Sanctuary : Shaping Frames and Shifting Perspectives

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

Maxine Steinman

Committee Member

Kyle deCamp

Committee Member

Jessica DiMauro


Sanctuary: Shaping Frames and Shifting Perspectives is a multimedia, site-specific dance inspired by and created in the sanctuary space of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. I chose Redeemer because I have attended that church for over seven years and have always had a fondness for the architecture. I fulfilled my idea of a site-specific dance in this space by collaborating with the architecture and the dancers in my cast. To inform my collaborative process, I researched notable choreographers who focused on site-specific dance, as well as current experts in architecture and design.

Sanctuary was never performed live due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The performance was intended to take place at Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan on March 26th, 2020, and we were asked to stop rehearsing one week prior to our performance. To replace the live performance, I created a video of the most recent rehearsal footage to be viewed by a selection of peers. They responded with feedback via email.

Sanctuary has three sections representing three visual perspectives: Frontal View, Profile View and Bird’s Eye View. Through creating Sanctuary, I expected to show evidence that this dance could bring new life to a space that originally was intended for a different purpose. In order to accomplish this, I planned to shift the audience’s perspective and shape the frame of their view by having the dancers perform on top of, under, and in between the pews, as well as along the columns and back wall. My rehearsal video demonstrates how I planned to use live movement and film to challenge, reveal, and enhance the audience's awareness of the sanctuary space.


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


Hanson, Lindsey_Redacted.pdf (1693 kB)
PDF file of thesis

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