Student Research Profile: Hilary Roseann Bowen

Hilary Roseann Bowen, BA 2015
Student Research Profile: Hilary Roseann Bowen

My research deals with the tropes of representation and identity in a performance art piece created by DV8 Physical Theatre called The Cost of Living. This piece challenges conventional frames of representation through movement. Each vignette highlights the structure of the framework used, reminding the viewer that the chasm between audience and performer is neither permanent nor insurmountable. What if being part of an audience meant instead of sitting on the opposite side of the chasm from the performers, it were an invitation, a potential connection point for entering into someone else’s frame. What if representation of others or ourselves were not limited to words? Alito Alessi, founder of DanceAbility International says, “language developed out of the body and every body speaks.” (Blum 7:54). The self-performance of the cast in The Cost of Living creates a commentary on the framing of identity, questioning how we look and how we choose to be looked at. Each vignette shows the characters interacting and framing each other through movement and dance. This self-performance is true of every person, not just the characters in The Cost of Living. Every person interacts with others through movement, whether that is body language, performing dance on stage, or dancing in a social setting. Dance is not a metaphor for how humans interact with each other. We do dance. This physical communication draws attention to the border that separates self-representation and social identity teaching us to navigate the choreography of everyday life.

BA in English: Language and Literature; Dance, 2015
UW English Department Honors
Phi Beta Kappa

Honors and awards:

  • Dean's List
  • Mary Gates Leadership Scholar

Read an article about Hilary's dance performance in UW Today.

Status of Research