Name of teacher / supervisor
Block 1, Week 38 tm 42, 44 tm 46
Block 2, Week 47 tm 2
Total 24,5 hours: 22,5 contact hours, 2 self-study hours
Block 1: 12 hours contact, 2 hours prep.
Block 2: 10,5 contact hours
1, 3, 5, 6
The course offers a general introduction to critical reading of dance history. We will travel through dance history and its current practice through the lens of few key concepts such as dancing body, representation of cultural identity, and modes of spectatorship. How were dances, their practice, poetic and reception conceived of in their historical context and how can we interpret them today with contemporary critical tools? The journey is thus associative rather than chronological, focusing as much on historically marginalised as on canonised artists and works. We will pay particular attention on developing our readings from multiple perspectives. In the 1st block the course will have a focus on “Africanist aesthetics”.
Content and design of the class
The class will combine reading and discussing some key texts of dance historiography and commentary of available visual material (videos, photos) relative to studied periods and artists. Through readings and discussing examples we will examine the following concepts: dancing body (imagined, ideal, alternatives), representation of cultural identity (exoticism, fetishism, eurocentrism), spectatorship: immersive (ritual, trance, virtuosity) & reflective (political, non-virtuosic, slow). We will further examine how dance works in their turn inform and sometimes destabilise these concepts.
- Student gains awareness that history is a dynamic construct
- Student gains knowledge of western and non-western dance histories
- Student gains awareness of own position in relation to course material
- Student can position them self in relation to histories, dance practices, spectatorship propositions
- Student can engage in dialogue based on the weekly literature and/or observed audio-visual material.
Working method(s) used
Group class, reading and discussing literature, watching audio-visual material, group discussions, assignment.
Used study material
Reader (preliminary readings) Carter, A. (1998). The Routledge Dance Studies Reader. London, England: Psychology Press. Banes, S. (2011). Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-Modern Dance. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. Foster, S. L. (1986). Reading Dancing: Bodies and Subjects in Contemporary American Dance. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. Gottschild, B. D., & Ross, F. R. (2003). The Black Dancing Body: A Geography from Coon to Cool. London, England: Macmillan. Manning, S. (2004). Modern Dance, Negro Dance: Race in Motion. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. DeFrantz, T. “To Make Black Bodies Strange: Social Protest in Concert Dance of the Black Arts Movement.” In African American Performance: A Sourcebook, edited by A. Bean, pp.83–93. New York: Routledge, 1999. Franko, M. (2002) The Work of Dance: Labor, Movement, and Identity in the 1930s, Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, chapter “Metakinetic Interpellations”, pp.59-85 Desmond, J. “Dancing out the Difference: Cultural Imperialism and Ruth St. Denis's "Radha" of 1906” in Signs Vol. 17, No. 1 (Autumn, 1991), pp. 28-49
Oral presentations where student applies 1 concept and 1 reading discussed in the course to an example of own choice (preferably from dance practice but it is not a must).
Attitudes: attendance, proactive attitude in class discussions.
Method of assessment
Maintaining weekly literature. Oral presentations where student applies 1 concept and 1 reading discussed in the course to an example of own choice (preferably from dance practice but it is not a must). Observation of involvement and proactive attitude in class.
Learning goals in the class contribute to the overall development of the competency indicators
1.6, 1.7, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 5.1, 6.2, 6.3
The development of the student in regards to the overall competency indicators will be assessed at integral assessment meetings through combined self-assessment and assessment by teachers, coaches and mentors. This course forms a continuous line with the Creation with Choreographer course in year 1, block 1 and Own Work by students in year 1.