Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Noreen C. Barnes


Graduate study in theatre has allowed me to understand my work as an artist and educator from a critical academic perspective. I have researched Butoh as a model for original work that employs multiculturalism against hegemonic control of personal identity. From my own training experience, I am recognizing Capoeira, Contact Improvisation, and Devising processes (co-creation or collaborative creative process in dance) as counter-hegemonic forms and techniques that share a physical/philosophical emphasis on communal engagement, improvisation, circularity and repetition. Looking at them together provides points of intersection for me to examine them as an artist, while posing questions for cross-cultural investigations. In this process, it has been crucial to consider my personal relationship with these forms along with the aesthetics and values associated

with them, their potential use in academic contexts, and their support as practices to match theoretical discourse towards a pluralistic and multicultural society.


© Matthew Paul Thornton

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission