Exploring the simple complexities of trust

Plan Author

  • Lily Kane, 2016

Fields of Concentration

  • Dance
  • Psychology

Sample Courses

Project Description

A collection of choreographic works depicting varied forms of trust.

Faculty Sponsors

  • Kristin Horrigan
  • Tom Toleno

Outside Evaluator

  • Candice Salyers, Mount Holyoke College


This Plan is an exploration of the ways in which trust development and trust negotiations are communicated through human relationship. There are three papers, the first of which focuses on the process of learning to trust and connect through attachment theory and touch. The second explores the process and performances of Victoria Marks and how they represent varied forms of relational trust. The final piece of writing is my independent, which is a personal reflection on the five works in my show Depictions of Trust and the process of making them. Depictions of Trust, the final aspect of my Plan of Concentration was performed in April 2016.


Touch creates support. One cannot stand alone without touching the ground. To support ourselves we need to feel rooted in what is outside of ourselves. Touch is so important yet often put aside because with human relationships involving touch there often comes confusion. Physical support and touch is how one learns to trust. This is why I think all of my closest friends are people that I move with and touch regularly. I sense their dependability through physicality. A baby knows their caregiver is dependable because they feel themselves held in their arms. They learn the physical sensations embedded in trust and in care. This learning process does not stop but actively learning through touch often gets put on hold. Trust is an instinctual familiarity and touch communicates trust. Touch does not have to be so complicated. It can be a clear form of communication.

Victoria Marks choreographs works that offers a platform for the growth and understanding of trust to be seen. Her work makes this possible because she is a choreographer committed to creating work that explores common human relationship. In her work, she focuses on and nurtures the preexisting relationships between performers, she works to strengthen the new relationships between performers, and she focuses on the relationship between performer and audience member in order to make all present feel included. Her work speaks to and encompasses all the people it involves, and each stage of the process from the beginning to the end.


Trust in my life is always in flux. I know I have it but it often comes into question. My Plan was inspired by the desire to understand something I knew so well intuitively, but I wanted to know it in another way. I remember wanting to work on my Plan papers and dances because Plan was something bigger than just a project but a focus of my life.

I designed and took a psychology tutorial called the Inherent Problems of Inheritance, which focused on family relationships—primarily in the shifts of children entering and living through adolescents.  In this tutorial I read about families, their challenges and their joys, and found out a lot about myself.