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Open Access Publications from the University of California

kNOw | BODY'S: The Effects of Communication in Dance Pedagogy on Artistic Voice and Personal Identity

  • Author(s): Matsuyama-Tsai, Krystal
  • Advisor(s): Fisher, Jennifer
  • et al.

This ethnographic research study investigates how the dynamics of pedagogical communication in the studio influence the suppression and silencing of a dancer’s identity and artistic voice. Through autoethnographic research methods interwoven with a literature review, observations in the dance studio, and seven collegiate dancer interviews, I question what occurs in the transactional learning space between teacher and student. Considering methods of best practice, I investigate my own artistic voice by embodying non-authoritarian ideals within a choreographic process ending in a thesis concert unexpectedly cancelled due to COVID-19. The stillness coerced by the pandemic divulges further aspects of my silenced voice and reveals a passion for art-making through digital film. In this self-study, I discover the importance of compassion, towards others and myself, and conclude that the process of creating art and discovering one’s voice is deeply layered, multi-faceted, and continuously-evolving.

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