Mood movement choreography : shifting the role of the choreographer to develop a choreographic process informed by the mood of the dancer / Bridgette Wilson (2017)

Mood movement choreography : shifting the role of the choreographer to develop a choreographic process informed by the mood of the dancer

Author: Bridgette Wilson

Course: MA Choreography

Year: 2017

Keywords: Choreographic process, Choreographic research, Mood (Psychology) Physiological aspects, Performance based research, Performance theory, Sonja Dumas,

Abstract

Trinidadian choreographer Sonja Dumas has produced a number of works which I have performed. One work, Oh Be Joyful (2000), aroused an incomparable feeling of euphoria within me. In my transition from dancer to choreographer, I observed that the choreographer’s role remained unchallenged. Despite various means of crafting, choreographers ultimately decide how an audience views their work. The dancer remains a vessel entrusted with the task of relaying the choreographer’s message to the viewer. Notwithstanding this paramount task, the dancer’s mood is not acknowledged in the creative process. This was no different for Oh Be Joyful (OBJ). Comparing the choreographic processes of Dumas, myself and noted choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, George Balanchine and Martha Graham, this thesis outlines the development of a choreographic process centred on dancers’ mood, over the choreographer’s artistic desires. The structural elements of OBJ, (vigorous movement, synchronization and improvisation), were used to generate nine movement sequences which were tested using the Brief Mood Introspection Scale, to determine its effect on the dancers’ moods. The sequences resulting in the highest improvement of dancers’ mood were used to compare mood changes in rehearsal and performance. This Mood Movement Choreography Process (MMCP) shifted the roles of both choreographer and dancer, as the dancers’ moods determined the development and framing of movement sequences from rehearsal to performance. The results highlighted significant mood improvements in sequences developed using music and minimal synchronization; and more drastic changes in mood during performance. MMCP can expand the choreographer’s creative range through adjusting their role, and help to further understand the psychology behind dancer related performance stress. The findings were discussed with Psychologist, Sonji Harris-Guppy and Drama Therapist, Karline Brathwaite and inspired the Wilson Mood Movement Model which can be used in Dance Movement Therapy sessions to improve socialization and cognitive skills, as well as overall mood.

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APA
Wilson, Bridgette. (2017). Mood movement choreography : shifting the role of the choreographer to develop a choreographic process informed by the mood of the dancer (Masters’ theses). Retrieved https://researchonline.trinitylaban.ac.uk/oa/thesis/?p=181