Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Robert Higney


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.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.