Develop the tools necessary for looking at dance, analyzing it, writing about it, and understanding its place in larger social, cultural, political structures. We will look at a variety of U.S. American dance genres, understanding them through their historical and cultural contexts, to explore how issues of race, gender, sexuality and class affect the practice and the reception of different dance forms, and how dance might help shape representations of these identities.
This course examines the relationship between performance practices such as theater, dance, performance art, and speech in the context of five major historical revolutions: Haiti, France, Russia, Mexico, and Cuba. We ask how performance reflected and shaped the political outcomes of these revolutions, and what we can learn from them in the present day. We will read plays together, identify and analyze figures, major ideas and methods that arose from times of radical political change.
This class will be a survey of BIPOC contemporary performance artists that challenge and interrogate hegemony, race, class, gender, sexuality and modes of being. We will focus on artists who engage both the museum and site specific places in order to combat erasure and historical amnesia. We will look at works that activate the body as a site specific space. We will examine the works of James Luna, Adrian Piper, David Hammons, Senga Nengudi, Maren Hassinger, Pope.L, Rafa Esparza, Yoko Ono, Wura Natasha Ogunji, and also prepare scores and communal research for students to create their own solo performances and interventions.
Voice and Speech works to strengthen, support, and develop the natural voice through practice on basic relaxation techniques, breath, resonance, articulation, and presence. The course explores the voice through a variety of texts and uses the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA-narrow transcription) to enhance range, clarity of speech, and to prepare students for beginning work in dialect.
This class will read, analyze, and perform a selection of significant writings of the 1960s in the US, to better grasp that profound and influential decade, and the social movements at its core. So many of the progressive actions of the present moment, and over the last 10 years, have roots in the movement culture of the 60s: Black Lives Matter, anti-racism work, Occupy, the BIPOC movement, justice for indigenous populations, women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, etc.
The course introduces students to the creative/collaborative process of design for theater, dance, and performance production, and is an overview of both the history of design for the stage and basic design theory. Specific theater design fields, including scenic, costume, and lighting design, are explored to create a vocabulary for the discussion, appreciation, participation, and evaluation of theatrical design. The course also covers the collaborative processes involved in designing for performance.
This is a beginning level Modern class. No previous experience is required. We will be developing our moving bodies by delving heavily into the Movement Language of Gaga. To build a solid foundation of modern dance vernacular, classes will also include technical exercises. Through these modalities, students will develop as artists and movers.
This course focuses on the refinement of dance techniques as well as qualitative analysis and demonstration of movement with an emphasis on rhythm, dynamics, and style. Students will also examine how culture, as influenced by philosophies and society, is encrypted on the body.
Students enrolling in Theater 142 are expected to have at least two full years or four semesters of modern/contemporary dance technique, Africana dance technique, or equivalent experience. They should be able to get into and out of the floor with ease and understand the mechanics of inversions. They should be comfortable utilizing modern dance terminology and forms. And, they should understand that their dancing bodies are an interrelated mix of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual ways of knowing the world.