Introduction to Movement and Dance
Professor/InstructorAynsley Louise Vandenbroucke
Movement permeates every aspect of life, whether within our bodies, minds, or the world around us. In this studio course open to everyone, we use tools from Laban Movement Analysis to develop ways to dance, improvise, make performance, and fully inhabit our lives. We dive into the roles of dancer, choreographer, audience member, and critic in relation to aesthetic questions, politics, identity, religion, and complex views of the human body. Students can apply our work together to dance in any style as well as to daily experiences like moving into an interview confidently and finding embodied practices for transforming stress.
The American Dance Experience and Africanist Dance Practices
Professor/InstructorDyane Harvey Salaam
A studio course introducing students to American dance aesthetics and practice, with a focus on how American dance has been influenced by African American choreographers and dancers. An ongoing study of movement practices from traditional African dances and those of the African diaspora, touching on American jazz dance, modern dance, and American ballet. Studio work will be complemented by readings, video viewings, guest speakers, and dance studies. Two two-hour classes.
Contemporary Technique and Choreography
Incorporating aspects of jazz, modern and ballet, this contemporary dance class focuses on strengthening fundamental alignment and coordination. Technique class will start with exercises designed to organize the body and build in physical intensity to culminate in phrase work that is vigorous and challenging. In choreography, students will develop their understanding of the ways in which structural elements and movement vocabularies contribute to a dance's impact and content. Two two-hour classes in technique, one two-hour class in choreography.
Special Topics in Contemporary Practice
Offers students the opportunity to gain a working knowledge of the ways in which dance, dance/theater, and body-based art are created and performed today. Primarily a studio course that stresses learning through doing. Students will have the opportunity to work with leading experimental creators. Topics, prerequisites, and formats will vary from year to year.
Modern Dance: Intermediate Technique and Choreography
In technique, students will be encouraged to expand movement range and increase technical mastery as related to modern and contemporary dance practices. In choreography, students will be encouraged to create dances that articulate their independent vision in solo and group works. Readings and viewings will supplement studio work and expand knowledge of historical and contemporary trends in the arts. Two two-hour classes in technique, one two-hour class in choreography.
Choreography Workshop I
Professor/InstructorRebecca Juliet Lazier
Choreography Workshop I exposes students to diverse methods of dance-making by tracing the evolution of choreographic thought. Varying approaches to improvisation will be taught to warm-up, discover movement material, and challenge movement habits. Classes will workshop compositional tasks that set limitations to spark creativity. Students will present their choreography weekly and learn to discuss, critique, and evaluate work shown in class. Selected readings and performances (both on video and live) will expose students to varying choreographic philosophies, processes, and aesthetics.
Choreography Workshop II
This contemporary dance technique class emphasizes fundamentals of proper alignment to achieve increased movement efficiency, strength and flexibility. Working with aspects of modern, jazz and ballet, students will explore dancing to different rhythms, tempos and styles of music. Phrase work teaches strong movement in space and musicality. Students will understand how structural elements and movement vocabularies contribute to a dance's overarching impact and content. Readings and viewings broaden students' understanding of dance's position in the world of art and ideas. Two 2-hour classes in technique, one 2-hour class in choreography.
Special Topics in Dance History, Criticism, and Aesthetics
This course focuses on the history, criticism, and aesthetics of dance as a theatrical art form and/or a social practice. Topics might include an examination of dance through personal, aesthetic, religious, social, and/or political lenses. Classes will be augmented by film, videos, music, guest speakers, occasional demonstrations, and studio work. One three-hour seminar.
Special Topics In Urban Dance
This advanced studio/seminar topics course explores the artistic, social, and cultural implications of hip-hop dance through an intensive focus on the concept of style. Using master classes, academic study, and embodied practice in the studio to develop a physical understanding and detailed social analysis of four specific hip-hop dance genres, we will explore the distinctive cultural influences that shaped each of these diverse forms, as well the deeper movement principles that they share. These principles will then be placed in the larger historical, political and performative context of the Afro-Diasporic experience in the Americas.
Contemporary Dance: Advanced Technique and Choreography
Advanced dance technique and choreography. In technique, students will be challenged to expand their movement range and increase their mastery of various styles required by today's dance world. Students will work to develop approaches to technique that emphasize ease and efficiency in motion. In choreography, students will work together on group objectives in movement-based laboratories that focus on collaboration and choreographic choice-making skills. Two two-hour classes in technique, one two-hour class in choreography.
Choreography Workshop III
Choreography Workshop III extends students' approaches to choreographic research by asking them to create complete works on dancers other than themselves. Students will consider how to transfer their vision to an ensemble and learn to give directives to groups that further their process. By focusing on developing an initial idea into a complete work, students will question their understanding of development and challenge themselves in new directions. Readings and viewings inform studio practice and invite students to wrestle with issues debated by today's dance artists.