Temporal Research Approach to Dance Creation




The Temporal Research Approach is a socio-anthropological method designed to create dance works that bridge various temporal and spatial contexts. This approach leverages the African aesthetic principle of Triunity, which encompasses the past, present, and future, to form a “Temporal Triangle.” This triangle provides a comprehensive framework for analyzing source materials and current works in progress, facilitating a rich integration of historical, contemporary, and innovative elements.

How to Use the Model

To effectively utilize the Temporal Research Approach, follow these steps:

  1. Identify and Gather Sources: Collect materials from three temporal categories: ancient/traditional, contemporary, and your current work in progress.
  2. Analyze Using the Rubric: Apply the rubric to analyze the physical space, physical time, social space, social time, conceptual space, and mythological space across these sources.
  3. Cross-Reference: Identify commonalities and differences between the sources to inform your work.
  4. Synthesize and Innovate: Use the insights gained to create a new dance work that integrates elements from all three temporal categories.
  5. Contextualize and Perform: Ensure your work is relevant and resonates with contemporary audiences while maintaining a connection to historical and cultural roots.

Temporality Research Method Table

Aspect Ancient/Traditional Contemporary Material My Work
Physical Space Historical and cultural settings Modern urban and performance spaces Fusion of traditional and modern spaces
Physical Time Specific historical periods Present-day contexts Current performance timeline
Social Space Community rituals and gatherings Social dance settings and public spaces Diverse audience settings
Social Time Temporal context within historical societies Contemporary social dynamics Present and future social interactions
Conceptual Space Mythological and symbolic frameworks Modern ideological and thematic concerns New thematic and ideological exploration
Mythological Space Spiritual and metaphysical dimensions Symbolism in contemporary dance practices Fusion of ancient mythology with modern symbols


Example Analysis: Strong Female Characters

Aspect Ancient/Traditional Contemporary Material My Work
Physical Space Temples and sacred sites Urban dance studios and performance venues Combination of sacred and contemporary spaces
Physical Time Ritualistic time periods Present-day performances Integrated performance schedule
Social Space Community and spiritual gatherings LGBTQ+ and urban dance communities Inclusive and diverse audience settings
Social Time Cyclical ritual times Events and gatherings in current social contexts Continuous engagement with audience
Conceptual Space Themes of divinity and power Gender fluidity and self-expression Synthesizing divinity with modern themes
Mythological Space Oya’s spiritual significance Symbolism in Vogue and Waacking Merging ancient myths with contemporary dance

Detailed Example: Creating a Work Featuring Strong Female Characters

  1. Ancient/Traditional Sources: Research danced female divinities like Oya, a warrior goddess from West Africa and the Americas. Oya represents non-conforming femininity and fluid gender expressions, with powerful stances and movements that symbolize both elegance and martial prowess.
  2. Contemporary Material: Examine dance forms such as Vogue and Waacking, which also challenge gender norms and celebrate fluidity and self-expression. These forms have historical connections to the same themes embodied by Oya.
  3. My Work: Synthesize elements from Oya and contemporary dance forms to create a new work that addresses current societal issues like gender norms and resistance to prejudice. This new creation should reflect the urgency of affirming and challenging these norms, drawing from historical aesthetics and contemporary relevance.

By following these steps and using the provided tables, students can effectively apply the Triangular Temporal Research Approach to their own dance projects. This method ensures that their works are not only aesthetically and thematically rich but also deeply resonant with historical traditions and contemporary issues, transforming dance from a finite event into a dynamic interaction within the larger societal phenomenon.