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2015
Friday, April 17th
3:40 PM

Managing Identity: Virtual and Real-Life Worlds in YA Fiction

Ashley Rezvani, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 333

3:40 PM - 4:00 PM

Princeton Survey Research Associates report that 93% of teens ages 12-17 use the internet on a daily basis, 81% use social media, and 27% of them play games with people with whom they connect through the internet with who they have never met in real life[1]. In recent years, not only do adolescents have to manage their changing lives in the physical world, but they also have to construct and manage an online identity. Regardless of such staggering numbers, the vast majority of current young adult literature is underutilizing a rich opportunity for examining themes of how adolescents negotiate their identity and self-representation, and is also neglecting to portray an almost universal part of a teenager’s life. A few YA authors, namely Vivian Vande Velde and Corey Ann Haydu, are starting to incorporate a virtual world into their books and the lives of their characters. I analyze their work against my own in my thesis in order to examine how forming a virtual and real-life identity conflict and complement one another. My project is the beginnings of the kind of young adult novel that I’d always wanted when I was growing up.

4:00 PM

Brief Encounters: A Choreographic Project

Emily Curtiss, University of Montana - Missoula

UC 333

4:00 PM - 4:20 PM

How do two people move together naturally, and what emotions can different partnerships emit? These are the research questions I explored as I developed this project in creative scholarship. The result was a work of choreography entitled “Brief Encounters.” In this work, five dancers interact with a focus on partner work and how a duet can emulate a relationship or a conversation. A rehearsal process of collaboration and experimentation has resulted in an intricate and cohesive piece of choreography that incorporates motifs, relationships, and a natural story arch. The idea for this piece came from an interest in partner work, and how a duet can tell a story without being blatantly narrative. In building the piece there was a particular interest in improvised partnering, and how one person’s actions can depend upon the actions of their partner. This approach to choreography is original and significant because it represents abstract ideas about relationships that are relatable, and it comes from a rich creative process that heavily involved the dancers, resulting in movement that they can fully embody and own. Each duet is open to audience interpretation, which makes the piece intellectually stimulating, and yet there are also moments of beautiful physicality and architecture, making the piece visually appealing as well. “Brief Encounters” was premiered in the UM School of Theatre and Dance’s Dance Up Close and was selected by the faculty to be presented in the University’s largest dance event of the year. I also plan to present a live excerpt at the UM Conference on Undergraduate Research.