Special Topics in Urban Dance: Improvisational Approaches to Hip-Hop Practices

This course is designed to provide a broad understanding of hip-hop dance, history and culture. We will explore the various dance styles and folk art traditions that preceded and influenced hip-hop dance and its essential elements. With a focus on Breaking and its deconstruction of body movements and choreographic forms, the course will emphasize the creative tools inherent in Breaking techniques and improvisational structures to support students to develop and find their own individual style. Viewings and readings videos will contextualize students’ investigations.

Sample reading list:
Marshall Berman, All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity
Benjy Melendez and Amir Said, Ghetto Brother: How I found Peace…
T.J. Desh Obi, Fighting For Honor: The History of African Martial Art
Susan A. Phillips, Crip Walk, Villan Dance, Pueblo Stroll: The Embodiment of…
Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Ongoing movement assignments, approximately 1 hour/week. Reading, viewing live and videotaped performances; (approx. 2 hours outside class/week)




Tuesdays & Thursdays,
4:30 - 6:20 pm


Raphael Xavier