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Movement Analysis Course at the Ohio State University discusses Sync/O

Graduate research assistant Lily Skove writes about educational uses of Sync/O at the Ohio State University:

Dr. Sheila Marion and PhD students in the department of dance recently discussed Sync/O in Marion’s History, Theory, and Literature of Movement Analysis course. Norah Zuniga Shaw was invited to present Sync/O in this course because Marion sees this project as an important contribution to today’s current graphic representations of dance. Last week I returned to the class to ask the students about their impressions of Sync/O in relation to their own PhD research.

Michael Morris, whose interest in the project lies in how it represents the body, spoke of how Synchronous Objects sparked questions for him about the absence and presence of embodiment.

Mara Penrose is currently researching what can be expressed in labanotation’s graphic system, exploring how it can be re-designed to be less of a symbol and more akin to the expressive qualities of the movement. She is inspired by the annotations and alignments and the expressive quality of the animated lines drawn on One Flat Thing, reproduced, and how they give clear information about the direction and flow of the movement.

Veronica Dittman spoke about her interest in the project’s ability to present a way of learning how to literally see dance, as she is concerned with the accessibility of the dance field and in connections between dance and cognitive science.

Jessica Zeller, who uses Synchronous Objects in her dance history general education requirement course for 100s of undergraduates, added that the project is a powerful teaching tool especially for students who are new to dance and just beginning to learn how to perceive movement.

Karl Rogers spoke about how the project relates to other fields and calls into question the stereotype of the dance field as an insular isolated art form.

Merissa Nesbit, a student in the art education department, is investigating the embedded value systems in the vocabulary that teachers use in their classrooms, and she is interested in the value system embedded in One Flat Thing, reproduced and how it is communicated through the terminology used to describe and present the work.

As a group we talked about how Sync/O asks you to look at ‘how to look at’ a dance, and the plurality of different ways of looking at Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, reproduced is one of the uses of the project.

We’ve also enjoyed hearing from educators and students outside of OSU about the project and in our upcoming new blog interface we will have an educator’s area just for this thread of discussion.
–Lillian Skove


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