Corpora Caelestia: A Movement Opera
McFall, Heidi M
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Corpora Caelestia: A Movement Opera is the written thesis prepared in conjunction with a performance that took place in October 2019. A requirement for the MFA in Dance at the University of Maryland, this performance crossed genres by blending dance and music. This paper outlines the performance from conception until completion, placing it within an experimental tradition of interdisciplinary work beginning in 1950s-60s New York. This written thesis articulates and engages two overarching concepts central to the thesis performance: dance as a practice of listening and dance as a path to transcendence. Each exploration surveys a history of its subject and uses the performance of Corpora Caelestia: A Movement Opera as a site of analysis to support a claim. First, I argue that postmodern dance improvisation can act as a practice of listening. Second, I defend the claim that transcendent encounters are desirable and possible through contemporary dance performances.