Encompassment: Dance Ethnography Through Live Performance
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Performing and engaging in different cultural communities through my study abroad experiences were beyond bountiful. From the colorful social African, Calypso, and Limbo dances of Trinidad and Tobago to the Moorish and social gathering dances of the United Kingdom. I extracted so much knowledge and joy from my experiences. However, it was through these experiences that I learned that these cultural and social dances are disappearing. It startled me and I kept asking: Why aren’t these different cultural dances shared throughout the world and why are they disappearing? There was no solid answer and I had to find a way to document the cultural dances that I had the privilege to learn. That is when I found out about fellow researchers, choreographers, and teachers who share the same interest in Dance Ethnography. Dance Ethnography is reflexive research that is carried out by interactions in the fieldwork of dance within the diverse populations and cultures. The findings from the research are documented and analyzed. Cultural and social dances are disappearing because humanity is evolving at extreme rates due to war, technology, politics and these dances are not evolving with it. Inspired by the cultures of Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, France, Scotland, modern technology and the field of Dance Ethnography; I am choreographing an immersive multimedia performance called Encompassment. This performance will include footage from my experiences abroad, live dancing, projection, lighting, and a projection surface that I call the Stage Enhancer. The Stage Enhancer consists of two banners that are custom built to the performance venue to close the distance between the performer and the audience. The live performance of Encompassment will be a part of Choreographers’ Showcase, a show compiled of multiple dance pieces by Texas State dance students, in Dance Studio B178 at Texas State University on August 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of 2019.