How do artists make art? How do we evaluate it? In this course, students of all levels get to experience firsthand the particular challenges and rewards of art making through practical engagement with five fields — creative writing, visual art, theater, dance, and music — under the guidance of professionals.
How does the use of one’s imagination spark social and systemic change in the world? What does it mean to devote one's life to this kind of work? Blurring the lines between the creative and political experience, students will be introduced to the radical contemporary practices that interdisciplinary artists use to build creative, impactful lives.
In this studio course open to all, we will: dive into experiences in which body and language meet; think about these from aesthetic, cultural, political, personal, and philosophical perspectives; play with the physicality of voice and the material qualities of words and sentences; look for literary structures in movement; explore language from, in, around, and about (our) bodies; question hierarchies between body and language; deliberately lose ourselves in situations in which words fail or fall away; move and create together using tools from dance, theater, visual art, improvisation, writing, and somatic practices.
A studio course introducing students to American dance aesthetics and practices, with a focus on how its evolution has been influenced by African American choreographers and dancers. An ongoing study of movement practices from traditional African dances and those of the African diaspora, touching on American jazz dance, modern dance, and American ballet. Studio work will be complemented by readings, video viewings, guest speakers, and dance studies.
In a universe filled with movement, how and why and where might we find relative stillness? What are the aesthetic, political, and daily life possibilities within stillness? In this studio course open to all, we'll dance, sit, question, and create substantial final projects. We'll play with movement within stillness, stillness within movement, stillness in performance and in performers' minds. We'll look at stillness as protest and power. We'll wonder when stillness might be an abdication of responsibility. We'll read widely within religions, philosophy, performance, disability studies, social justice, visual art, sound (and silence).
This introductory survey course gives equal weight to scholarly study and embodied practice, using both approaches to explore a range of hip-hop dance techniques, as well as the cultural and historical contexts from which these dances emerged. Special attention will be given to breaking – the most prominent hip-hop form – as a foundation for exploring other forms of movement. By critically exploring these physical and historical connections, individuals will adapt and apply their own philosophies to dance in order to develop a personalized style.
This introductory course gives equal weight to scholarly study and embodied practice, using both approaches to explore the flow, power and cultural contexts of Breaking. This course will focus on developing a clear foundational Breaking technique in order to build a strong basis for exploring other Hip-Hop forms. By critically exploring this form physically and historically, individuals will adapt and apply their own philosophies to dance in order to eventually develop a personalized style.
This seminar is designed for junior dance certificate students to investigate current dance practices and ideas. Part study and discussion of the processes, aesthetics and politics involved in dance making and viewing — part independent creative practice and critique — this course invites students to a deeper understanding of their own art making perspectives and to those of their classmates.
Dance is an under-recognized political tool despite the use of performance to project national identity and soft power on the global stage. It also offers strategies for choreographing state initiatives and protest. This course investigates dance as both a state and a resistant practice of mobilization and identity construction. Forms studied include hula, Soviet ballet, modern dance during WWII and the Cold War, and others.
Hip-Hop is one of the most important cultural movements of the last half-century. But although hip-hop culture comprises a wide range of artistic practices – including music, dance, theater and graphic arts – its cultural politics are almost always analyzed through the lens of rap music. This seminar, by contrast, will explore the social and historical implications of hip-hop culture through its dance forms.
The seminar is dedicated to the reconstruction of ballets of the 19th century with emphasis on Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Our task is to understand the composition and staging of a select group of ballets from the essential primary source materials, both those that reflect the work of 19th century balletmasters (Saint-Leon, Bournonville, Gansen, and Petipa) and the institutions with which they were affiliated.
This hybrid studio/seminar course progresses in two tracks: one of embodied movement practices and the other of theoretico-historical critique. The canon of modern dance — arguably an American trajectory — is the source material for our interdisciplinary work. We will mimic and examine landmark choreographies in order to explore foundational tenets of modern art and modernity at large. Ableism and nihilism, sovereignty and sexuality, race and gender, are some of the themes that we will face along the path of analyzing the work of Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Bob Fosse, Merce Cunningham, George Balanchine, and Vaclav Nijinsky.
In this advanced studio course, dancers will study experiential anatomy in conversation with a variety of approaches to contemporary dance. Students will train in Contact Improvisation, experimental J-Sette, and repertory by Lar Lubovitch and Robert Battle. Students will explore relationships between scientific information, aesthetic priorities, training goals, and creative practices. We'll consider ways of optimizing movement drawn from somatic and conditioning techniques such as Pilates, neuromuscular patterning, PNF, and visualization. Drawing and journaling will clarify personal goals and understanding of movement capacities.
Choreographer Rebecca Lazier, visual artist Janet Echelman, engineer Sigrid Adriaenssens, and sound artist Jess Rowland come together with students in a unique collaboration inspired by the activity in the understory, the hovering layer beneath a forest's canopy. They will create textile sculpture installations that will activate, and be activated by, movement and sound. Students will explore historical works that merge visual, choreographic, and sonic forms and examine intersections of architecture, engineering, and artistic practices. Themes of transcending boundaries and disorientation will unfold within suspended sculptural environments.