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http://ir.uiowa.edu/honors_theses/30; http://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1122&context=honors_theses
Armstrong, Dorothy
University of Iowa
performance; solo; choreography; archiving; erasure; repetition; memory; Art Practice; Dance; Performance Studies
thesis / dissertation description
“Pivot” provides a digestion of the solo I created for my Capstone Project in Dance Performance. Blending creative nonfiction, dance theory, and experiential detail, “Pivot” illuminates the process of choreographic self-authorship from the perspective of the performer/choreographer. This project, nominally identical to the solo itself, is an experiment. This project includes: recovery, repetition, erasure, agency, authenticity, possession, collaboration, silence, space, independence, constraint, risk. This project rejects binaries and treads between disciplines. This project challenges as it synthesizes. What I write reflects how I danced. For each section, I offer a corresponding written digestion; I focus primarily on the process, theorizing the piece through personal reflection and readings of texts relevant to the choreography. Writing about Pivot provides another opportunity to perform the piece. To write is to re-stage, on the page. Here, I catalogue the history of each named section, explaining each dimension of the material from inside out. I work towards an interpretation of Pivot in its entirety, concluding with a synthesis of the performance as contextualized by the choreographic process. While I constructed Pivot, I took copious notes reflecting upon the emotional and formal aspects of the creative process. Those notes, transposed and edited for clarity, can be found in an Appendix at the end of the document. Throughout, I combine rigid definitions, exploratory theorizations, and flexible interpretations to encompass the scope of the piece and the process. As I did in my dancing, I adhere to a candid yet scientific approach—this is an ongoing experiment and I treat it as such. Pivot functions as a re-inscription of the concerns unpacked within my solo work, preserving the evidence of both process and performance.