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.
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.