Student working on a research project.

Lecture Demonstration & National Festival

This project seeks to provide students the opportunity to participate in a lecture demonstration format and perform on a National Stage, two very different -but standard- ways of presenting in today's dance market. It also seeks to provide students with an understanding of grant writing for an artistically based research endeavor.

Beginning with an invited in-studio dress rehearsal in the Fall of 2018 at the University at Buffalo, one week prior to departing for the DUMBO Dance Festival, students will begin by performing "awhile," a dance piece originally presented 6 months ago for a black box theatre, choreographed and conceived by Professor Danielle Lydia Sheather. After the performance, dancers will discuss with the audience their process of grant writing for an artistically based research endeavor, they will highlight any trials they came across during the group submission and what they learned from the process. They will then discuss re-staging the work for a larger proscenium stage. They will communicate their findings on repertoire and the advantages and disadvantages this process has for major dance companies and college dancers alike. They will also discuss the challenges and experiences they individually underwent during this process. This will be followed by a Question and Answer Period where audience members will be given the opportunity to provide feedback and ask any questions related to the re-staging/repertoire process or the National Festival that the students will be attending the week following. Students will learn to engage with their audience and experience answering questions in the moment without any knowledge of the questions prior to the event.

Following the lecture demonstration, the students will attend the 2018 White Wave DUMBO Dance Festival in Brooklyn, NY which will take place at the Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, a 300-seat proscenium stage from October 11th-14th 2018. This year's DUMBO Dance Festival will showcase an estimated 75 emerging and established choreographers and dance companies from both the US and abroad and is expected to attract more than 3,500 people. The performance will grant the students the opportunity to perform of a National Stage alongside professional companies from around the world, representing the University at Buffalo, and garnering more practical experience in the field.

Grant recipients will again perform "awhile" utilizing the feedback they received from the lecture demonstration. Students will also have the opportunity to attend performances from various professional dance companies also selected to perform at the Festival in an effort to expand their personal aesthetics on dance through the use of constructive criticism. Additionally, the festival is attended by prominent dance critics exposing students to a learning experience they may never otherwise have access to in the academic field.

Upon conclusion of the Festival, students will again present their findings in another lecture demonstration at the University at Buffalo. The students will perform "awhile" one final time and will learn to engage with their audience about their experiences dancing on a larger stage, at a National Venue, alongside professional companies, with prominent dance critics in the audience. The will also have the opportunity to analyze their use of feedback and how it affected their performance in a positive or negative way. Additionally, the students will discuss whether their personal aesthetics on dance changed having witness the other companies at the Festival. They will discuss their individual use of constructive criticism and explain how this either changed their views or solidified them. Once again the audience will be given the opportunity to participate in a Question and Answer Period. Students will receive feedback on the process as a whole from the grant writing process to the culmination of this event.

Research Project Information

Disciplines: Dance Technique, Dance Theatre Dance Performance, Presenting Dance Dance Aesthetics and Criticism, The Business of Dance
Student Skill-Set Needed: Sophomore through Junior Dance Majors with performing experience in Zodiaque Dance Ensemble 2018 (DAC340LEC or DAC340SEM)
Compensation: Volunteer
Available: Fall


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Danielle Lydia Sheather
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Theatre And Dance
Office: Department Of Theatre And Dance University At Buffalo, SUNY Alumni Arena St 280A
Phone: 917-680-6648