Professor of Dance
She is Co-Founder-Director of Contemplative Dance Workshops & Trainings with colleagues Alton Wasson and Mary Ramsay. They have taught professionals (artists, therapists, teachers, social workers, somatic practitioners, professional religious, hospice workers, physicians and nurses) of all ages and from all over the country and abroad since 1989. They initiated and hosted the first international (2006) and first national (1985) gatherings of Authentic Movement teachers.
Daphne has written several articles on Authentic Movement. Two of these, Authentic Movement and Authentic Movement as a Form of Dance Ritual are published in Authentic Movement: Moving the Body, Moving the Self, Being Moved, edited by Patrizia Pallaro (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007). Others have been published in Contact Quarterly and A Moving Journal, and she wrote the entry on Authentic Movement for The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines edited by Nancy Allison (The Rosen Publishing Group, 1999).
Her choreography has been honored by being chosen for the statewide MassMoves Festival, and the Gala Concerts at the American College Dance Festivals. She also performs Contemplative Dance solo improvisations. Earlier in her career she toured nationally dancing and teaching with the Bill Evans Dance Company. She also taught dance on the faculty at Arizona State University, the University of Washington and Smith College. She studied Authentic Movement with Janet Adler and Edith Sullwold in the Mary Starks Whitehouse Institute in 1982-83, Psychosynthesis with Dr. Tom Yeomans, and Body-Mind Centering with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.
Areas of interest in her teaching and advising, in addition to choreography and performance, include dance’s linkages with: anthropology, religion, psychology, creativity studies, experiential anatomy, education, neuroscience, healthcare and participatory or “applied” forms of dance. In recent years she has taught: modern dance technique, improvisation, composition and choreography, Dance and Culture, The Round Table: Research in Dance; Dance Advocacy: What’s Dance Got to Do with It? She has also developed courses in/using Contemplative Dance: Moving Meaning: Contemplative Dance and other creative practices for health, wellbeing and creativity; Embodied Imagination; Sources of Creativity. She works to advocate for dance to become more recognized, accessible and understood as the powerful, multiple, adaptable, intelligent, useful and meaningful practice it can be.
This class will explore movement, dance, and other bodily forms of devotional practice in religious cultures. While texts, stories, music, architecture, and imagery might be more familiar artistic forms of religious expression, movement practices are always present as well: noticed or not, valued or not, in action or stillness, permission or prohibition, in formalized dances or ritualized movement, the moving body is present. Students will engage in three strands of study: movement analysis, movement research and practice, and study of historical and contemporary examples. They will be introduced to analytical frameworks for perceiving and describing movement practices. They will themselves explore various aspects of movement in the studio - posture, gesture, texture, repetition, rhythm, relationships to gravity, other people, place, sound, etc. They will also study descriptions and recordings of danced and other devotional movement practices of religion from around the world. Weekly readings, in-depth studies of individual traditions, and a final project will be expected, but no previous dance experience will be!
In this seminar students will pursue advanced independent dance research and writing projects supported by a community of fellow student scholars. In class we will first consider contexts for this work by surveying in broad strokes the terrain of dance scholarship to register past and current interests, questions and debates. We'll note prominent and missing voices, and key professional organizations and journals. We'll also briefly review the history of dance's climb into higher education, and imagine the future of dance studies. We'll look for new sites for and modes of discourse within the field, including those in which students might aim to publish in the future. Out of class students will develop and revise projects that should serve a diverse range of Division III or II or senior project research goals. Students might begin with a project in mind or not. Class will meet 8:30-10:30 each Wednesday and alternate Fridays.
This course will examine dance through the lens of culture and culture through dance. We'll study past and current examples from around the world to consider the many roles dance plays, and the ways dance embodies, creates, transmits, changes and is bound by culture. Students will investigate dance's role in religion, rites of passage, politics, war, identity formation, medicine and social relations, and will discuss such issues as ownership and appropriation, tradition and change, influence and fusion. Students will hone skills of dance description and analysis informed by awareness of cultural biases and preferences, and will practice a variety of methodologies for dance research. Although some dances will be discussed in depth, the course is designed as a survey, hoping to serve as a foundation for future research or creative projects. While not a studio course, it will include bodily approaches to the material, but requires no experience in dance.
This course is designed for any student curious about design in motion. It will introduce theories and processes of movement composition and choreographic analysis. We'll work with movement prompts and structured improvisations to discover ways to generate movement, and to compose it into set forms. We'll question expectations about what dance, or a "good" dance is, and push to broaden movement preferences. In the process students will hone skills in perceiving, describing and interpreting compositional strategies in choreography. They'll also study works of established choreographers from a range of styles, examine in depth the work of a master artist, and learn to write analytically about choreography. Students will work with group forms in class, but craft assigned studies in solo form, leading to a final, complete dance performed in an informal showing. No previous experience in dance is required. Concurrent study of dance technique is encouraged.
This course will explore ways dance-movement and related arts/embodiment practices contribute to health and healing (broadly defined) and stimulate imagination and creativity in individuals and communities. In class students will learn and practice a form of embodied research and expression know as Contemplative Dance/Authentic Movement to develop capacities for listening to themselves and others, and to ground their research into the course's themes in personal movement practices. Students also will examine historical and contemporary examples of dance-movement used by a variety of people and cultures to enhance health, wellbeing and creativity. Readings will be drawn from studies in dance/movement therapy, the arts in healthcare and Authentic Movement, and biographical, historical or ethnographic accounts of dances of healing, ritual, trance and community nurturing. Students will consider different forms of documentation including first person narratives, metaphoric-intuitive descriptions, and physically tangible, measureable observations as they develop written final projects. No dance experience necessary.