A Choreographic Exploration of Bullying Through Contemporary Dance

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

Elizabeth McPherson

Committee Member

Laurie Abramson

Committee Member

Julia Burrer


Digital technology is continuously influencing modern day cultures and the dance industry at a steady pace. It is an area I investigated and explored in my thesis performance piece. Much of the research for my thesis project involved discovering new, current types of live productions and trends in dance and the general entertainment industry to learn new methods of utilizing digital technology to heighten audiences’ experiences. My aim was to discover and then employ visual and emotional stimulation to deliver the narrative or thematic message of my choreographic work. I also conducted research to expand my knowledge and understanding of the history of the use of technology in dance, the development of contemporary dance, the current framework for what is considered contemporary dance, as well as to expand my choreographic tool box. Using bullying as my theme of exploration, I applied methods discovered from my research to create my thesis performance piece Bullied. In this written thesis, I detail the steps in the creation process as well as unpack the experience from my perspective and through audience feedback. Lastly, I explore where this research may take me next on my creative research journey.


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


Harootian, Mark_Redacted.pdf (332 kB)
PDF file of thesis

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