Senior Project Proposal
Student's Name: d dayton
Regional Center: China Center
Period of Study: Spring 2001 - Fall 2001
# of Credits: 9
Title of Study: "Movement as Awareness"
Type of Study: Artistic Project
Comments: My goal in my senior project is to create some kind of performance using a local group or organization that will demonstrate the idea of "Movement as Awareness".
In starting my senior project in China there was a major dilemma of knowing where to begin to make something like this happen. China is not an easy place to make things happen in general and trying to create a dance performance was close to the top of the implausibility list. Not that it was impossible, but it was going to be an uphill battle. Although I kept this in mind as I begun, I definitely learned as I went and there was a lot to learn.
I divided my beginning research into three sections: China's performing arts as a cultural reference, outside resources, and actively investigating / applying to groups for help. My hope was to first research as many different kinds of performing arts in China as I could to give me a background understanding of what already exists in China. So I attended a number of performances in Hangzhou, Shanghai, and other smaller surrounding cities as well as watching videos and going to a two performing arts school. The second part was to read books I had received on the subject of awareness in movement, also asking other performers who have done similar projects to this. The last part was the actual finding and preparing for the end outcome of the performance. I planned to investigate all the leads I found through attending performances and researching the subject through outside sources. The desired outcome was to have a firm grasp of what I wanted to do and where I could do it by the end of the semester.
I kept to this plan fairly well and did accomplish all the intermediate steps, however the outcome was different than I had expected. Through the process I found a great mass of interesting possibilities, but none so clear as to know exactly what I was going to do. But I will come to that later. First I will give you the process of my learning and where it got me.
Conclusions I have drawn and Where I am headed
Through this semester I have seen a lot of different things in the way of what China has to offer for Performing Arts. It is a rich variety and it has a long history. The traditionalism although at first not interesting me, has become increasingly fascinating for my pursuit of my project. I have learned a good deal about Chinese movement in general just through pursuing it in a number of different forms. Also I have begun to come in contact with more people involved in the arts who have given me added perspective. I am eager to learn and to include what I am learning into the process of my project. It has raised my awareness of myself in this semester as I have crossed and continue to cross from west to east, in mind and movement.
In a broader sense I feel I have a good working knowledge of how the arts are viewed and performed in China something I achieved through attending so many different events. I feel more mindful of the type of audience and perspectives the Chinese community has in this sense. This will help me greatly in one possibility: attempting teach students a dance by understanding more where they are coming from, but if not that then relating to a small group the blend of movements I wish to create. Similar to the learning of the language I feel like I have begun to bridge the difference in movement and perspective on movement. From this place I can both lead people to new kinds of movement while also including types of movement they understand.
I feel much more able and ready to approach the Chinese context and integrate what I know with what I am learning. I think this could be a very positive experience for everyone involved. It has been for me.