By Leisa DeCarlo (MFA 2014)
The Department of Dance has been overwhelmingly represented through outstanding undergraduate research. Most prestigiously, the department holds a firm presence in the top three winners of the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum. A university-wide event, the Denman Awards are supported by the Office of Research and as a tradition among undergraduates to share their personal research, scholarship and creativity.
This year, the participating dance undergraduate class swept the Denman in their category, Art and Architecture, claiming the top three places and honorable mention. “Creativity is a powerful aspect of the human experience that connects us to a sense of hope and essentially to ourselves as valuable humans,” wrote Tyisha Nedd for her third place project, The Significance of Art Integration within the Prison Environment. Each of the winners demonstrated a deep connection to the virtuosity dance offers through movement, as well as the way in which dance might help one to confound greater ideas and questions about life and humanity.
Second place winner, Kathryn Sauma, through her exploration of the subconscious and metaphysical sense of “being,” was hopeful that her research would be kept alive, as she felt her project to be merely a “start to years of research for dance improvisation,” (Mind and Motion: Merging Words with Action Through Choreography and Improvisation).
From research ranging in the exploration of dance through neuroscience to the integration of dance within the prison environment, the dancers displayed the broad impact of dance.
The four senior winners, Lauren Bedal (1st place), Kathryn Sauma (2nd place), Tyisha Nedd (3rd place), and Ella Matweyou (4th place), portrayed the diverse theoretical inquiry that can be discerned and discovered through the universal medium of dance.