Choreographing a life: Reflections on curriculum design, consciousness, and possibility

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan W. Stinson, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Over a decade ago, Mary Catherine Bateson1 published a book titled Composing a Life, in which she reflected upon various life decisions she and several other women in her generation had made about work, relationships, and other aspects of their lives as women in changing times. Several of these women had experience in the arts, and spoke of art making as a metaphor for the creation of their lives. More recently, an 11-year-old I was interviewing in my research told me something similar. When asked if she thought what she was learning in dance would be important, even for people who would not be dancers. She thought a bit and replied, “Well, yeah, because all through life you’re sort of choreographing, like I’m trying to choreograph what I’m going to live.... You’re basically choreographing your life.” Indeed, choreography makes a good metaphor for the decision-making process that we use in other parts of our lives. While some decisions may get made on the basis of a balance sheet, weighing pros and cons, most are more complex than that, a mixture of rationality and intuition, conscious and subconscious choices. Whether selecting a vacation site or a life partner, aesthetic criteria are usually part of the equation.

Additional Information

Journal of Dance Education, 1 (1), 26-33
Language: English
Date: 2001
Choreography, Decisions, Life reflections, Curriculum design, Consciousness, Possibility

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