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‘Feminine Eternal Project’ Explores Myths Surrounding the Female Archetype

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Megan Moore (left) and Elisha Clark Halpin in Ireland

The Feminine Eternal Project, an initiative of dance professor Elisha Clark Halpin and colleague Megan Moore, is on display in the Borland Project Space through September 26. The project is a physical exploration of female archetypes, goddesses, saints and the myths that surround them and includes open rehearsals and movement workshops.

According to Halpin, the initiative “explores the wisdom that is within the Female in her many forms, and how that can be accessed, shared and facilitated through the body.” Open rehearsals will be held in the Borland Project Space on September 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17 and 22, 2–3 p.m. Movement workshops, open to all women regardless of age and movement/dance experience, will be held on August 31 and September 14 and 21, 5:30–6:30 p.m. Participants will explore goddess myths and share stories to “physicalize the Female.”

Halpin, associate director for instruction and head of the B.A. program in the School of Theatre, said she is interested in how the idea of the goddess, wise woman, saint, earth mother and other female archetypes is relevant to the modern woman. “How can their stories enable women to embrace their physical forms? What can be gained from exploring their stories and myths through movement, text and also visually? By exploring the translation and interpretation of these archetypes and their surrounding myths kinesthetically, the opportunity arises for a more thorough and profound demonstration of the Female in moving forms.”

Halpin is the artistic director of ETCH Dance Co. Her recent choreographic investigations have centered on memory, trauma, sacred ruins and pilgrimage. Her work has been produced by Bates Dance Festival, Brooklyn Arts Exchange Clarice Smith Center, Dancelab (Prague), Dublin Theatre (Ireland) and Toronto Fringe Festival, among others. She is currently working with School of Theatre colleagues Andrew Belser and William Doan on the Traumatic Brain Injury Project.

Penn State alumna Moore, who earned degrees in integrative arts and kinesiology with a minor in dance in 2008, is an original company member of ETCH Dance Co. and now serves as associate artistic director. She holds an M.F.A. in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Moore is a Certified Movement Analyst through the Laban Institute for Movement Studies.

The Borland Project Space is used to showcase the vibrant research culture of the College of Arts and Architecture, with the term “research” intended to encompass the full range of practices in which faculty engage to create new knowledge in the arts and design disciplines. For more information, visit

Learn more about The Feminine Eternal Project on Halpin and Moore's blog: