Date of Award
dance, modern dance, embodiment, proprioception, kinaesthetic, social prescription
Martha Graham, foremost pioneer of American Modern dance, is the originator and developer of what is known today as the Graham technique. When this technique is removed from performative contexts, the philosophy of its practice can add insight to a discussion of embodiment and what it means to resist socially prescribed embodiments. This paper will examine the ways in which the Graham technique cultivates awareness of embodiment’s origins and processual nature, and therefore how a conscious resistance to social conditioning can arise. The neuroscientific and physiological processes behind this cultivation of awareness will be discussed, and several examples of resistance to social conditioning using key elements of the Graham technique will be developed.
McManus, Cara, "Modern Dance, Embodiment, and Society: The Graham Technique’s Resistance to Conditioned Physicality" (2021). CUNY Academic Works.