Title of Abstract

Behind My Eyes

Submitting Student(s)

Madison Syswerda

Session Title

Live and Prerecorded Performances

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Kelly Ozust, Ph.D.

College

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Department

Theatre & Dance

Abstract

Human beings are filled with stress and a weight that can translate to mental issues such as anxiety and depression. Choreographers can use our medium to help cope with these issues. I have used my own personal trauma as well as having conversations with my dancers about their mental health to create this piece. Unfortunately, some people do not recognize the severity of mental illness. In this research I have tried finding ways to take people to such a place of discomfort that they are feeling the nearly the same amount of pain that those who are dealing with it. When watching a horror movie and you are feeling the anxiety from the anticipation is the feeling I want to reach. I want my audience to feel uneasy about the dance. Mental illness is never comfortable and that is the feeling I want to convey. The more awareness raised would lead to society truly recognizing the horror of mental illness. People will advocate, but most do not truly understand. I believe that if people see the agonizing state of mind, they will sympathize with us.  Researching this topic, I am looking into my own mind (as well as the minds of my dancers) and experiences to bring out the truthfulness of these illnesses. Watching other dances that focus on mental illness from different perspectives is also very useful in bringing many aspects together in a way that will make sense to a mass of the community.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Behind My Eyes

Human beings are filled with stress and a weight that can translate to mental issues such as anxiety and depression. Choreographers can use our medium to help cope with these issues. I have used my own personal trauma as well as having conversations with my dancers about their mental health to create this piece. Unfortunately, some people do not recognize the severity of mental illness. In this research I have tried finding ways to take people to such a place of discomfort that they are feeling the nearly the same amount of pain that those who are dealing with it. When watching a horror movie and you are feeling the anxiety from the anticipation is the feeling I want to reach. I want my audience to feel uneasy about the dance. Mental illness is never comfortable and that is the feeling I want to convey. The more awareness raised would lead to society truly recognizing the horror of mental illness. People will advocate, but most do not truly understand. I believe that if people see the agonizing state of mind, they will sympathize with us.  Researching this topic, I am looking into my own mind (as well as the minds of my dancers) and experiences to bring out the truthfulness of these illnesses. Watching other dances that focus on mental illness from different perspectives is also very useful in bringing many aspects together in a way that will make sense to a mass of the community.