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Research Highlights

Highlighted faculty and student research


Honest Bodies: Revolutionary Modernism in the Dances of Anna Sokolow

Hannah Kosstrin, Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor Hannah Kosstrin’s work on dance, Jewish and gender studies led to the recent publication of her book, Honest Bodies: Revolutionary Modernism in the Dances of Anna Sokolow (Oxford University Press, 2017). It is the first book of its kind to offer such an extensive analysis of Sokolow’s choreography including photos, film, live performances and critical reviews from international sources. Sokolow’s choreography was known for crisscrossing global social movements and Kosstrin’s book sheds political light on Sokolow’s life and career through the lens of her Jewishness, leftist ideals and gender. According to Kosstrin, her book “examines the transnational circulation of American modernism through Anna Sokolow’s choreography among the communist and Jewish currents of the international Left from the 1930s to 1960s in the United States, Mexico and Israel.” Read more about Honest Bodies in our semi-annual InForm publication.

Honest Bodies: Revolutionary Modernism in the Dances of Anna Sokolow

Black Body Between the Lines: Mary Hinkson Dancing Graham and Transforming White Spaces

Melanye White Dixon, Associate Professor

Dixon's publication on Marion Cuyjet is the first of its kind regarding training Black ballerinas in the United States and a recent Critical Difference For Women grant supports her digital narrative project: "Black Body Between the Lines, Mary Hinkson Dancing Graham and Transforming White Spaces." In the project, Dixon interrogates the notion of dance and activism during the performance career of Mary Hinkson, former principal dancer with the celebrated Martha Graham Dance Company. The research acknowledges Hinkson as a legendary modern dance artist and considers her role in addressing racial barriers and challenging cultural hegemony in American concert dance during the direct action phase of the Civil Rights Movement (1955-1965). A 2016-17 Coca-Cola Critical Difference for Women Research Grant enabled the acquisition of photo documentation to support this project. (see overview slideshow)

Black Mountain College: Restaging of Merce Cunningham

Karen Eliot, Professor
Daniel Roberts, Assistant Professor

Working from notebooks I retrieved from my years dancing in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, videotapes and communications with other Cunningham alumni, Daniel Roberts and I restaged excerpts from three dances choreographed by Merce Cunningham in the 1950s, when his company was in summer residence at the famous Black Mountain College in North Carolina. The Wexner Center for the Arts invited Professor Roberts and me to restage the dances for students to accompany the exhibit, “Leap Before You Look” that toured nationally in 2016.
MinEvent, Leap Before You Look, Wexner Center for the Arts

Denmark Tour

Ann Sofie Clemmnsen, Visiting Assistant Professor

Dance Denmark is a 5 1⁄2 week long performance, teaching and cultural exchange program that is committed to engage with dance as a creative movement practice with many forms of expression. The program aims to inform the participating students how to engage with dance as a physical platform for bridging cultural understand between different countries and cultures. Students participating in this program had to successfully complete an audition held in Autumn semester 2016.

Dance In Transit

Harmony Bench, Associate Professor

Dance in Transit (Harmony Bench and Kate Elswit, Principal Investigator) is a digital humanities research project that applies the tools of data analysis to the study of dance history. In particular, this project emphasizes the necessary relation between touring performers and the modes, networks, and infrastructures of transportation that link cities, countries, and cultures. Dance in Transit is supported by a Battelle Engineering, Technology, and Human Affairs (BETHA) Grant.

Dance in the Gutter

Todd Eckert, MFA '17

Department of Dance Winter Concert --- February 2017

Dance in the Gutter examines the notions of closure and the gutter that appear in the sequential art form of comics. Research for this project accessed over 70 years of superhero comics from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum at the Ohio State University. The culminating dance work investigates how these devices manifest in dance, while exploring the notion of making sense with dance, versus making meaning in a literary way. Action forces reaction between duets, as spatial patterns that appear and dissolve reveal presence and absence among a community.

Autism and the Arts

Liv Tschantz, BFA '17

Ohio State Dance Students are changing the lives of local children on the autism spectrum with the power of dance. B.F.A. Dance Student Liv Tschantz teaches dance to students at Bridgeway Academy, a Columbus school that focuses on educating children with autism and other developmental disabilities. She and fellow B.F.A. Dance Student Danielle Fishman went to Bridgeway Academy one day a week where they taught children of all different ages.
click here to read the feature article on The Ohio State University's homepage

autism and the arts image

Paradise Park

Charlotte Stickles, BFA '17

FROM ONE: Department of Dance BFA/MFA Concerts --- December 2016

“We seek the purity of our absence, but everywhere we find our own fingerprints.”–Richard White, Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature

In Paradise Park, Charlotte Stickles explores the boundary between perceived nature and artifice. By performing within the confines of an immersive, simulated outdoor park, Stickles encourages participants to reconsider what they classify as natural. If we accept our bodies as part of nature, thereby acknowledging the inherent power and potential of humans, are we more apt to live sustainably within our own environment?