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The College Catalogue

Theater and Dance – Dance Courses

First-Year Seminars

For a full description of first-year seminars, see the First-Year Seminar section.

1010 {10} c. Understanding Theater and Dance: Doing, Viewing, and Reviewing. Fall 2014. The Department. (Same as Theater 1010 {10}.)

Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced Courses

1101 {102} c - VPA. Making Dances. Every semester. The Department.

Explores movement invention, organization, and meaning. Problem-solving exercises, improvisations, and studies focus mainly on solo, duet, and trio forms. A video component introduces students—regardless of previous experience in dance—to a wide range of compositional methods and purposes. Includes reading, writing, discussion, attendance at live performances, and—when possible—work with visiting professional artists.

1102 {101} c - ESD, VPA. Cultural Choreographies: An Introduction to Dance. Fall 2015. The Department.

Dancing is a fundamental human activity, a mode of communication, and a basic force in social life. Investigates dance and movement in the studio and classroom as aesthetic and cultural phenomena. Explores how dance and movement activities reveal information about cultural norms and values and affect perspectives in our own and other societies. Using ethnographic methods, focuses on how dancing maintains and creates conceptions of one’s own body, gender relationships, and personal and community identities. Experiments with dance and movement forms from different cultures and epochs—for example, the hula, New England contradance, classical Indian dance, Balkan kolos, ballet, contact improvisation, and African American dance forms from swing to hip-hop—through readings, performances, workshops in the studio, and field work. (Same as Gender and Women’s Studies 1102 {102}.)

1203 {145} c - VPA. Performance and Narrative. Spring 2015. Abigail Killeen.

For millennia, we have organized our fictions, our religions, our histories, and our own lives as narratives. However much the narrative form has been called into question in recent years, it seems we just cannot stop telling each other stories. Examines the particular nexus between narrative and performance: What is narrative? How does it work? What are its limits and its limitations? How do we communicate narrative in performance? Involves both critical inquiry and the creation of performance pieces based in text, dance, movement, and the visual image. (Same as Theater 1203 {145}.)

1211 {111} c - VPA. Modern I: Technique. Every semester. The Department.

Classes in modern dance technique include basic exercises to develop dance skills such as balance and musicality. More challenging movement combinations and longer dance sequences build on these exercises. While focusing on the craft of dancing, students develop an appreciation of their own styles and an understanding of the role of craft in the creative process. During the semester, a historical overview of twentieth-century American dance on video is presented. Attendance at all classes is required. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

1212 {112} c - VPA. Modern I: Repertory and Performance. Every semester. The Department.

Repertory students are required to take Dance 1211 {111} concurrently. Repertory classes provide the chance to learn faculty-choreographed works or reconstructions of historical dances. Class meetings are conducted as rehearsals for performances at the end of the semester: the December Dance Concert, the annual Spring Performance in Pickard Theater, or Museum Pieces at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in May. Additional rehearsals are scheduled before performances. Attendance at all classes and rehearsals is required. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

1221 {121} c - VPA. Ballet I: Technique. Every other year. Fall 2015. Charlotte Griffin.

Introduces the fundamental principles of classical ballet technique as a studio practice and performing art. Includes barre, center, and across-the-floor exercises with an emphasis on anatomical alignment, complex coordination, movement quality, and musicality. Combines dance training with assigned reading and writing, video viewing, performance attendance, and in-class discussion to increase appreciation for and participation in the art form. Ballet I is a one-credit course with a required lab.

1301 {104} c. Stagecraft. Fall 2015. The Department.

Introduction to the language, theory, and practice of technical theater. Hands-on experience in lighting, scenic and property construction, costuming, and stage management. Considers the possibilities, demands, and limits inherent in different forms of performance and performance spaces, and explores the job roles integral to theater and dance production. Includes forty hours of laboratory work. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. (Same as Theater 1301 {104}.)

1302 {130} c - VPA. Principles of Design. Every year. Fall 2014. Judy Gailen.

An introduction to theatrical design that stimulates students to consider the world of a play, dance, or performance piece from a designer’s perspective. Through projects, readings, discussion, and critiques, students explore the fundamental principles of visual design, as they apply to set, lighting, and costume design, as well as text analysis for the designer, and the process of collaboration. Strong emphasis on perceptual, analytical, and communication skills. (Same as Theater 1302 {130}.)

1501 {140} c - VPA. Dancing Histories. Fall 2014. Paul Sarvis.

Studio work accompanies video viewings and readings on twentieth-century modern dance and ballet. Focuses on the cultural politics of dance performance—vocabularies and notions of representation; intention and authorship—and changing ideas of the performance space. Viewing and reading moves chronologically, while studio work addresses global themes such as dance and identity, expressionism, self-reference, and the “natural.” No previous dance experience required.

2211 {211} c - VPA. Modern II: Technique. Fall 2014. Gwyneth Jones.

A continuation of the processes introduced in Dance 1211 {111}. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

2212 {212} c - VPA. Modern II: Repertory and Performance. Fall 2014. Gwyneth Jones.

Intermediate repertory students are required to take Dance 2211 {211} concurrently. A continuation of the principles and practices introduced in Dance 1212 {112}. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

2221 {221} c - VPA. Ballet II: Technique. Spring 2015. Charlotte Griffin.

A continuation of the processes introduced in Dance 1221 {121}. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

Prerequisite: Dance 1221 {121} or permission of the instructor.

2222 {222} c - VPA. Ballet II: Repertory and Performance. Spring 2015. Charlotte Griffin.

Repertory students are required to take Dance 2221 {221} concurrently. Repertory classes are an opportunity to learn and perform new choreography or historical reconstructions created by faculty or guests. Class meetings conducted as rehearsals. Additional rehearsals may be required. Attendance at all classes, studio and stage rehearsals, and performances required. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

[2231 {231} c - VPA. Jazz II: Technique.]

[2232 {232} c - VPA. Jazz II: Repertory and Performance.]

2401 {270} c - VPA. Choreography for Dancers: Invention, Method, and Purpose. Spring 2015. The Department.

Through a vigorous sequence of creative projects, fluent dancers excavate sources and explore methods for making dance. Detailed work on personal movement vocabulary, musicality, and the use of multidimensional space leads to a strong sense of choreographic architecture. Students explore the play between design and accident—communication and open-ended meaning—and irony and gravity. Studio work is supported by video viewing and readings on dance, philosophy, and other arts.

Prerequisite: Dance 1101 {102} or 1102 {101}, and two of: Dance 1212 {112}, 2212 {212}, or 3212 {312}.

2502 {240} c - VPA. Performance in the Twenty-First Century: Avant-Garde/Neo Avant-Garde. Spring 2016. The Department.

Examines contemporary forms such as live art, neo-cabaret, dance theater, theater of images, new circus, solo performance, and site-specific theater. Hybrid by nature and rebellious in spirit, these practices reject the boundaries and conventions of traditional theater and dance. Yet, for all its innovation, contemporary performance has roots deep in the twentieth-century avant-garde. What, these days, is new about performance? Through readings, film screenings, and our own performance-making, considers the genealogical roots of performance and investigates the ways twenty-first-century performance is exploring body, mind, technology, social justice, intercultural and transnational aesthetics, and globalism. Assignments include readings, research presentations, written responses, and short-form performance projects. (Same as Theater 2502 {240}.)

2503 c - ESD, VPA. Introduction to Black Performance Studies. Fall 2014. Christina Knight.

What does it mean to say that we “perform” our identities? What role can performance play in the fight for racial and social justice? What role has performance played in shaping the history of black Americans, a people long denied access to literacy? Performance studies—an interdisciplinary field devoted to the study of a range of aesthetic practices—offers insight into such questions. Investigates various performances, including contemporary plays, movies and television, dance, and social media. Examines the relationship between identities like race, gender, class, and performance as well as the connection between performance onstage and everyday life. (Same as Africana Studies 2502 and Theater 2503.)

2970–2973 {291–294} c. Intermediate Independent Study in Dance. The Department.

2999 {299} c. Intermediate Collaborative Study in Dance. The Department.

3211 {311} c - VPA. Modern III: Technique. Every semester. The Department.

A continuation of the processes introduced in Dance 2211 {211}. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

3212 {312} c - VPA. Modern III: Repertory and Performance. Every semester. The Department.

Intermediate/advanced repertory students are required to take Dance 3211 {311} concurrently. A continuation of the principles and practices introduced in Dance 2212 {212}. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.

[3301 {340} c. Live Performance and Digital Media. (Same as Theater 3301 {340}.)]

3401 {322} c. Ensemble Devising: The Art of Collaborative Creation. Spring 2017. Davis Robinson.

Experienced student actors, dancers, and musicians collaborate to devise an original performance event. Immerses students in the practice of devising, from conception and research to writing, staging, and ultimately performing a finished piece. Examines the history of collective creation and the various emphases different artists have brought to that process. (Same as Theater 3401 {322}.)

Prerequisite: One course numbered 1100–1799 {100–199} in theater or dance and one course numbered 2000–2799 {200-289} in theater or dance.

4000–4003 {401–404} c. Advanced Independent Study in Dance. The Department.

4029 {405} c. Advanced Collaborative Study in Dance. The Department.

Online Catalogue content is current as of August 1, 2014. For most current course information, use the online course finder. Also see Addenda.