Choreography on contemporary American ghettoes

dc.contributor.advisorMontague, Mary Ella
dc.creatorPhillips, Daniel A.,1945-, May.
dc.description.abstractPurpose: It was the purpose of this investigation to study contemporary American ghettoes and to present the findings in an extended dance work which treats selected aspects of ghetto life. The researcher did extensive research on the subject of contemporary American ghettoes, choreographed the dance, arranged for or designed costumes, lights, music, and setting, and recorded a history of the dance production which is contained in this thesis. Methods: The investigator researched literature pertaining to contemporary American ghettoes and limited the subject to four major areas: (1) the economic and social structure of ghetto life, (2) the educational patterns--primary and secondary schools in the ghetto, (3) the relationships of ghetto dwellers to authority, and (4) the recreational patterns and the importance of peer groups. The researcher studied reviews and articles on similar works done by recognized artists in the field and investigated source materials on the craft of choreography. The investigator then produced the dance, which included the following: (1) selection of the themes, (2) selection of the personnel, (3) arranging for composition of the music, (4) development of the choreography, (5) selection of the costumes and set design, (6) arranging for lighting, and (7) staging the dance work. The investigator then recorded a history pf the dance from its inception to its performance, which included: (1) a review of the literature pertinent to the themes used in the dance work, (2) a review of the related studies and works, (3) procedure for choreography, (4) a qualitative description of the movement and dramatic content of the dance, (5) Labanotation of the dance in its entirety, (6) a copy of the musical score, (7) color plates of the costumes and set piece, and (8) recommendations for restaging, reconstruction, and further research. These findings are recorded in the present thesis. Summary and Evaluation: This study is concerned with choreography on contemporary American ghettoes. The researcher investigated literature pertinent to contemporary American ghettoes, and source materials on the craft of choreography. He then developed selected areas of the subject into an extended dance work, which included selection of the personnel, arrangement for composition of the music, development of the choreography, selection of the costume and lighting, staging the dance work, and recording a history of the work from its commencement to its performance. It is believed by this investigator from the findings of the study that contemporary American ghettoes provide a very rich source for choreographic themes. For as broad as the subject is, the possibility of exhausting all possible themes is remote. Contemporary American ghettoes are chancres that could eventually touch all Americans in their consequence. This investigator is additionally convinced, by virtue of research, of not only the possibility, but of the importance of contemporary American ghettoes as a theme for choreography. The limitations of this study did not permit the investigator to choreograph the educational patterns of the slums in depth. The investigator found this area to be a rich source for choreographic themes. An additional limitation was the number of men available for performing “Ghetto.” It would be interesting to have more men available. Especially educational for this investigator was the Labanotation of “Ghetto” in its entirety. The investigator suggests that anyone wanting to learn more about the analysis of human movement should notate an extended work. Another aspect that was educational for the researcher was that the theme of ghettoes innately suggests the use of props, pantomime, and general realistic treatment. For someone wanting experience in “total theatre,” the theme of ghettoes is excellent. The investigator found that the score used for “Ghetto” might have been developed more, so that at various points in the dance the taped sounds would be more pertinent to the dramatic idea of the movement being performed. Perhaps experimentation with new approaches to the accompaniment would be interesting. Inasmuch as this choreographic project was successful--judging from audience response--this investigator feels that all contemporary experience is grist for the artist’s mill, as long as the artist feels sufficiently passionate about the significance of the experience to be rendered artistically. The relationship of the artist’s personal bias in the larger contemporary context should be considered. To be successful, perhaps the artist’s personal bias should be placed on a more universal level, so as to be less dated. By virtue of this study, the investigator feels that contemporary experience can be an important--indeed a vital--source from which to dip raw material, wherewith art can focus aesthetically on society’s problems.
dc.subjectcraft of choreography
dc.subjectchoreographic themes
dc.subjectAmerican Ghettoes
dc.titleChoreography on contemporary American ghettoes
dc.type.materialText Education Houston State University of Art


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