Dance and Data: Crossing Disciplines in Search of Common Methodology

By Leslie Elkins and Andrew Buss.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

What do creating a dance performance and creating a software application have in common? Art making and software development are typically viewed as different kinds of work requiring distinctive skill sets for each, but both rely heavily on creative processes, and perhaps less obviously, both share similar approaches to managing their respective work products. We would argue that virtually all disciplines, including dance and software development, rely heavily on managing the work process and that making and performing dance bears striking similarities to the software development life cycle. This paper will link design methodologies across seemingly disparate fields through the creative process framework. After identifying methodological similarities between disciplines, we will argue that students need opportunities to use the creative process in order to explore the potential for interdisciplinary work.

Keywords: Interdisciplinary Education, Creative Process

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.73-78. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 536.719KB).

Dr. Leslie Elkins

Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, Rowan University, Philadelphia, NJ, USA

Leslie Elkins is an Assistant Professor in the Rowan University Department of Theatre and Dance. She teaches several courses including Dance History, World Dance Forms, and Creative Dance for Children. Her teaching experience also includes Contact Improvisation and Movement Improvisation at Temple University. Leslie earned a Ph.D. in Dance at Temple University, and her dissertation, Body-Presence: Lived Experience of Choreography and Performance, is a phenomenological-hermeneutic study involving her work with two Philadelphia-based artists, Grace Mi-He Lee and Tania Isaac. Prior to her doctoral work, Leslie earned a Master of Education in Dance from Temple University and a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Columbia College in South Carolina.

Andrew Buss

Program Director, Program Management Office, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Andrew Buss is the Strategic Planning Coordinator for the Mayor’s Office of Information Services in the City of Philadelphia and previously managed information technology projects across several different agencies. Andrew also teaches as an adjunct professor in the Geography and Urban Studies Department at Temple University. His coursework includes a project management based course for departmental seniors as well as a newly developed course examining pre- and post- Katrina New Orleans. He earned a Master’s Degree in Geography from Temple University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Macalester College.


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