Exhilarating, heartbreaking, dream-like, dark, abstract, absurd, contemplative, hilarious: these are some words audiences and critics alike use to describe contemporary dance. But what exactly is contemporary dance? How do we talk about it? What makes it all these things and more? This course seeks to answer these questions.
As an introduction to the wide landscape of contemporary dance, this course will lead us through the work of some of the world’s most acclaimed and experimental choreographers, including Pina Bausch, Ohad Naharin, and Crystal Pite. Each class we will watch and discuss a work by a different choreographer, over time building a critical perspective on contemporary dance. Some weeks may include guest appearances by contemporary dancers and dance-makers, class field trips to see local dance shows, and even the chance to do some dancing ourselves.
Those without any previous dance knowledge or experience are especially encouraged to enroll.
By the end of the course, students will not only feel well-versed in one of today’s most exciting art forms, but they will also have developed a new language with which to speak about art, and may even come to think differently about the unique problems of interpretation, abstraction, meaning, and the human condition that contemporary dance poses.
[Note: This is not a dance course, that is, we will not be learning dance technique. While we will definitely dive into some contemporary dance methods, learning how to dance is not the focus of this class.]
Class Grade: 80% attendance and participation, 20% final project.
Class assignments consist of short weekly readings and a final creative project. There will be no assigned weekly work outside of these readings.
For any questions, email the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org