My Philosophy

For this blog and my explorations in dance

 

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” –Martha Graham

I believe in the power and importance of dance as an art form in our society and world. Perhaps this is because I have been a dancer and have been absorbed in the form for all of my cognitive life. Yet, I feel that all people, not just those with my level of familiarity, can appreciate and enjoy dance. And this is because I agree with Martha Graham.

Dance is universal to all humans; everyone, through our shared corporeality, has the ability to dance and therefore everyone can experience and appreciate dance. This universality makes dance a very powerful tool of expression. Dance as an art form has the ability (and perhaps the responsibility) to reveal and to reflect on the world in which it lives. Therefore, I believe that a dancer should not only be concerned with dancing, but also with being a citizen in society and a human being in the world. A dancer must look outside of dance to contribute the most to the dance.

In a similar way, I believe that all those who toil for the sake of dance should work together more fervently, so that dance can continue to grow as a means of expression. The dancer and choreographer who make the art should not be disconnected from the dance academic who analyzes the art, or from the dance advocate who fights for the art, or the dance administrator that supports the art from behind the scenes. All sectors of the dance world should be closely tied through continuous discourse, thereby learning from each other and working together as allies to move dance forward.

In this spirit, I desire to look beyond the essential components of dance (the creating and performing), and examine the fuller context of dance as an art form. This involves using other areas of study – such as history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, economics, politics, communication, and education – and considering what they reveal about contemporary dance. I also strive to acknowledge and explore the various sectors of the dance world (art, administration, advocacy, and academia), drawing from all to acquire a fuller view of dance. While there are many writers that discuss the stirrings of concert dance or offer performance critiques, I hope to present discourse that explores all of the above ideas – analyzing dance as an art form and thinking about how it relates to the world.

“One of my aims is to present questions rather than answers.” –Paul Taylor

I often find that when I discuss dance in a greater context, the discourse unfolds into an array of questions. Such questions could resemble: Where has dance been and where is it going? What is the purpose of dance to humans in the world? What place does dance hold in the country today? What does it mean to be a dancer or choreographer? Who should pay artists for doing what they do? How can dance progress and be successful as an art form?

Thus, I recognize that much of my writing will revolve around questions – either as inspiration for discussion or as the result of critical analysis.  I do not allege to having answers or solutions, but I hope to offer intriguing thoughts and informed discussion, which perhaps can relate to other art forms as well as dance. As often as possible, the posts will draw from relevant source materials – dance performances, books, articles, interviews, research – to provide insight and substance to the discussion.

By sharing the questions and discoveries that come from my own experiences and studies, I hope to provoke thought in others on the subjects presented. The purpose of this blog is to offer my own ideas and analyses on dance in an effort to promote discourse and inspire others to deeper exploration. Through this platform and my other dance pursuits, I hope to simply play a small part in advancing the study of dance and in moving dance forward in our society and world.

“I speak two languages: English and body.” –Mae West