Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Dance

First Advisor

Michelle Ellsworth

Second Advisor

Gesel Mason

Third Advisor

Steven Frost

Fourth Advisor

Theodore Stark

Abstract

As humans attribute their own narratives to animals in an attempt to expand their understanding of nature, Kübler-Ross on Leaving the Mother uses dance and anthropomorphism to critique humanocentrism as it continues to separate humans from nature. Inspired by the work of Ohad Naharin, Faye Driscoll and Michelle Ellsworth, I created a fictional universe on stage in which hens, rabbits, and a slug display a transition away from mother nature and into humanistic tendencies. On February 10th-12th, the stage was taken by a storm of eggs and feathers, as domestic hens fight the patriarchal structure of the hen house and the commodification of their bodies. Examining second-wave feminism in relation to biblical expectations of women, the hens oscillate between domesticity and a powerful reclaiming of their bodies, reproductive cycles, and sexuality. The audience also dove into the burrow of two rabbits who have internalized normative identities in American culture. Through self exploration and physical contact, these rabbits complicated the sociological connotations of unwanted fur and the deceptive qualities of kale. Finally the land slug, whose species has adapted to utilize processed foods to ward off predators, experienced the negative effects these toxic foods have had on the species over generations. The land slug traveled through Kübler-Ross’s 5 stages of grief as it faced extinction. By referencing the processes of contemporary artists and the current sociological human condition, I created an absurd animal kingdom that disrupted my audience’s understanding of dance and humanocentric thinking.

Included in

Dance Commons

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