Dance Courses


Introduction to Art Making

LCA 101 · Fall 2020

C01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Instructors: Colleen Asper · Mark Doten · Ruth Ochs · Shariffa Ali · Stacy Wolf · Olivier Tarpaga · Tess James

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.


DAN 206 / MTD 206 / THR 206 · Fall 2020

U01 · Tuesdays + Thursdays, 1:30 - 2:50 PM

Instructors: Aynsley Vandenbroucke

The writer Annie Dillard says that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. With school as we know it upended, we have a unique opportunity to develop daily habits that contribute to lifelong independent learning and creating. We will look at practice as both verb and noun, paying special attention to the ways we embody the work (and change) we want to see in the world. Through somatic activities, talks with invited guests, projects, and readings (across the arts, sciences, philosophy, religion, and activism), we'll revel in the interplay between process and product, solitude and community, structure and freedom, life and art.

The American Experience and Dance Practices of the African Diaspora

DAN 211 / AAS 211 · Fall 2020

U01 · Mondays + Wednesdays, 2:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Dyane Harvey-Salaam

A studio course introducing students to American dance aesthetics and practices, with a focus on how its evolution has been influenced by African American and European-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.

Introduction to Contemporary Dance

DAN 213 · Fall 2020

U01 · Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:30 - 2:20 PM

Instructors: Alexandra Beller

This course offers a broad, embodied introduction to the breadth of contemporary dance. We will be moving, reading, watching, and writing about dance. Contemporary issues, such as Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, immigration, and American exceptionalism will be viewed through the lens of contemporary dance. We will try on the styles of essential creators in the field in an effort to understand their POV. We will create work ourselves (no experience necessary) to learn about the expressive and communicative potential of dance. We will be moving and meditating to release tension, increase personal awareness, and boost authenticity.


DAN 221 / THR 222 · Fall 2020

U01 · Wednesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Aynsley Vandenbroucke

In a universe filled with movement, how and why and where might we find relative stillness? What are the unique aesthetic, political, and daily life possibilities while school as we know it is on pause? We’ll dance, sit, question, and create practices and 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).

Performance in Extraordinary Times: Documenting and Analyzing the Present

DAN 314 / AMS 335 / ANT 356 / THR 314 · Fall 2020

S01 · Tuesdays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Judith Hamera

Performance and crisis have always been partners: entangled in epidemics, state violence and resistance, and austerity regimes, as well as the crisis ordinariness of settler colonialism and structural racism. This seminar examines performance in our extraordinary present using autoethnography, ethnography, and interviews.

Dance in Education: Dance/Theater Pedagogy

DAN 316 / THR 328 / HUM 317 / TPP 316 · Fall 2020

S01 · Fridays, 10:00 AM - 12:50 PM

Instructors: Rebecca Stenn

‘Dance in Education: Dance/Theater Pedagogy Seminar’ explores the connection between engaged dance and elementary school literacy, mathematics and social studies while allowing students the opportunity to be civically engaged and contribute to the community. The course combines teaching dance and movement classes to public school students from underserved communities in both East Harlem in New York City and the Princeton region (remotely, through zoom), while collectively engaging in an in-depth exploration of Dance and Theater in Elementary Education with an emphasis on recent developments in the field.

How can we create new methods of dance and choreography for the online environment that reimagine frontiers of physical practice and the choreographic space? Each section of this course will be a unique venture into dance and choreographic creation culminating in a live, virtual Performance Festival. Students will explore the intersections of dance and multimedia performance, digital animation, filmmaking, site-specific theater and art, or music. Movement practice and creative work will be supplemented by selected readings and viewings to expose students to broad historical precedents and provide cultural, social, and political context.

The Reverence and Violence of Modern Dance

DAN 348 / AMS 349 / GSS 418 / MTD 349 · Fall 2020

U01 · Tuesdays, 1:30-4:20 PM

Instructors: Netta Yerushalmy

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.

FAT: The F-Word and the Public Body

AMS 398 / DAN 312 / GSS 346 · Fall 2020

S01 · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Judith Hamera

The fat body operates at the conjuncture of political economy, beauty standards, and health. This seminar asks, How does this "f-word" discipline and regulate bodies in /as public? What is the "ideal" American public body and who gets to occupy that position? How are complex personhood, expressivity, health, and citizenship contested cultural and political economic projects? We will examine the changing history, aesthetics, politics, and meanings of fatness using dance, performance, memoirs, and media texts as case studies

Fantasia! Fantasia!: Dance-Theatre-Media

ATL 499 / VIS 499 / DAN 499 / THR 499 · Fall 2020

C01 — Raja Feather Kelly + Laura Snow · Mondays, 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Instructors: Laura Snow · Raja Feather Kelly

With Choreographer/Director Raja Feather Kelly and Video Artist Laura Snow students will create a devised dance-theatre production using the approach developed by Kelly's dance-theatre and media company the feath3r theory.