Footfalls : A Choreographic Exploration of Sensorial Images from T.S. Eliot’s Poem Four Quartets

Date of Award


Document Type

MSU-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


College of the Arts


Theatre and Dance

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Kathleen Kelley

Committee Member

Lorianne Katterhenry

Committee Member

Elizabeth McPherson


This thesis project centered on the creation of a performance work that embodied the sensorial images of Burnt Norton, from T.S. Eliot’s work Four Quartets as applied to dance-making. It further explored the evolutionary nature of theoretical systems and used in creating dance from personal narrative. I worked with a group of my student dancers from the Mississippi School of the Arts in a somatic approach to improvisation and developing aesthetic acuity, that then grew into choreography. I also worked with a BFA dance major from a nearby college and developed a solo for her using a similar process as with my high school students. I drew the two choreographic explorations together to create one work, Footfalls, which was performed in March 2018. This written portion of the thesis details my research into T.S. Eliot and creative practice as well as my experience working with taking visceral cues from language to create original movement.


The performance video is restricted to the Montclair State University community but the PDF file of the thesis, which is located at the bottom of the screen, is available to anyone interested in reading it.

File Format


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