|Wednesday, April 17th|
Kaylee E. Osentowski
4:00 PM - 4:20 PM
I examined The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, a play that first premiered in 1944, to develop a movement piece the was within the genre of "memory play" to create a theatrical dance movement piece. This research was presented through a dance piece in UM Theatre and Dance's production of Dance Up Close 2018 entitled "How Easily Broken". I explored the development of text and movement complimenting each other, how internal emotions can be expressed through the universal language of movement, and how a classical play can be condensed, into its deepest meaning, within ten minutes. With my focus on the script of The Glass Menagerie, I was able to place many themes involving family dynamics, memory, and anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder into the movement piece I presented.
Beginning in September 2018, I attended auditions, choreographed rehearsals, participated in design and production meetings, and developed theatrical technical elements for my work. I worked with four other artists who are the performers featured in the movement piece. By working with other artists, in varying disciplines surrounding theatre and dance, the cross collaboration of the art forms further developed the quality of the work presented.
This research is relevant because cross collaboration between artistic disciplines is important to developing unique and new ideas. By addressing themes, such as memory, in text and movement practices the audience viewing the work can have a deeper understanding of what is being presented to them. Finally, by building on classical art, such as the script of The Glass Menagerie, artists in the present can explain significance in theme and artistic value to a new generation.
4:20 PM - 4:40 PM
Genus Miscere: The Discovery of Skin uses the framework of interracial pairing within dance to study the ideologies of race and the history of racial categorization. Tsiambwom Akuchu and I will use Contact Improvisation to embody the processes early scientists used to create a taxonomy of race. Contact Improvisation, founded in 1972 by Steve Paxton, attempted to create a non-hierarchical dance form based on a platform of equality that invited all humans to participate. This partner based dance is informed through constant yet shifting touch between bodies. This shared point of contact is achieved through physical touch, shared weight, and momentum. Together we will use Contact Improvisation as a platform to study the application of interracial touch before, during, and post slavery as well as into the 20th and 21st century. We will translate these "instances of touch," into movement. Part of our research into touch investigates the discredited theories of the early 18th century scientist, Carl Linnaeus, who believed races could be biologically distinguished based on measurements of the skull. To physically explore Linnaeus' research on race, Akuchu and I will use tactile investigation to discover every surface of our own and each other's skulls. The performance piece generated by this research will be performed in front of an audience at the Colby FRINGE Festival this upcoming April. Akuchu and I are curious about what questions are provoked for our audiences as they witness our two bodies moving together in this duet while navigating different social, cultural, and personal perspectives.
Marias McKenzie Blundell, University of Montana
4:40 PM - 5:00 PM
In this sketch, the life and accomplishments of Frieda Fligelman will be explored in depth. Frieda Fligelman was a suffragist based out of Helena, Montana who made great strides for women in higher education and scholarly work. Frieda Fligelman comes from a family of feminist activists with her sister Belle Fligelman Winestine working on Jeanette Rankin’s campaign and working as her secretary. Frieda was the first woman ever admitted to the Ph.D. program of Columbia’s Political Science field. She worked with renowned anthropologist Franz Boas, as well as breaking major ground in the field of Linguistic Anthropology with her work on the West African Language of Fulani. Sadly, not recognized for her genius at the time she continued to publish many works on West African culture and language, even without the backing of Columbia. Through an examination of archival sources and her published writings including a book of her poems called Notes of a Novel, I hope to highlight the incredible contributions of Frieda Fligelman, as well as shine a much-deserved light on the struggles she faced as a woman in her pursuit of higher education and scholarly work.