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Title: The impact of the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa Dance Program : graduate students, Honolulu dance companies, and the community of Oʻahu 
Author: Novack, Lynn
Date: 2005
Abstract: The University of Hawai'i at Manoa Dance Program is producing dancers that are making a difference in the professional world of dance on O'ahu and the mainland. I selected five alumni/ae pursuing careers in dance who had completed their MFA degrees at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (hereafter UHM). I interviewed each of them over the telephone and via e-mail using a list of questions I created to question how their degrees relate to the positions they now hold. Each dancer graduated with an MFA degree in the past twenty years and continued to either dance professionally, teach at an educational institute, or both. I also interviewed four current MFA students in the Dance Program and asked them to share their personal aspirations and their hopes for the UHM Dance Program. Additionally, I selected three local modern dance companies that have ties to UHM through their dancers. I asked each Artistic Director how the University of Hawai'i Dance Program affects their company. My goal was to find how UHM is affecting graduate alumni/ae, present MFA candidates, and Artistic Directors of local companies. In what way did each dancer take what they learned at UHM and apply it to their everyday professional and personal lives? I am pursuing my MA degree at the University of Hawai'i. I started studying modern dance during my undergraduate time at UHM from 2000 - 2001, and obtained a minor in dance. I fell in love with modern dance, and decided to pursue a graduate degree. This research is relevant and interesting to me as it shows how a UHM dance degree affects other's in their lives, both personal and professional. I wanted to find how these alumni/ae were able to incorporate their passion for dance into a career, and how the university helped to contribute to the vitality of dance in the O'ahu community and on the mainland. In interviews I posed the same questions for each alumni/ae and current dancer at UHM. These questions were: Where did you study dance before attending UHM? Did you perform professionally? Which dance styles do you associate the most with? Why did you chose UHM for your MFA? When did you attend UHM? Do you feel UHM made a positive influence on you? Who were your greatest influences at UHM? Did UHM push you further than expected or hoped on a physical or mental level? Where do you teach dance? Where have you taught since graduating from UHM? Do you teach your students what you learned from UHM? How does UHM compare to the school you are employed by? Do you reflect back on your degree and time spent at UHM and how? Looking back, would you go to UHM and do it allover again? Would you recommend UHM to others? What do you think are UHM's strengths and weaknesses? Do you think local modern dance can survive on O'ahu without UHM? And I asked each subject to list anything they would like to add that I might have missed. My purpose was to find out if these dancers applied what they learned while obtaining their UHM degree in their current career. I wondered what the current degree candidates were hoping to achieve by completing their MFA degree from UHM. At the beginning of my interview process with the alumni/ae, I did not know if they used their UHM schooling or not. Were these former UHM dancers applying specific lessons gained during their degree pursuits? To what extent do they credit UHM for where they are with dance today? While wanting to discover if the UHM Dance Program is contributing to the vitality of local dance, I wanted to find if it contributes to the evolution of this artistic discipline locally. I believe my role in the process of interviewing the heads of current O'ahu dance companies is to be a facilitator of dialogue about dance and find insights for current and future students about the long term contributions of the UHM Dance Program for its graduates' careers in the local community and beyond as a performer and choreographer. A larger inferred question that my research analyzes is: Can local modern dance survive without the university?
Description: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2005. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 46-47). iii, 47 leaves, bound 29 cm
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/11519
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Keywords: University of Hawaii at Manoa -- College of Arts and Humanities -- Public opinion, Dancers -- Attitudes, Dance companies -- Hawaii -- Oahu

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