Research Priorities for Dance Education: A Report to the Nation from The National Dance Education Organization
From 2001-2004 the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) pursued an extensive research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Two primary administrators, six key personnel, and 53 field researches amassed a body of literature about dance education in the U.S. from 1926 until the present.
The project answered the questions:
- What research exists in dance education? When was it done? Where is it located?
- What patterns, trends and gaps may be identified?
- What are the implications for dance, arts, and U.S. education?
- What are recommendations for future research?
The methodology for the project was achieved in three phases:
- Data Collection in unpublished documents, published literature in dance, and published literature in other disciplines.
- Data Analysis, Conclusions and Recommendations as documented in Research Priorities in Dance Education: A Report to the Nation
- Development of an online descriptive index and establishment of Centers for Dance Education for the continuance of document collection and dissemination of research.
This paper provides the rationale and methodologies for the RDE project, data collection and analysis, and outlines conclusions. It highlights major recommendations for future research in dance education and offers suggestion for practical use of the descriptive index.
100 years of post-revolutionary Mexican dance: Varieties of public art in movement
The key questions addressed in this paper are related to the historically changing concepts of concert dance in Mexico and the identification of four major “uses” for concert dance. These areas of history and “uses” are not mutually exclusive. The same agents may be using dance in several ways, simultaneously or throughout differing historical periods. These uses include dance as: a professional artistic activity under public patronage (in recent years sometimes complemented by private funding) that brings prestige to its sponsors; a community service and cultural mission to non-specialized publics and participants of “ordinary people”; an art world activity where performers, audiences, and promoters are specialists; and a commercial enterprise or mass media entertainment.
To address these questions concerning the changing historical practices of dance, the author contrasts the lavish entertainment programmed to celebrate the 2010 Bicentennial of the War of Independence (1810-1821) and Centennial of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1917) with the expectations originally created by this Revolution in relation to public arts. Some of these expectations continue to survive in the minds and language of today, particularly in the field of dance.
Thinking and Working in a Network: The Contribution of Social Dance Networks in Brazil and Latin America to the Enactment of Cultural and Educational Policies for Dance
Since the year 2000, one can observe an increase in the formation of networks among artists, producers and dance educators in several Latin American countries. The different dance realities of Latin American countries were shared and discussed and actions were undertaken by social dance networks, especially the South American Dance Network (Rede Sulamericana de Dança – RSD). As a space for mediation and negotiation among its social agents, as well as a knowledge-base, the RSD has been a catalyst for collaborative and political actions for the development of dance in the region. In the Brazilian context, since 2003, artists began to actively participate in discussions fostered by dance forums and the Ministry of Culture concerning the need to implement cultural policies for dance. This paper proposes to present some networking actions taken, such as those by RSD and National Dance Forum (Brazil). Its main focus is to present established articulations within the Brazilian context, with the purpose of implementing cultural and educational policies for dance.
Challenging Patriarchy Through Dance
This paper highlights my questioning of the patriarchal constructs in the world around me and the way I have addressed them through dance. As an Indian girl growing up in Singapore, I was made to learn Bharatanatyam as a means of maintaining a connection with India. Moving out of the traditional framework, I later began to examine issues relevant to me as a modern woman, using dance as a tool for communication.
In 1992, I choreographed a work that addressed the dowry issue. Outcaste Eternal (1997-2009) depicts the sexual revenge wreaked by a lone woman on an oppressive and male-dominated Namboodri community in Kerala. Crossroads (2002-08) explores the gender equation by experimenting with the traditional repertoire. Then & Now (2003-09) portrays the reflections of an elderly woman dancer, who has passed her prime. Radha Now (2005-06) redefines an old myth, viewing it from the perspective of the modern woman.
Through these works, I became aware of the patriarchal nature of Bharatanatyam as a dance form. I began to break the very form I had grown up learning, challenging patriarchy not just through dance, but through change from within the dance form.
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