Location: Bowdoin / Theater and Dance / Courses

Theater and Dance

Spring 2014

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Dance

DANC 1101. Making Dances.
Paul Sarvis.

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.

DANC 1103. Black-White Boogie: African Derived Dances in America.
Nyama McCarthy-Brown.

Combines dance history, embodied research, and performance. Students engage in readings, class discussions, and movement studies that allow them to learn movement techniques from past eras. Students explore connections between cultural values and norms and movement aesthetics, and discover how African American vernacular dance and jazz music influenced jazz forms and American dance throughout the twentieth century (ragtime, swing, hot jazz, and hip-hop). Culminates with a performance in the December Dance Concert. Students meet once a week in a seminar setting to investigate one dance era, such as swing. The next two class meetings take place in a dance studio in order to embody the dance form discussed that week, and include rehearsals.

DANC 1211. Modern I: Technique.
Gwyneth Jones.

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.

DANC 1212. Modern I: Repertory and Performance.
Gwyneth Jones.

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 Studio Show, 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.

DANC 2241. Afro-Modern II: Technique.
Nyama McCarthy-Brown.

A continuation of modern dance principles introduced in Dance 1211 with the addition of African-derived dance movement. The two dance aesthetics are combined to create a new form. Technique classes will include center floor exercises, movement combinations across the floor, and movement phrases. Students will also attend dance performances in the community.

DANC 2242. Afro-Modern II: Repertory and Performance.
Nyama McCarthy-Brown.

Repertory students are required to take Dance 2241 concurrently. A continuation of modern dance principles introduced in Dance 1211 with the addition of African-derived dance movement. The two dance aesthetics are combined to create a new form. Through regular rehearsals students will be a part of an artistic creative process and perform in the Spring Dance concert at the end of the semester.

DANC 2403. Interdisciplinary Performance-Making.
Kathryn Syssoyeva.

A course for actors, gymnasts, writers, dancers, visual artists, media designers, composers, singers, and musicians. Working from a short story by Kurt Vonnegut (“Harrison Bergeron”), students from across disciplines will collaboratively create an original theatre work combining circus acrobatics, dramatic text, physical theatre, dance, clowning, original music, singing, instrumental ensemble, visual composition, and technological design. The project will build upon the talents and skills of those who enroll, and offer participants opportunities to design, compose, arrange, choreograph, write, and/or perform. Culminates in a fully staged production in Wish Theatre in spring.

DANC 3211. Modern III: Technique.
Gwyneth Jones.

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

DANC 3212. Modern III: Repertory and Performance.
Gwyneth Jones.

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.

Theater

THTR 1201. Acting I.
Sally Wood.

Introduces students to the intellectual, vocal, physical, and emotional challenge of the acting process. Students examine theatrical texts and practice the art of translating intellectual analysis into embodied performance. Fundamentals of text analysis are learned and practiced, preparing students for the more complex performance work required in all sections of Acting II.

THTR 1503. Theater of Action: Performance for Social Change.
Kathryn Syssoyeva.

Through research and practice, this course explores the notion of the performing artist as public intellectual and engaged citizen. In the first half semester students research international social justice performance, 1913-2013: suffrage, race and economic protest pageants; Living Newspapers, Agit-prop, and the Workers Theatre and Dance Movement; collective creation and documentary theatre; performance at the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, diaspora and transnationalism; women’s protest performance; theatres of healing and repair concerned with inter-ethnic conflict. In the second half, students research current socio-political and economic events, identify an issue of local, regional, and/or national significance, and collaboratively devise a performance intended to protest, educate, and inspire community action.

THTR 1806. Introduction to Drama.
William Watterson.

Traces the development of dramatic form, character, and style from classical Greece through the Renaissance and Enlightenment to contemporary America and Africa. Explores the evolution of plot design, with special attention to the politics of playing, the shifting strategies of representing human agency, and contemporary relationships between the theater and a variety of forms of mass media. Authors may include Sophocles, Aristophanes, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Dryden, Ibsen, Wilde, Beckett, Mamet, and Churchill.

THTR 2202. Acting II: Physical Theater.
Davis Robinson.

Extends the principles of Acting I through a full semester of rigorous physical acting work focused on presence, energy, relaxation, alignment, and emotional freedom. Develops and brings the entire body to the act of being on stage through highly structured individual exercises and ensemble-oriented improvisational work. Scene work is explored through the movement-based acting disciplines of Lecoq, Grotowski, Meyerhold, or Viewpoints. Contemporary physical theater makers Théâtre de Complicité, Mabou Mines, SITI company, and Frantic Assembly are discussed. This course, along with Theater 2201 (220), Acting II: Voice and Text, is part of a two-semester course series. Theater 2201 (220) and 2202 (225) may be taken individually or in any order.

THTR 2403. Interdisciplinary Performance-Making.
Kathryn Syssoyeva.

A course for actors, gymnasts, writers, dancers, visual artists, media designers, composers, singers, and musicians. Working from a short story by Kurt Vonnegut (“Harrison Bergeron”), students from across disciplines will collaboratively create an original theatre work combining circus acrobatics, dramatic text, physical theatre, dance, clowning, original music, singing, instrumental ensemble, visual composition, and technological design. The project will build upon the talents and skills of those who enroll, and offer participants opportunities to design, compose, arrange, choreograph, write, and/or perform. Culminates in a fully staged production in Wish Theatre in spring.

THTR 2811. Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Roman Plays.
William Watterson.

Examines Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus in light of recent critical thought. Special attention is given to psychoanalysis, new historicism, and genre theory. Note: This course fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.

THTR 3204. Acting Shakespeare.
Sally Wood.

An advanced-level acting course dedicated to the study of Shakespeare toward its original purpose: performance. Building on the skill sets learned in Acting I and both sections of Acting II, students combine advanced text and rhetorical analysis with rigorous physical and vocal work designed to bring the text off the page and into performance. May be repeated for credit.

THTR 3402. Theater Studio.
Davis Robinson.

An advanced theater seminar focusing on independent work. Advanced students creating capstone projects in playwriting, directing, acting, and design meet weekly as a group to critique, discuss, and present their work. Final performances are given at the end of the semester.