Hamilton Explores Her Artistry

Hamilton discusses her personal aesthetic during her presentation.

Lily Moreschi

Hamilton discusses her personal aesthetic during her presentation.

Lily Moreschi, Assistant Managing Editor

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During the first semester, senior Abby Hamilton is combining her love of dance in her academic life by completing an independent study entitled ‘The Aesthetics, Composition, and Pedagogy of Modern Dance.’
“The aesthetics aspect is just learning my own style and what I like to do and put it into words,” said Hamilton. “There’s a thing called an artist statement which you write as a choreographer that essentially describes your own aesthetic.”
During her research, Hamilton, who is being mentored by her former dance teacher Bailey Anderson, focused on the aesthetics of prominent choreographers in the modern dance community, such as Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, and Doris Humphrey.
Composition fits hand-in-hand with aesthetics; once a choreographer has built their aesthetic, they use it to piece together a dance that fits their personal style.
“Composition is really just how to create and arrange a dance,” said Hamilton. “It’s not just generating choreography, but how to use the space and utilize the aspects of space, even down to the costumes and lighting.”
Pedagogy however differs slightly from composition and aesthetic. Rather than focusing on creation, pedagogy centers on teaching the choreographer’s personal aesthetics and composition.
“I’ve actually been teaching dance classes to my peers, both those who are dancers and those who are not,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton is unsure if she wants to use dance in her professional career after high school and college, but chose this independent study topic simply because there is no other outlet for dance in school.
“Dance is one of the things that really interests me outside of school,” said Hamilton. “I wanted to find a way to incorporate my passion inside of my academic work.”
Hamilton dances at Halestone Dance Studio, where she plans to use what she learned this semester in her end of the year senior piece.
“This is really helping me learn how to teach my own unique movement, and just any movement in general,” said Hamilton. “I think it will really help me produce a good, aesthetically pleasing dance.”