11/02/2017 Peter Durantine

Dance Teaches Us About Ourselves and Our Capabilities

At the Nov. 2 Common Hour, the Thursday community discussion held each week classes are in session, Associate Professor of Dance Pamela Vail said the art form of movement is a form of knowledge. 

“The body has wisdom, the body has intelligence,” the practicing choreographer said. “The whole body processes, experiences and expresses knowledge, from political to abstract; social to sensual. It is more than just a vehicle that carries us through the world.” 

Vail was accompanied by Assistant Professor of Dance Jennifer Conley, a former member of the Martha Graham Dance Company, who introduced dance selections created by the likes of Graham and Isadore Duncan and performed by a group of Franklin & Marshall students.

Please view a gallery of their performances:

  • Vail discusses the concept of “Body and Mind Centering,” that she described as an in-depth approach to integrating mind and body based in anatomy and physiology. She quotes the concept’s founder, therapist Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, “‘Our body moves as our mind moves.’” Vail discusses the concept of “Body and Mind Centering,” that she described as an in-depth approach to integrating mind and body based in anatomy and physiology. She quotes the concept’s founder, therapist Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, “‘Our body moves as our mind moves.’” Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • “Dance can be entertainment, yes, but it goes much further as a way of deeply knowing the world and interacting and engaging with it,” Vail says. “This is what we teach.” “Dance can be entertainment, yes, but it goes much further as a way of deeply knowing the world and interacting and engaging with it,” Vail says. “This is what we teach.” Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • “Moving helps us better see the world,” says Vail. “Dance teaches whole body thinking.” “Moving helps us better see the world,” says Vail. “Dance teaches whole body thinking.” Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • “Dance teaches us about ourselves and our assumptions about our capabilities,” she says. “As we increase our self-knowledge, we develop our understanding of others, and the world at large.” “Dance teaches us about ourselves and our assumptions about our capabilities,” she says. “As we increase our self-knowledge, we develop our understanding of others, and the world at large.” Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • “Ironically, I’ve heard too many time this idea that when we dance, ‘We just need to turn off our mind.’” Vail says. “No, we don’t turn off our minds. I would argue that what’s happening is we’re using our minds in a different way, a different way than we use it in everyday life.” “Ironically, I’ve heard too many time this idea that when we dance, ‘We just need to turn off our mind.’” Vail says. “No, we don’t turn off our minds. I would argue that what’s happening is we’re using our minds in a different way, a different way than we use it in everyday life.” Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • Conley, supine, joins the students in one of the dance selections. Conley, supine, joins the students in one of the dance selections. Image Credit: Deb Grove
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