Course Topics

DAN 100: Production Practicum

An intensive experiential research ensemble devoted to crafting, creating, developing, performing, and producing a faculty-directed theatre and/or dance event. Students in this course will be involved in research and theoretical discussion supporting active involvement in a collaborative process of performance, design and production management, such as director/designer assistant; set construction; lighting, sound, costume, properties, make-up/hair, and stage management.

DAN 105: Movement Fundamentals I: Practices of Alignment and Function

An introductory movement course exploring vital integrative connections between somatic practice and performance preparation. Somatic skills including dynamic alignment and functional anatomy provide the groundwork for embodied movement exploration. The study and practice of dynamic alignment and embodied anatomy unfolds new relationships between physical function and expression.

DAN 205: Movement Fundamentals II: Practices of Range and Efficiency

An intermediate movement course building technical practice from basic somatic skills. This technique course supports awareness of individual movement patterns and sequences allowing for the development of new movement possibilities. This increased range and efficiency opens the door to new levels of creative expression in communication and performance. This course may be repeated twice. Prerequisite: DAN 105 or consent of instructor.

DAN 264: Performance Research: The Happenings Course

This experiential studio and field course will provide the student with theories, practices and performance opportunities based in creating site-specific "happenings," both on and off campus, inspired by the (American) avant-garde theatre. Students will configure and implement performance scores based in concepts of attracting attention and creating a gathering within the mundane domain. The intensity of the research is based in uncompromising realism and raw and unmediated ways in which artists confront experiences in collusion with audiences from real time in order to investigate new levels of understanding perceptual or psychological states of being human. This performance research attempts to open a disquieting discourse on contemporary daily life. Recommended for the student interested in performance and art, the historical (American) avant-garde and creating community.

DAN 305: Movement Fundamentals III: Practices of Vocabulary and Intention

An advanced movement course crystallizing performance skills through the development of individual movement versatility and invention. Technique practice builds from somatic skills and contemporary dance vocabulary through both technical phrasing and improvisational scoring. This depth of integrative practice prepares the mover to refine movement vocabulary and clarify movement intention.

DAN 360: Dance Composition

An introduction to the basic tools of dance-making, this course explores the development and crafting of movement, time, space, and design elements. Consideration of compositional methods in other art forms—theatre, music, visual art, literature—will inform the development of skills for creating dance/movement events. Students will prepare solo and group movement studies for informal performance and observe, discuss, and critique each other's work as they learn how to see dance as well as make it.

DAN 351: Dance History

This course studies a breadth of representative dance artists, artworks, and practices from the ancient period to the present in order to understand intercultural and cross-genre development of performance dance. African, American, Asian, and European dance forms are included, with a focus on figures and conventions in ballet and Western modern and contemporary dance. Dance and choreography are analyzed in relation to their historical, artistic, social, and political contexts. Depth is accomplished through individual scholarly research projects on a subject of the student's choosing, and experiential projects focused on a particular dance artist or artistic concept.

DAN 490: Senior Seminar

An intensive, collaborative study of selected theories, performance artist(s), writer(s), selected period, or movement. The seminar will often intersect the disciplines of theatre and dance. The course format rests upon student-led discussion and development of an artist's manifesto, both of which will be used to focus and develop the senior project proposal.

DAN 491: Senior Project

Students will complete an individualized or collaborative senior project. The project will include a written artist's statement, process documentation, post-project reflection/critique, and will be presented publicly. Students will orally defend their project before the department following the public presentation. Double majors may petition the department to accept another department's senior project in lieu of the dance senior project requirement. If double majoring, and choice is to do senior project in a major other than dance, the dance program requests the deliberate integration of dance practice or production with the project, as well as selection of a dance faculty member for an advisory role.