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Thesis: LGBTQIA+ sensitivity in dance performances for children

The subject of Pauliina Aladin´s thesis is equality from the perspective of LGBTQIA+ sensitivity in dance performances for children. The thesis examines the topic through the development process and performance of Dancing Storytelling, a participatory dance performance for children. The thesis shares observations and knowledge of working with LGBTQIA+ sensitive values to support the work of performing arts groups.

LGBTQIA+ is a common abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, genderqueer, queer, intersexed, agender, asexual, and ally community. Aladin defines LGBTQIA+ sensitivity as the understanding of diversity of gender, sexual orientation and families, the ability to perceive the importance of diversity in one’s agency, and the consideration of diversity in one's own activities.

The artistic work relating to the thesis included the development of the existing Dancing Storytelling piece into a more LGBTQIA+ sensitive performance based on research material derived together with an artistic project group. A survey was conducted to map experiences of the visibility of LGBTQIA+ minorities in performing arts performances for children. It also gave LGBTQIA+ minorities and rainbow families the opportunity to influence the content of the Dancing Storytelling performance. Studies of LGBTQIA+ minorities as well as publications on improvisation and participatory art were used as source material.

The thesis highlighted the low visibility of LGBTQIA+ minorities in the imagery of performances aimed at children. Aladin concluded that presenting and seeing diversity in performances created a sense of well-being and equality. The thesis delivered a LGBTQIA+ sensitive Dancing Storytelling performance and guidelines for LGBTQIA+ sensitive work methods for performing arts groups.

The thesis is in Finnish but includes an abstract in English.

Pauliina Aladin´s thesis (Theseus.fi)

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