American Studies

Robyn Taylor - Mind, Language, and Movement

After graduating in May 2013, Robyn Taylor took part in a professional six-week dance intensive workshop in Toubab Dialow, Senegal at Ecole des Sables. The teaching at this dance workshop consisted of various traditional West African dance forms as well as contemporary dance and choreographic techniques. Robyn is currently residing in Paris, France where she is studying contemporary dance at Menagerie de Verre. Fascinated by the movement and ethos of Paris, Robyn observes the metro system, the grocery stores, and various art creations ranging from the highly commercialized to the subversive. She writes about these observations on her blog. She is currently collaborating with three dancers and four graffiti artists on a performance piece that will take place in a street artists squat December 14. Next, Robyn will go to Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, where she will continue her dance studies in the Silvestre Technique. Robyn applied this fall for the Fulbright Fellowship 2014, and in the upcoming year she hopes to continue her investigation of identity and dance in Senegal. Her Fulbright proposal is titled: “Rhythm in Dakar: The Kinesthetic Exchange of Dance within a Globalized Context.”

Area of Concentration Courses

Theater 144: Sources of Movemen
tEnglish 143B: Verse
English 190: Research Seminar
Theater 146A: Choreography
Theater 146B: Intermediate Dance Technique
American Studies H110: The New Literary History of America


Whitman and Linyekula Share Multitudes: Dancing the Space of Names

Congolese dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula remarked during an interview with playwright Peter Sellars that, “dance helps [him] to remember [his] name.” Robyn Taylor’s creative honors thesis asks: how does dance help me to remember my name? And, by remembering my name, how can I better recognize, witness, be with, share with, and dance within a community? Exploring the intersections of language, movement, and self-identity, Robyn looks at her self-identity within a larger cultural context, pulling from specific American literary texts, which evidence a paradox in the American dominant culture’s ethos. As the creative component to her research questions, Robyn choreographed a dance piece that explores a very personal way of recognizing who she is, what she is a product of, and how her movement patterns have evolved from the rejection of previous power structures within the dance world.

Profile image of Robyn Taylor
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