Dancing the Doctrines: Theology in Motion

A call for papers, panels, movement sessions and choreography
Sponsored by the Department of Dance with support from the BYU Museum of Art

July 17 and 18, 2009 at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art and in the BYU Richards Building dance studios.

The symposium will explore the relationship between the discipline of dance and the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Proposals in all areas of the discipline will be considered, including but not limited to creating, performing and teaching as well as proposals of a variety of dance styles. Selection will be made on the strength and relevance of the proposal to the symposium theme.

In addition to the papers, panel, movement sessions and an evening of choreography the symposium will include an introductory address, a keynote evening speaker, a banquet, and interludes of dance that are specifically related to works of art that will be on display in the museum.

Possible topics and questions to be considered (but certainly not limited to) are:

  • Dance creation and performance as an act or expression of faith.
  • How do doctrines that concern the body inform the aesthetic, practice and moral choices that we make regarding what we put on stage?
  • The joys and/or difficulties of being a Latter-day Saint dance artist.
  • What it means to be a member of the church and a dancer. What guiding principles issue forth from that knowledge, understanding.
  • Writing the histories of significant Latter-day Saint dance artists and educators.
  • Documenting programs and performances that move dance forward as artistic endeavors or recreational pursuits.
  • Why does the Church support touring to the extent it does and in the present global economy is the ratio of resources between what is expended and what is gained as significant as it has been in the past?

Proposal Requirements:
Please submit a one-page, double-spaced description of your proposal. Follow the guidelines below according to the type of presentation:

  • Paper presentations—Verbal presentations of topics that are relevant to the field and the theme. Note that papers will be limited to 15 minutes with a 5-minute question and answer period.
  • Panels—Panels are discussions by three to five individuals on topics related to the theme.
  • Movement session—Movement sessions will be 45-minute participatory activities related to the theme.
  • Choreography—Choreography, either live or dance for camera, (solo or group work), 4 to 8 minutes long, that demonstrates how your artistic work and your commitment to the Gospel unfold. The works do not have to be overtly “religious” in nature, but it should be clear that the work emanates from your commitment to the principles of the restored Gospel. The works selected will be for an evening sharing in the RB Studio Theatre.

A panel of dance professionals from several different dance styles will review submissions.

Submission Requirements: Please include, as a title page, the following information with your proposal.

  • Your name
  • Proposal type
  • Title of presentation
  • Program description of your submission – not to exceed 30 words
  • If pertinent, your title or designation
  • A brief (100 word or less) biography for each participant
  • Contact information: address, phone number, email

Proposal must be postmarked by January 15th, 2009. Decision notification will be during the first week of February.

Proposals can be emailed to [email protected] (preferable) or sent by post to Pat Debenham, 2224 Richards Building, BYU, Provo UT 84602.

If you have questions that you’d like answered by phone, please contact Pat at 801-422-3340, and please pass this information on to others that you think might be interested.

Click to download a printable Call for Papers Flyer (PDF)

2 comments for “Dancing the Doctrines: Theology in Motion

  1. Ben Huff
    December 3, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    This call for papers is, of course, posted on behalf of BYU’s Pat Debenham, who, by the way, made a very stimulating presentation at this past spring’s SMPT meeting, on the theological dimensions of dance for LDS.

  2. December 3, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for posting this Ben! It is now up at MormonConferences.org.

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