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The purpose of this research was to photograph both Ghanaian dancers and Ballet dancers and use these photographs as inspiration for 10 pieces of original artwork. I attended dance performances in Ghana, West Africa and at BalletMet, Columbus, Ohio. I photographed the dancers and interviewed many of the dancers about the dances, their significance, and the techniques involved. Finally, I took a Ghanaian dance class at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Both types of dance require of their dancers passion, talent, and excellence. The lines and forms created by the dancers may look different on the surface. However, there are many similarities between the use of the arms, legs, and the overall posture of the dancer. The beauty of their parallels and the uniqueness of their technique make these two forms ample subjects for comparison using the arts. Ghanaian dance and classical ballet may look different. However, when examined closely, their beauty, significance, and technique is something to be appreciated. It is with this project that the artist wishes to examine all these elements and, if nothing else, expose art’s audience to the wonder of dance from two different cultures.
The focus of this research is implementing a six week art therapy program within a pediatric burn unit. This setting presents challenges such as the need to educate the public and the need to locate funding. However, past research and art therapy techniques are proof of art therapy’s beneficial relief of physical and emotional trauma for all pediatric patients. I present reasons to implement an art therapy program, methods geared towards creating this program, and the benefits this program provides to traumatized children to process their story through the use of art within the burn unit setting.
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