Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Transformations as acts of Learning: Enlivening and Infusing Learning especially in the Creative, Choreographic, and Performance Processes through Transformative Experiences.

Karen Potter.

Dance as an Art form requires creativity both in the compositional or choreographic phase and in the ‘recreation of’ or performance of dance works. Effective engaging of the transformative process in both domains provides the student of dance as well as the always developing dance artist with methods for exploring, investigating, revealing, renewing, and even codifying the creative art experience in Dance. Varying experiential modalities may be implemented in courses that focus on the craft of choreography as well as in the rehearsal and actual performance

In academic settings, similar protocols can be implemented in lower level dance classes and performance ensembles that are populated by non-dancers, thereby providing these unique opportunities to a wider group of students. Such opportunities carry crossover value when students are able to apply the learning modalities in other subject areas, thus contributing to education and development in a broader sense. Of value, especially in institutions of higher education that boast new trends in learning, is the opportunity to provide experiential based learning through creative explorations that both draw upon and tap associative processing in the physical, cognitive and affective spheres.

Hence the idea that transformation is an act of learning and vice versa, that learning is an act of transformation, need not be limited to the more sophisticated or highly trained in dance, but can be accessible and available to all students interested in enlarging their sensibilities about ‘learning and education’.
Indeed, the study of the creative transformation through the physical need not be limited to the performing artist of creative artist.
Modalities presented will provide outlines for implementation for a wide range of student and in some case, other subject areas. Additionally, samples of choreography will demonstrate and underscore the benefits of ‘transformative work’ both in creativity and in performance.


Karen Potter  (United States)
Director, Dance Program
Department of Theater and Dance

Karen Potter’s artistic achievements include a lengthy tenure with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company where she was featured in Mr. Hawkins renowned works, Classic Kite Tails and Meditations on Orpheus, and tenures with the companies of Nancy Meehan, Sasha Spielvogel’s Labryinth Dance Theater, Martita Goshen’s Earthworks, and the Space Dance Theater of Houston, Texas. She has also enjoyed the privilege of dancing in works by Lucinda Childs, James Clouser, Kelly Holt and Albert Reid to name a few. Her reputation as a teacher and her performance accolades have earned her engagements in Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.

  • Creative
  • Learning Modalities
  • Choreography
  • Experience
  • Transformation
  • Composition

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)