Location: Bowdoin / Theater and Dance / Courses

Theater and Dance

Fall 2014

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Dance

DANC 1101. Making Dances.
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 1211. Modern I: Technique.
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.
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 1302. Principles of Design.
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.
DANC 1501. Dancing Histories.
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 is required.
DANC 2211. Modern II: Technique.
A continuation of the processes introduced in Dance 111. May be repeated for credit. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit.
DANC 2212. Modern II: Repertory and Performance.
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.
DANC 2503. Introduction to Black Performance Studies.
What does it mean to say that we “perform” our identities? What role can performance play in the fight for racial and social justice? As a people long denied access to literacy, what role has performance played in shaping the history of black Americans? Performance studies--an interdisciplinary field devoted to the study of a range of aesthetic practices--offers us insight into such questions. In this course, we will investigate various performances including contemporary plays, movies and television, dance, and social media. We will query the relationship between identities like race, gender, class, and performance as well as the connection between performance onstage and everyday life.
DANC 3211. Modern III: Technique.
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.
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 1201A. Acting I.
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 1201B. Acting I.
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 1302. Principles of Design.
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.
THTR 1700. Production and Performance.
Engagement in the presentation of a full-length work for public performance with a faculty director or choreographer. Areas of concentration within the production may include design, including set, light, sound, or costume; rehearsal and performance of roles; service as assistant director or stage manager. In addition to fulfilling specific production responsibilities, students meet weekly to synthesize work. Students gain admission to Theater 1700 {195} either through audition (performers) or through advance consultation (designers, stage managers, and assistant directors). Students register for Theater 1700 {195} during the add/drop period at the beginning of each semester. Students are required to commit a minimum of six hours a week to rehearsal and production responsibilities over a period of seven to twelve weeks; specific time commitments depend upon the role the student is assuming in the production and the production schedule. Grading is Credit/D/Fail. One-half credit. May be repeated a maximum of four times for credit, earning a maximum of two credits.
THTR 2203. Directing.
Introduces students to the major principles of play direction, including conceiving a production, script analysis, staging, casting, and rehearsing with actors. Students actively engage directing theories and techniques through collaborative class projects, and complete the course by conceiving, casting, rehearsing, and presenting short plays of their choosing. A final research and rehearsal portfolio is required.
THTR 2503. Introduction to Black Performance Studies.
What does it mean to say that we “perform” our identities? What role can performance play in the fight for racial and social justice? As a people long denied access to literacy, what role has performance played in shaping the history of black Americans? Performance studies--an interdisciplinary field devoted to the study of a range of aesthetic practices--offers us insight into such questions. In this course, we will investigate various performances including contemporary plays, movies and television, dance, and social media. We will query the relationship between identities like race, gender, class, and performance as well as the connection between performance onstage and everyday life.
THTR 3202. Comedy in Performance.
Looks at several facets of comedy on stage, from its origins in Greek and Roman theater to contemporary comic forms. Theory is combined with practical exercises in clowning, satire, physical comedy, wit, timing, phrasing, and partner work to develop a comic vocabulary for interpreting both scripted and original work. Students work in solos, duets, and groups to create final performance projects that are presented to the public at the end of the semester.
THTR 3205. Advanced Acting.
An advanced level acting course that builds on the practices developed in Acting I and Acting II. Using the plays of Anton Chekhov and other master playwrights from the 20th and 21st centuries, students challenge and deepen their understanding and application of Stanislavskian text analysis. New theater training skills are taught and deployed to build a purposeful rehearsal process and produce nuanced performances. Readings in contemporary theater theory and viewings of prized theatrical performance help students contextualize their own performance work and develop a language for analyzing and critiquing peer and professional theatrical performance.