Event Title

Martha Graham: A Structural Functionalist

Location

CSU 201

Start Date

11-4-2017 11:05 AM

End Date

11-4-2017 12:05 PM

Student's Major

Theatre and Dance

Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Mentor's Name

Julie Kerr-Berry

Mentor's Department

Theatre and Dance

Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities

Description

The purpose of this research is to analyze the choreographic work of Martha Graham based on the social theory of structural functionalism. Such research contributes to the under recognized field of dance scholarship. Application of this theory is possible to this art form, because dance is a reflection of the cultural values from the society within which it develops. Structural functionalism is a sociological theory that provides reasoning behind all social interactions and structures. It was first developed by Talcott Parsons. Parsons broke structural functionalism down into four functional imperatives all social structures must have to exist: adaptation, goal attainment, integration, and latency. Martha Graham's early choreographic works are examples of these imperatives. Using these imperatives, movement, costumes, set design, and the narratives of four of Graham's early choreographic works will be viewed and analyzed to provide evidence that she was a structural functionalist. The works are: Heretic, Primitive Mysteries, Lamentation, and Frontier. Results of this research reveal the sociological dimensions of Graham's work, which has implications to fields of dance and sociological research.

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Apr 11th, 11:05 AM Apr 11th, 12:05 PM

Martha Graham: A Structural Functionalist

CSU 201

The purpose of this research is to analyze the choreographic work of Martha Graham based on the social theory of structural functionalism. Such research contributes to the under recognized field of dance scholarship. Application of this theory is possible to this art form, because dance is a reflection of the cultural values from the society within which it develops. Structural functionalism is a sociological theory that provides reasoning behind all social interactions and structures. It was first developed by Talcott Parsons. Parsons broke structural functionalism down into four functional imperatives all social structures must have to exist: adaptation, goal attainment, integration, and latency. Martha Graham's early choreographic works are examples of these imperatives. Using these imperatives, movement, costumes, set design, and the narratives of four of Graham's early choreographic works will be viewed and analyzed to provide evidence that she was a structural functionalist. The works are: Heretic, Primitive Mysteries, Lamentation, and Frontier. Results of this research reveal the sociological dimensions of Graham's work, which has implications to fields of dance and sociological research.

Recommended Citation

Koshak, Bethany. "Martha Graham: A Structural Functionalist." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 11, 2017.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2017/oral-session-05/2