Ecokinetics : A Dance Film Inquiry

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

Trebien Pollard

Committee Member

Apollinaire Scherr


For my MFA thesis project, I created a series of three dance films— Plastic Virus, Single Use, and Fly —that explore ecological themes. In Plastic Virus, I dance in a costume constructed from more than a hundred plastic bags and suggest how plastic pollution, like a global pandemic, has contaminated us inside and out. With Single Use, I continue the theme of plastic pollution, and the use of the plastic-bag costuming, while dancing on city streets and in a wooded landscape. With Fly, I employ the technique of stop-motion animation to investigate how my dancing body can echo, extend, and interact with elements of a landscape. All three films sprung from a new dance inquiry that I developed called ecokinetics that concerns the relationship between the moving body and environmental systems. Ecokinetics may be employed as a generative tool for dancemaking that engages with climate change.


The performance videos are 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


Sperling, Jody_Redacted.pdf (480 kB)
PDF file of thesis

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