Pecha Kucha

kNOwBOX dance: re-envisioning the process of art making and sharing

YeaJean Choi and Martheya Nygaard
Co-creators, kNOwBOX

Abstract: What is the relationship between dance and social media? The mission of kNOwBOX dance is to connect interdisciplinary art, technology, and artists to re-envision the process of art making and sharing. Through our experience of co-creating and co-managing our social media based company kNOwBOX dance, we analyze the relationship of dance and social media. We say NO to the BOX. We hope to say no to the boxes created by confines. We have found that social media and dance provide outcomes such as collaboration, alternative dance formats, and media archiving. In our efforts to pursue experimental production and collaboration we facilitate social media based evolving laboratories. The evolving laboratories serve as a way to connect with the global community to make, capture, and share art. We will present our analysis of our evolving laboratory 2, #JumpCutRelayl2, as a study for examining the relationship of dance and social media. “The second evolving laboratory asked participants to create and submit a 10-second dance performance video with the same beginning and ending pose, all shot on their mobile device. Once consent was collected, the performances were culled together into a Videodance”. (Bailey, Tiffany. “Just Say NO to the BOX.” DANCE! NORTH TEXAS, 2018, 5.) Our research demonstrates how social media and dance break through boxes created by distance and allow for experimentation, boundary expansion, and opportunities to create a communal transitional space. Through this presentation we hope to invite other artists to join us in saying no the box and capture, hashtag, and share their dance journey through social media.

As co-creators YeaJean Choi and Martheya Nygaard strive to say NO to the BOX. The box symbolizes the boundaries and confines that limit connections. The mission of kNOwBOX dance is to connect interdisciplinary art, technology, and artists to re-envision the process of art making and sharing. We pursue experimental production and collaboration with other artists in order to create, discuss and advocate for art. The vision of kNOwBOX dance is to use the digital space and alternative formats to collaborate and archive. In this company, we facilitate a multiplicity of possibilities of viewing and perceiving art.

The Whitewashing of Diversity

Kaelin Walker
The University of Texas at El Paso, USA

America tries to be diverse, but what internal racism does society harbor? How is this evident in performance art and popular culture? And what does it mean to be “ethnic” on the American stage?

Kaelin Walker (she/her) is a junior at UTEP pursuing degrees in women’s and gender studies and dance. She is active on campus by being a member of the Student Government Association, performing in musicals at The UTEP Dinner Theater, and performing in concerts with the UTEP Department of Theatre and Dance. She advocates for the social, political, and economic equality or equity of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, ability, class, sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. In other words, she is a feminist. She constantly seeks ways in which the performing arts and women’s and gender studies overlap.

BEN OVAH (Bend Over), Me too, and other movements: Dancehall and Soca dances as reflections and expressions of the evolving relationship between the sexes

Dave O.Williams
Trinidad & Tobago

Abstract: Social dancing plays a significant role in African cultures. This remains true of its diaspora in the Caribbean. In these diverse countries and communities, dance continues to serve many social purposes. In the region, and the Caribbean’s own diaspora, dance features prominently in formal and non-formal courtship and social situations that may lead to sexual interactions and interactions among the sexes. As with most social rituals and performances, music can reflect and express the values that are shared and/or encouraged or discouraged in its native community. In the English-speaking Caribbean two forms of indigenous music dominate the landscape. Soca and dancehall predominate electronic media and in-person social activity. Both musical genres share parallel and intersecting histories in terms of their dates of birth, and progenitors – Calypso and Reggae. In examining the lyrics and associated dance cultures of two selected hit singles performed by leading proponents of the musical genres, namely, Machel Montano of Trinidad & Tobago, and Movado (David Brooks) of Jamaica we explore contemporary dynamics between the sexes. Both tracks essentially share the same title and sentiments – “Bend Over” and “Ben Ova”. By examining the postures and movements of the dancing related to both pieces of music, and by extension both genres, vis-à-vis associated male-female interactions, we will examine the transition from dancing that which preferred face-to-face, frontal contacts and relations and compared these with the emerged preference for “front-to-back” engagements. We will attempt to draw correlations between contemporary dance movements and similar dynamics between the sexes in our broader social context, vis-à-vis, the “Me too” and other movements.

Grounded in modern and based in Trinidad & Tobago, Dave O.Williams career is a smorgasbord of training and comparatives of island life – in Presidential terms – exploring “the sh!thole”.

Bridging Tradition to Potential: Strategies for the Versatile Dancer

Jennifer Webber, Assistant Professor
The College of Brockport, SUNNY, USA

Abstract: The dance field is constantly shifting. Demand for versatility in a dancer is higher than ever before. How a dancer achieves versatility is open for debate. Some argue for strict adherence to codified technique. Others swear by an organic, free-choice making environment. Investigating the body as a site for learning and information can reveal the specifics needed in training. Likewise acknowledging the choreographic needs of the industry can offer insight into pedagogical choices. When training and choreography demands exist in a symbiotic relationship, dancers receive training that prepares them for the field. Spanning this divide between codified technique and free-form experiences requires expansive bridge-thinking and can serve as a model in other circumstances. Codified techniques, such as ballet, stem from tradition. Beneath the tradition and ritual is space to re-examine pedagogical approaches. First, it is important to recognize ballet and other codified techniques are not the sole cornerstones of dance. This realization allows space for other cultures and influences to impact the dancer and the field. Second, acknowledging inclusion of individual voices and different approaches does not mar tradition, rather it reinvigorates technique. I have approached this line of theory through the inclusion of improvisational tools in my ballet technique classes. Upon review of existing dance literature and improvisation literature I have implemented a variety of options in my classes. Student evaluations and further investigation of codified technique reveal the need for continued review of the approach to teaching in alignment with what is being taught in any technique.

Jennifer Weber is on faculty at The College of Brockport, SUNY as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dance. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. Her research investigates dance community engagement, codified technique, and the individual artist. Her research uses movement exploration as a tool for building agency and to develop creative problem-solving skills. As a budding scholar, Jennifer recently presented at the Corps de Ballet International’s conference in Florence, Italy. Prior to moving to upstate New York Jennifer was on faculty at the University of Utah and the University of Iowa, she performed professionally with a number of companies, and her choreography bridges theory and practice. She specializes in ballet, contemporary technique, improvisation, creative process, teaching methods, and wellness practices.

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Rubin Center


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