The Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship

Shannon Sterne

Assistant Professor of Dance Shannon Sterne convened a collaborative creative research project entitled Small Talk, which investigated the range of discomfort and pain experienced by introverted people as they try to navigate a world biased towards extroverts. Together with Eric Charnofsky, Instructor in the Department of Music, and Cleveland video artist Jared Michael Sobotka, Sterne explored contemporary scholarly viewpoints on introversion and interpreted them via interdisciplinary and collaborative integration of live performance, projected digital photography and videography, and aural stimuli. This process-driven creative work served to encourage new avenues of expression and to enhance understanding of how concepts or ideas are transformed by the mode of expression, and then altered once again as that mode - that viewpoint - comes into contact with alternative interpretations.

Small Talk comprised two distinct performance sections: an ensemble section featuring six dancers performing to an original professionally recorded score, and a solo section which melded live performance of dance, piano, and spoken word with projected video art. Sterne's 2017 presentation, Small Talk: An Interdisciplinary Creative Collaboration Investigating Introversion, Social Anxiety, and Depression, detailed the orchestration of the various artistic considerations and practical processes involved in the creation of the solo section with particular regard to how each element was transformed by the inclusion of the video art component.  The work premiered in November 2016 at Mather Dance Center on the CWRU campus as part of the Department of Dance faculty and guest artist concert.



  • Freedman Fellows 2011 Announced
  • Freedman Fellows Program 2011
  • Freedman Center Fellow Program 2010
  • Freedman Fellows 2009 Announced

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