continued at a university program based in modern and postmodern dance, I am everyday exposed to the concept of dancer as ordinary human being. As a performer, I am constantly confronted by the demands of diverse presentational vocabulary—from simplest walks to buoyant prances, from minutest gesture to full-bodied abandon. I am often asked to be both human and object, and I am not sure where the balance lies.

My research is an active and philosophical inquiry into this fluid role of the performer within concert dance. In a project-culminating concert on March 25-26, 2010, I present original work as a melding of three movement perspectives—everyday pedestrian, dramatic dancer, and vulnerable self—to consider how each persona enters and exists within the theater. With a combination of live and video-recorded performance, my research scans the spectrum between theatrical presentation and mundane reality. In moments both staged and improvised, I attempt to understand the possibility of being pedestrian, performer, and person. Through this dual-media investigation, I ultimately question 1) how the performer relates to both everyday world and stage, 2) where impeccable execution ends and a vulnerable reality begins, and 3) what it truly means to be a performer.

Table of Contents

I.          In Consideration of the Self: Personal History of Performance ... 1

II.       In Consideration of the Beginning: Finding Clarity ...4

III.       In Consideration of the Fourth Wall: Experience In Live Performance ... 6

IV.      In Consideration of the Pedestrian: Postmodern and Contemporary ... 12

V.        In Consideration of the Camera: From Silver Screen to Home Video ...17

VI.       In Consideration of the Concert: “A Question of Character” ...26

VII.    In Consideration of the Whole: Gathering and Continuing ...38

Appendix A:   “Dance Dance Groove-alution” Facebook Event ... 41

Appendix B:   Sociokinetosis– PowerPoint Slides and Note Cards ... 42

Appendix C:   Performance Photos ... 51

Appendix D:   Concert Program ... 54

Appendix E:    Concert Flyer ... 60

Appendix F:    Arts at Emory – Spotlight Article ... 61

Appendix G:   Review by The Emory Wheel ... 63

Appendix H:   Audience Feedback Form ... 65

Appendix I:     Materials – SIRE Undergraduate Research Grant ... 66

References:    Print Sources ... 70

References:     Non-Print Sources ... 71

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