Dance 544

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Topics in Dance History
Betsy Cooper

Historiography as a mode of inquiry reflects a way of thinking about dance that draws one to understand and explain the past. The historian asks questions about the events, art works, and personalities that shaped dance in the past. Historical inquiry seeks to create a meaningful interpretation of what happened, an in some cases, why it happened and how it relates to who and what we are today. Penelope Hanstein, Reseaching Dance (p42)

This is a lecture course in western theatre dance history, specifically the history of ballet, stemming from its roots in Renaissance court dance through the mid-20tcentury. We will examine specific dances from this canon with attention to the cultural context in which they were created. Assigned readings and in-depth analyses of dances on video will guide our discussion of form, content, interpretation, and critical reception. Watching dances, class discussions, research and writing assignments will be integral parts of the learning process in this class, therefore, all reading and video assignments much be completed on time. This is a writing/research-intensive course. In general, Mondays and Wednesdays will be reserved for lectures and video-viewing, Fridays will be devoted to group discussion, in-class writing assignments and other participatory activities, which may movement classes, or additional video viewing. Dance experience is not required for the movement classes.

In general, Mondays and Wednesdays will be reserved for lectures and video-viewing, Fridays will be devoted to group discussion, in-class writing assignments and other participatory activities, which may movement classes, or additional video viewing. Dance experience is not required for the movement classes.