Dance Course Descriptions

Note: Dance 111, 112, 211, 212, 252, 311 and 312 are academic courses for which students can receive both academic and PE credit. To qualify, students must sigh up for the course as both Dance and PE. Students interested in taking the course only for PE credit should first consult the instructor.

Dance 111 - Basic Technique I

One-half course for one semester. Designed for students with no previous dance training, this course provides a foundation for the further study of a variety of dance forms. Principles of alignment, body mechanics, and locomotion will be explored through the practice of movement vocabularies drawn primarily from American modern dance. The course includes an introduction to improvisation and movement composition and a discussion of critical perspectives from which to view contemporary dance performance. Studio.

Dance 112 - Basic Technique II

One-half or full course for one semester. This course builds on concepts and practices introduced in Dance 111. Drawing primarily from the techniques of American modern dance, students will study the essentials of both classic modern and contemporary movement vocabularies and explore elements of choreography. Elementary instruction in rhythm is also provided. With the instructor's permission, students may enroll in the course for one unit, and will carry out an extended examination of contemporary dance performance. Studio.

Dance 211 - Intermediate Contemporary Dance I

Full course for one semester. Technical study explores the techniques of Limon, Nikolais, and Cunningham. Students investigate the elements of dance through improvisation and composition, creating movement vocabulary and building dance phrases. Dances choreographed in class are presented in the end-of-semester concert. Studio.

Dance 212 - Intermediate Contemporary Dance II

Full course for one semester. Classic modern and contemporary forms will be the bases from which students develop strength, flexibility, and versatility in movement. Composition will focus on orchestration of traditional structures as a vehicle for solo and group dance works. Students participate in discussion and critique of class work and perform in the end-of-semester concert. Studio.

Dance 221 - Contemporary Performance Ensemble

One-half course for one semester. This course focuses on performance through the development, rehearsal, and production of a contemporary dance work. Students will address the technical, stylistic, and interpretive challenges of the choreographic material presented as well as developing and manipulating choreographic material of their own. Work in and out of class leading to performance will be supported through written responses, small group sessions, and critiques. Prerequisite: instructor’s permission or audition. Dance 211 and 212 (or Dance 210) strongly recommended. Offered on a credit/no credit basis only. May be repeated for credit, with departmental approval. Studio.

Dance 252 - Improvisation

One-half or full course for one semester. Since the early 1960s, improvisation has played an increasingly sophisticated role in contemporary dance. This course will investigate contemporary improvisational practices that are at once creative, performative, and philosophic. The first half of the course will focus on contact improvisation, a partnering form that explores the exchange of physical support, the practice of which has challenged notions of gender roles, ability and disability, and community structure. The second half of the course will focus on choreographic improvisation, an ensemble form in which movement scores are developed and refined over time, and which has influenced changing views of the function of performance and the relationship of makers, performers, and viewers of dance. One year of dance technique or one year of intermediate-level creative work in visual art, music, theatre or creative writing recommended. Studio. Not offered 2008-09.

Dance 311 - Advanced Technique and Composition

Full course for one semester. This class will emphasize rigorous technical training and advanced work in choreography. Technical material will be drawn from classic modern as well as contemporary movement vocabularies and will include detailed work in alignment and introductory partnering. Choreography assignments will focus on using a variety of source materials and conceptual bases from which to generate both detailed movement phrases and formal structures. With permission of the instructor, the course may be repeated as an advanced practicum. Prerequisite: Dance 211 and 212 or equivalent experience. Studio.

Dance 312 - Advanced Technique and Composition

Full course for one semester. This course provides advanced technical training in classic modern and contemporary movement vocabularies. Focused assignments in choreography will center on nonmusical sources for movement invention and various approaches to orchestration of movement material. With permission of the instructor, the course may be repeated as an advanced practicum. Prerequisite: Dance 211 and 212 or equivalent experience. Studio.

Dance 321 - Dance Traditions of Western Civilization

Full course for one semester. A survey of the development of dance as a performing art in Western culture, beginning with Greek dance, the court ballet, dances of the Renaissance, and 19th-century romantic ballet. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Dance 322 - 20th-Century American Dance

Full course for one semester. Beginning with the Diaghilev ballet and early pioneers of modern dance, this course traces the development of both modern dance and ballet in the United States. Covers the work of major 20th-century choreographers, including Balanchine, Graham, Humphrey, Weidman, Nikolais, Cunningham, and the postmodernists. Lecture-conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Dance 330 - Dance Theory and Criticism

Full course for one semester. A survey of the choreographic theories and criticism of major choreographers of the 20th century. Particular attention is given to Fokine, Balanchine, Graham, Humphrey, Cunningham, Nikolais, and the postmodern movement. Conference. Not offered 2008-09.

Dance 335 - Special Projects in Choreography: Site-Specific Performance

One-half or full course for one semester. What happens when we take performance out of the proscenium theatre? This course will investigate themes and practices of artists who have created site-specific work. Then we will choose sites and explore their physical characteristics, social context, history, and function. From this information we will create performances intended to imaginatively animate each site through movement, sound, and text. Dancers, actors, musicians, and writers are encouraged to join. Prerequisite: Dance 211 or 212, or one year of dance technique and one year of intermediate-level creative process work in movement, music, theatre, writing, or the visual arts. Conference/studio.

Dance 340 - Dance and Technology

One half or full course for one semester. This class will explore image-making using computer animation, video, and digital photography. There will be an emphasis on creating dance videos, with a look at important historical and living artists in the field. Students will create performance works exploring the combination of technologically created images and live performance. Prerequisite: Dance 211 and 212 (or Dance 210), one year of dance technique, or one year of intermediate-level creative work in dance, music, theatre, creative writing, or the visual arts. Studio.

Dance 481 - Independent Study

One-half or full course for one semester. Prerequisite: approval of instructor and division.




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