In Dance Film 1, Professor Mitchell Rose said “there is nothing new in this world.” I was shocked! But it is so true that something human has been expressing either by films or music or dance is the same theme over and over again. We as humans are facing the same theme of life, but experience it in our own way. Also, he said, “but there is only you in this world” which means I can have the original viewpoint which no one can have. This encourages me to find uniqueness within me instead of looking outside and comparing what I am lacking. Since the beginning of this semester, I have been thinking about what I can bring to the dance community at Ohio State University. So, my interest is I would like to comprehend my artistry deeper and it is evolved into my first research topic, understanding self-identity.
I am hoping to learn self-identity by investigating Japanese heritage and the life experiences that I earned through the travels. First, I would like to reveal the relationship between dance and Japanese culture by seeking the answers to so many questions that I have not solved yet. Such as how Japanese people embody their culture through dancing, what movement is defined as “Japanese-ness,” and what makes me push to study contemporary dance abroad. Also, I am very curious about foreign experiences in the body, locations, relationships, and lifespan and what makes people decide to stay or leave from there. Foreign experience is always part of me where I go and I have been wanting to unpack my emotion and thoughts through migration from Japan to the U.S. And I am focusing on Issei, who born in Japan and immigrated to different countries, performing artists specifically. It is because one, I might be a possibility to become one of them, but two, it would be great to bring objectivity in my research. I would like to investigate the artists’ hybridity of cultural identity as in how they have been creating their “home” at the new place, people, culture while keeping their roots, customs, and tradition at the same time.
The second is the nature of communication. I have noticed that word selection is very sensitive especially in an academic setting. Verbalizing is a huge influence on creating meaning, culture, mannerism. Even though dance is called non-verbal communication, it has different movement vocabularies in different dance genres. Over the quarantine, I started tutoring Japanese to kids to the graduate students. And I have noticed the similarities between teaching language and teaching dance. In dance class, everyone brings a different language through their bodies. It is like everybody speaks a different language. So, I am interested in how I as a teacher can strip off the specificity of terminology and able to communicate on a visceral level. My goal is generating a way to hybrid the cultures brought by everyone in the classroom and to create one dance language to speak as a whole class. In order to reach this goal, I would like to synchronize my study in Japanese (as language) and dance pedagogy. By establishing the common dance language will help to unite the people beyond the borders in the future education setting.
I am still on the stage of brainstorming yet, getting clear each day. I am very excited to work on my research project! Please let me know if you know about the resources related to the research topics on comment below. I appreciated any comments, suggestions, and ideas:) Thank you!