Murray State University

Poster Title

Burden

Institution

Murray State University

Abstract

Women are expected to play clashing roles in today’s world: mother/worker; innocent/ experienced; modest/confident; intelligent/weak; sexy/shy; to name a few. To this end, what is female has become a question that cannot be clearly defined. Fighting to play all of these opposing characters in life can potentially lead to insanity both in women’s own minds and a perceived insanity from the world at large that still views us as second class and incomprehensible. I believe much of what is considered insane in women is constructed from the burden of unrealistic social standards to which women attempt to conform. Once a woman learns to strive for only what would make her feel successful and ignore the pressures from society, the insanity dissipates. To portray this societal burden through movement, I will use 5 dancers: three females and two males. For props, the dance is developed surrounding three of black blocks, creating more interesting shapes. The blocks represent the confinement of societal standards. The music for the piece is Samuel Barber’s mournful Adagio for Strings. Choreographically, I am working with strange space designs. Strange space pushes me out of my comfort zone and represents the insanity concept very well. I am drawing movement inspiration from my view of this issue as well as from other’s opinions of insanity by reading feminist writings dealing with society’s influence and control: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedman, and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Stetson.

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Burden

Women are expected to play clashing roles in today’s world: mother/worker; innocent/ experienced; modest/confident; intelligent/weak; sexy/shy; to name a few. To this end, what is female has become a question that cannot be clearly defined. Fighting to play all of these opposing characters in life can potentially lead to insanity both in women’s own minds and a perceived insanity from the world at large that still views us as second class and incomprehensible. I believe much of what is considered insane in women is constructed from the burden of unrealistic social standards to which women attempt to conform. Once a woman learns to strive for only what would make her feel successful and ignore the pressures from society, the insanity dissipates. To portray this societal burden through movement, I will use 5 dancers: three females and two males. For props, the dance is developed surrounding three of black blocks, creating more interesting shapes. The blocks represent the confinement of societal standards. The music for the piece is Samuel Barber’s mournful Adagio for Strings. Choreographically, I am working with strange space designs. Strange space pushes me out of my comfort zone and represents the insanity concept very well. I am drawing movement inspiration from my view of this issue as well as from other’s opinions of insanity by reading feminist writings dealing with society’s influence and control: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedman, and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Stetson.