In College of Fine Arts and Communications, Lectures
Faith + Works, Marin Roper, BYU Dance

Marin Roper. (Nathalie Van Empel)

The lecture will take place on Thursday, March 7 at 11 a.m. in the Madsen Recital Hall

In March’s Faith + Works lecture, Department of Dance professor Marin Roper will present to students, faculty and staff on how dance can be used to connect with oneself, God and other people.

“Shared physical experience — shared felt sensation — opens doors towards deeper, more empathetic and Christlike connection to others,” said Roper.

Marin uses somatics, an approach that prioritizes the internal experience of the mover over the visual experience of the audience, to better understand the empathetic power of dance.

Her interest in the somatic approach to movement started when she was studying choreography in New York in her 30s.

“I was searching for belonging within a church that prized family when I had none, and within a field that championed creativity while marginalizing the creative act of having and raising children,” said Roper.

Roper turned to dance to resolve these conflicts. She has since used this approach in her personal life and professional career.

Roper founded M.E.L.D. Danceworks, a dance company that works to break through religious and cultural barriers using dance. Roper’s work to dissolve cultural barriers was recognized when the U.S. State Department named her a cultural envoy to India.

Since then, she has been heavily involved in India, where she routinely partners with artistic, educational and non-government organizations. On one of these trips, Roper taught Moving Out Loud!, a curriculum she created that empowers girls and women through somatic practices.

A summary of Roper’s lecture will be posted on the CFAC website following the lecture.

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