Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Monique Haley

Second Advisor

Seyong Kim


I am researching the concept of metamorphosis as a reflection of myself and my journey for this Graduating Presentation project. I will be exploring the different components that influence this process of change and growth. Through my process I will inquire “What is necessary for this drastic evolution to occur, and what ideas must be present for it to follow through?” For this project, I will choreograph a staged work comprised of about 7-10 dancers (and understudies). I plan to take the audience through the ups, downs, and influences involved in the process of metamorphosis.

In order to experience growth within oneself, a strong community is a necessary attribute. All contributors in the community must be able and willing to support those around them.With this collaborative support, each community member can feel seen and heard, allowing for the expression of the authentic self. The scientific process of photosynthesis parallels these concepts. It is necessary to successful life on earth, just as a sound communal support is. In Raffeal Jovine’s How Light Makes Life, it is discussed how “plants inhale the carbon dioxide that we exhale, that they are a vital complement to animals, and that we are inextricably linked to plants through the shared medium of the air we breathe” (p. 29). Not only is it an essential aspect of life for plants, but the process produces oxygen, a product that is necessary for other life. This support of the self and others is a communal component and is evidently mirrored in both mentioned ideas.

Just as photosynthesis does not work without specific components, community and collective support cannot function when one part of the whole is unable or unwilling to do his/her/their part. Each individual must contribute his/her/their energy and support for a community to come to fruition. Without this contribution, a community may experience individuals “[competing] or [preying] on each other,” rather than collaborating (Jovine, p. 56). Communal support and feeling as if one belongs are vital to growth or metamorphosis. However, often leaving comfort is necessary for this change. When I left for college and the comfort of my childhood community, I experienced the most personal growth. This push outside of my box allowed me to take the risks I had feared so much before.

Along with the parallels of life, communal support, photosynthesis, and taking risks, I also plan to address the idea of perseverance within my choreographic work. Perseverance, or “grit” encompasses an earning of success in the “trenches” of hard work. This push is another aspect of a metamorphic journey; without drive, there is no place to go, causing a transformation of growth and helping an individual find him/her/themself.

Relating to my artistic statement, this concept of metamorphosis and the supporting inspirational components will be the driving forces of my movement generation. My movement vocabulary tends to be grounded, controlled, and athletic, with a wide range of sharp edges and fluid releases. The narrative(s) that I have spelled out above will inform how I piece together and shape the work I produce. I will encourage my dancers to consider the topics discussed, and how their lives interweave throughout them as well.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access