Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Dance) Honours

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

First Advisor

Renée Newman

Abstract

LINK Dance Company at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) offers postgraduate students the opportunity to bridge the gap between graduate level studies in dance and professional practice. Students gain company experience whilst being able to further their research interests in dance throughout their pre-professional year. LINK Dance Company also encourages students to contribute to the choreographic process where possible to enhance professional practice. Using the Company in 2017 for an exploratory case study, the aim of this research was to investigate the presence of creative awareness in the choreographic process between choreographers and dancers. The research methodology involved mixed qualitative methods of participatory observations and informal interviews with participants on secondment with a professional dance company during the making of a new contemporary dance work. Common themes and habitual negative tendencies were expressed by the dancers during interviews and compared to a developed set of indicators of creative awareness. Observations of the choreographic process between the choreographer and dancer relationship were used to determine one of three pathways supporting how choreography was generated and how dancers understand their responses to choreographic instructions. The rationale for this approach was to identify attributes of professional creative competency (awareness) and gain an insight into how such attributes could assist students in transitioning from trainee dancer to professional contemporary dancer. In the course of the research I found numerous instances of what I refer to as ‘creative awareness’. I isolate the capacity to understand, demonstrate, produce and critically engage (or self-reflect) with important qualities, skills and techniques needed for a successful relationship between dancer and choreographer as pertaining to a creative awareness. I argue harnessing this awareness is necessary for a trainee dancer’s readiness to transition to a professional dancer.

Included in

Dance Commons

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