Reed College Catalog

  The Reed dance program emphasizes dance as an art that both responds to and influences the shifting artistic and cultural landscape of contemporary society. The program has a creative and contextual approach to dance, one that integrates theory with practice and not only reading, writing, and speaking but seeing, making, and moving as modes of investigation. Reed dancers learn and create new movement vocabulary and find new perspectives by which to see, question, understand, and evaluate the expressive possibilities of the human body moving in space and time.


  All classes are open to majors and nonmajors. The department offers opportunities for choreographing, performing, participating in residencies with visiting artists, and interacting with faculty members. Our wide-ranging curriculum includes courses in choreography, dance history, dance and technology, improvisation, dance traditions of Southeast Asia, cultural studies, and a variety of topics, all of which are offered for academic credit. In addition, the sponsors on-campus classes in ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and Argentina tango, which students can take for PE credit. It is not uncommon for students to undertake their studies when their particular area of ​​interest is not covered in the regular curriculum.

  Reed Mayors Dancers-theater major or an ad hoc interdisciplinary major. Students have pursued majors in dance-Spanish, dance-Russian, dance-psychology, and dance-history. In consultation with their advisers, senior citizens may undertake that projects are entirely research-based or projects in which research enhances an extensive creative endeavor. Seniors pursuing creative thesis projects have the opportunity to stage a successful performance of their own work. Please see the chapter on interdisciplinary majors for information on major requirements.

Performing Opportunities
  Reed Dance Concert, The Performance Ensemble, The Student-Run Reed Dance Troupe, Reed Arts Week, Senior Thesis Productions, and Independent Projects. Whether or not they are enrolled in dance classes, all students are invited to audition for these opportunities. In regular courses and in extracurricular activities, dance students with students in the visual arts, music, and theater.

Visiting Artists
  Reed dance students often expect off-campus performances and master classes in conjunction with their coursework. In recent years Kidd Pivot, Anouk Van Dijk, BalletLab, Pappa Tarahumara and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar have come to campus, and Reed dancers have attended recent performances by Stephen Petronio Company, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown / Evidence, Marie Chouinard , and Chunky Move.

  The department successfully prepares students-both majors and nonmajors-for specialized work in dance at the graduate and professional levels. Reed alums in graduate studies in dance, teach, choreograph, perform, write about dance, and work in dance outreach and arts administration. Fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Note: Dance 322, 330, 335, 340, and 351 may be used to meet the Group A requirement. Students can receive both academic and high school credit for Dance 111, 112, 211, 212, 221, 252, 311, and 312. In order to do so, students must register for these races under both the dance and PE department listings. Students interested in taking these courses for PE credit only should first consult the instructor.

Dance 111 - Basic Technique I

One-half race for one semester. This course provides a foundation for the study of a variety of dance forms. Principles of alignment, body mechanics, and locomotion will be explored through the practice of movement vocabulary drawn primarily from American modern dance. The course includes an introduction to improvisation and movement and a discussion of critical perspectives from which to view contemporary dance performance. Studio.

Dance 112 - Basic Technique II

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

Dance 211 - Intermediate Contemporary Dance I

Full race for one semester. Technical study builds on knowledge gained in basic technical courses in the further exploration of contemporary techniques. 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 race for one semester. Classic modern and contemporary forms will be developed by the students, flexibility, and versatility in movement. Composition will focus on orchestration of traditional structures Students participate in discussion and criticism of class work and perform in the end-of-semester concert. Studio.

Dance 221 - Contemporary Performance Ensemble

One-half race 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 as well as developing and manipulating the choreographic material of their own. Work in progress, small group sessions, and criticism. Prerequisite: instructor's permission or by audition, held during the first week of classes. Offered on a credit / no credit basis only. May be repeated for credit, with departmental approval. Studio.

Dance 252 - Improvisation

One-half or full race for one semester. Since the early 1960s, improvisation has played an important role in contemporary dance. This course will be a contemporary creative practice, performative, and philosophic. The first half of the race 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 race will focus on choreographic improvisation, an ensemble in which movement has been developed and refined over time, and which has influenced the performance of the 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 art, music, theater, or creative writing. Studio.

Dance 311 - Advanced Technique and Composition

Full race for one semester. This class will emphasize rigorous technical training and advanced work in choreography. Technical material will be drawn from a modern world and will include the following. Choreography assignments will focus on a variety of sources and conceptual structures. With permission of the instructor, the race can be repeated as an advanced practicum. Prerequisite: Dance 211 and 212 or equivalent experience. Studio.

Dance 312 - Advanced Technique and Composition

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

Dance 322 - 20th-Century American Dance

Full race for one semester. Beginning with the Diaghilev ballet and early pioneers of modern dance, this race 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. Play-conference. Not offered 2009-10.

Dance 330 - Dance Theory and Criticism

Full race for one semester. A survey of the choreographic theory 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 2009-10.

Dance 335 - Special Projects in Choreography: Analogous Forms

One-half or full race for one semester. This course will explore concepts, creative processes, and formal issues derived from literature, music, theater, and the visual arts, as ways to expand and inform the dance-making process and as bases for interdisciplinary work. Prerequisite: Dance 211 or 212, or one year of dance technique and one year of intermediate-level creative process in movement, music, theater, writing, or the visual arts. Conference-studio.

Dance 340 - Dance and Technology

One-half or full race for one semester. This course will explore image-making using computer animation, video, and digital photography. Emphasis will be on creating dance videos, with a look at important historical and living artists in the field. Students will create performance 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, theater, creative writing, or the visual arts. Studio. Not offered 2009-10.

Dance 351 - Dance Traditions of Southeast Asian Civilization

Full race for one semester. This course is an in-depth study of cultural concepts for understanding and historical significance of choreographic works of Southeast Asia in the context of religion, and social and political development. We will explore classical dance forms including the Peking Opera of China, short dances of Cambodia, ceremonial and ritual dances of Burma and Indonesia, performing arts of Vietnam, and contemporary Asian dance works. Students will learn small, simple excerpts of traditional dances as a basis for exploring creative processes through cultural and anthropological perspectives of performing arts in Southeast Asia. Play-conference studio. Not offered 2009-10.

Dance 481 - Independent Study

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