Shedding Skin in Art-Making: Choreographing Identity of the Black Female Self Through Explorations of Cultural Autobiographies
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This artistic inquiry was conducted to explore specific processes in dance making and expand upon how I use my own history in the choreographic process. For my Movement Project Shedding Skin: Expose, Educate, and Evolve, I address my phenomenological experience as an African-American choreographer residing in Oregon. I expanded my choreographic processes after conducting a personal interview with choreographer Gesel Mason based on the Oral Historian Association's interview techniques and analyzed the creative process used by Mason in creating No Boundaries: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers. This information and that gathered from utilizing the Liz Lerman Critical Response Process in choreographic feedback sessions led to the culmination of three solos, which I choreographed on my dancing body. These works address my identity through exploring African-American culture, identity in new environments, and experiences with racism, bias, and stereotypes. My Movement Project video footage is included as a Supplemental File.