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The Influential Force of Light: A Choreographic Response to the Effect of Lighting on Human Movement

Lighting has traditionally been viewed as a highlighter or finishing touch for dance and theatrical productions, yet there is insufficient research regarding light as a primary influential medium that affects human movement within dance.  It largely remains a technical facility instead of an art within popular perception. Lighting is a prominent component of performance dance and therefore, as a factor within the performance environment, lighting could influence movement along with highlighting it.  How does light truly affect movement to begin with?

Throughout this project, I was interested in how we can actively utilize and understand light to affect a visual, communicative, and or rhythmic experience dancers encounter by combining variations of light with movement in a safe and secure manner.  In an effort to discover how light impacts a person’s movement and elicits responses to the lighting transformation of a controlled space in order to advance options and theories for overall aesthetic and creative processes of choreography, I designed tasks in response to choreographed lighting for dancers to explore.  The lighting was designed first before any movement or music was created.


The platform for this study was Merleau-Ponty’s consideration of the Body Schema, an aspect of embodiment.  A Practice as Research (PaR) methodology approach to collecting qualitative findings was undertaken along with interpretative and descriptive phenomenology as a mode of analysis.


Final Choreographic Work

Final Presentation

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