Author (Your Name)

Maura Murphy, Colby College

Date of Award

1987

Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)

Department

Colby College. East Asian Studies Dept.

Advisor(s)

Christine M. Wentzel

Second Advisor

Dorothy S. Reuman

Abstract

After researching the effects that Eastern philosophies and art forms have had on Western choreography, I noticed that those who implement the Eastern concepts of unity of body and mind produce dances which are more than phrases of movements strung together every eight counts. As a dancer, I have a tendency to view many dances in terms of pointed feet, straight legs, and cohesiveness of ensemble work, as opposed to seeing the actual choreography. However, when watching video tapes of some "new wave" choreography by various artists interested in East Asia, I saw the dances as whole entities. I was keen on the flow of the movement, the use of space and time, and the general feeling and tone of the piece. I decided that this would be a major focus of mine--to create an aura of ease, lightness, and effortlessness within my piece. I realized that effortlessness is impossible to contrive, thus the movements would have to be conducive to breath support and natural pacing.

Keywords

Choreography, Ch'i, Chi, Eastern philosophies

Comments

Included in the final report is a videocassette recording of "Ch'i." This videotape serves as the main form of documentation for my project. Included on the tape are two separate recordings of "Ch'i"--one. recorded during a technical rehearsal, and one recorded during performance. The reason for including both recordings is twofold. The recording that appears first on the tape is strict documentation of the dance. All the dancers are in view of the camera at all times, so that the viewer may get a complete picture of the use of space and the basic shapes the dance takes as a whole. The second episode includes more close-up shots of specific dancers, and offers more clarity with regard to detail and facial expression. I felt it was important to include this tape in the final report because the close-ups give a better idea of the internal process involved in performing "Ch'i." Furthermore, this version was recorded by Paul Gregoire (AV Department), and the quality of the equipment, and therefore the recording, is superior to that of the version which appears first on the videocassette.

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