This is a one-semester survey course designed to introduce dance as a performing art form, historically as well as in practice, and to explore how dance as a cultural phenomenon helps shape and is shaped by cultural values. The course will track the development of dance as a performing art in Europe and in the U.S. from the Renaissance to the 1950s, by identifying important stylistic trends and the works of major contributors to the field, such as the Ballets Russes, Martha Graham and Katherine Dunham. While we will focus on Western concert dance as a performing art, we also will study some dance phenomena cross-culturally in order to broaden our understanding of the function dance serves and its relationship to cultural beliefs and to the history of ideas. The study of dance history provides a lens for exploring the world, its people, and their cultures. Assignments include written work and short movement studies composed by students to explore various aspects of the choreographic process and to embody significant trends in the evolution of dancemaking. No prerequisite. This course is offered every year.
This course introduces movement concepts for the beginning-level student in one particular form of dance. The style being offered will vary each semester and may include forms such as contact improvisation, jazz dance, world dance or tap dance. The specific classes will be determined at the beginning of each academic year. The course involves intensive movement participation; however, there is no stress placed on public performance. No prior experience is necessary. No prerequisite. This course is offered every year.
This course furthers the work of the beginning-level course with increased application of movement principles established by creative artists and teachers from the American and European contemporary dance tradition. Movement fundamentals from other broad-based techniques and somatic principles also are included. Permission of instructor required. No prerequisite. This course is offered every semester.
The theory and practice of making dances is the focus of the choreographer. The fundamentals of composing both solo and group works are presented through the exploration of dance dynamics, improvisation and movement problem-solving. Work will include movement studies, presentations, readings and discussions. Group preparation time outside of class for movement studies is required. Prerequisite: DANC 105 (or concurrent enrollment in DANC 105) or permission of instructor. Concurrent enrollment in a dance technique class is required. DANC 227 and 228 are offered on alternate years.
This course presents students with theories and philosophies about teaching the art of dance in various contexts. Readings and discussions will consider methods for integrating somatic techniques and scientific principles into the dance technique class, as well as contemporary aesthetic and creative practices. Different learning and teaching environments will be compared and contrasted, including the private sector, public schools, and higher education. Adaptations necessitated by dance style, age, motivation, and skill level will be addressed both theoretically and experientially, as students will be required to plan, teach, and evaluate their own and each other's pedagogical choices in practice teaching sessions. This course has a significant Community Engaged Learning component, with an emphasis on teaching creative movement to children. Students should expect off-campus teaching experiences; some of this teaching will be scheduled outside of class time. Permission of instructor required. No prerequisite. Usually offered every other year.
The art manifesto simultaneously criticizes contemporary art and defines a set of values that propose new modes of cultural production. This course will examine the manifesto as the public declaration of an artist’s intentions, as well as a literary genre in itself. We will explore the intersections and mutually-inspired developments of dance, theatre, painting, sculpture and film in the 20th century, giving primacy to artists’ texts as a way to understand their creative practice, artistic output and political aims. This course will use the manifesto to outline definitions and delineations of major avant-garde artistic movements, including Futurism, Dada, Fluxus, Happening, Environmental Theater, Minimalism, Camp, Feminist Art and the Black Arts Movement. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of instructor.
Advanced technique work in contemporary dance builds upon principles of movement established at the beginning and intermediate levels. In-depth exploration of floor work, improvisation, somatic practices and a variety of postmodern styles promotes artistry, efficiency of movement and integrated strength. Prerequisite: DANC 208 or permission of instructor. This course is offered every semester.
This course studies the science of movement as it relates to dance. Basic anatomy and physiology, the physics of dance and the mind-body connection responsible for producing and controlling movement are explored to provide students with a deeper understanding of the structure and function of the human body. Lectures, discussions and movement labs focus on practical analysis and application of material in order to increase movement efficiency, with the ultimate goal of enhancing performance and preventing injury. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Generally offered every other year.