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, and 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; and 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.
In this course, upper-level artists-designers will upend their arts practices to experiment with and observe imagination's dynamics and so provoke/freshen their art. They'll suspend training, habits and beliefs about themselves/their work, engage with materials outside their skills, and note how these influence or cross disciplines. Movement and the tangibility of the body will provide gateways for these explorations of matter, perception, expression. Do the body's structures inspire/limit artistic practice? What images does the body house? How do the physical experiences of bone, breath, texture, density, rhythm, color or character influence imagination and creative processes? Through Authentic Movement practice, study of the body, and improvisation in various materials students will cultivate curiosity about sensorial sources of imagination, and learn to collaborate with images, intuitions, demons or muses that appear. Weekly artistic practice, readings in creativity, showing works-in-progress, a final project and summary report are required; previous dance experience is not.
This course is designed for any student curious about design in motion: choreography. 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 one choreographer, 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 continue to develop skills in imagining and composing dances, now focusing on group forms, and the challenges to creating meaning, referential or abstract, in non-verbal, three-dimensional, motional and, most of all, embodied expression. In class we'll explore a variety of composition strategies used in group work, both classical and contemporary, and work with longer, more complex sequences. We'll play with such methods as layering, subtracting, juxtaposing, multiplicity, simultaneity, ambiguity, image, suggestion and statement. We'll also discuss strategies for working with dancers and conducting rehearsals. Out of class, students will develop one group dance over the semester in weekly rehearsals with their dancers. In addition, students will develop a portfolio of resources (in music, visual images, poetry and other materials), and study dances of established choreographers.
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 8:30-10:20 each Wednesday and alternate Fridays.