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The Department of Dance offers a wide range of courses in dance technique for the beginning, intermediate, and advanced dancer, as well as dance theory courses such as dance history, composition, human anatomy and kinesiology, and teaching methods. The dance major consists of a series of core courses in dance technique and theory. Students follow their interests within the discipline (dance performance, choreography, teaching, or dance studies) by choosing a specific track; students may elect to broaden their understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of the field by an additional focus on related disciplines such as art, education, music, philosophy, psychology, and/or theatre.
The dance major and minor may be either disciplinary or interdisciplinary depending upon the courses selected. Three interdisciplinary dance major tracks are offered: Dance Education, Movement Studies, and Theory and Performance Studies. All courses toward a dance major or minor must be completed with a grade of C- or higher.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DISCIPLINARY MAJOR (B.A.) in Performance & Choreography
disciplinary, 12 courses
DAN 200 or DAN 250; DAN 225; DAN 300; DAN 325 or DAN 305; DAN 210 or 212; DAN 460; two full-credit dance technique (DAN) courses at the intermediate or advanced level; a dance ensemble course (DAN 140); and three dance electives in consultation with the adviser, two of which must be at the 200-level or higher.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INTERDISCIPLINARY MAJOR (B.A.) TRACKS:
interdisciplinary, 12 courses
Major in DANCE EDUCATION
Two courses from among DAN 225, DAN 305, and DAN 325; either DAN 200, DAN 250, or DAN 300; either DAN 210, 212, or 214; Dance Education Seminar DAN 432; Capstone DAN 460; two full-credit dance technique (DAN) courses at the intermediate or advanced level; one dance elective (not 900 series); and three electives drawn from Arts Education, Education, and/or Psychology approved by the major adviser.
Major in Dance: MOVEMENT STUDIES
Required courses: DAN 225, DAN 305, and DAN 325; two full-credit dance technique (DAN) courses (at least one must be at the intermediate or advanced level); two DAN electives, one at the 200-level or higher (not 900 series); Capstone DAN 460 (or DAN 450 or 499); one Human Behavioral/Developmental elective; and three electives outside the Department chosen in consultation with the adviser.
Major in Dance: THEORY AND PERFORMANCE STUDIES
DAN 105; Dance History DAN 210, or 212, or 214; Movement Studies DAN 225, DAN 305, or DAN 325; two full-credit dance technique (DAN) courses at the intermediate or advanced level; two DAN electives at the 200-level or higher; Capstone DAN 460; and four courses outside the Department chosen in consultation with the adviser.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR
disciplinary, 7 courses
DAN 105; DAN 210 or 212; either DAN 200, 250 or 300; either DAN 225, 305, or 325; two full-credit dance technique (DAN) courses at the intermediate or advanced level; and one additional dance full credit (not 900 series) course.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR
interdisciplinary, 7 courses
DAN 105, DAN 210 or 212; DAN 225, 305, or 325; two full-credit dance technique (DAN) courses, at least one at an intermediate or advanced level; and two courses outside the department approved by the adviser.
DAN 105 Introduction to Dance: Theory and Practice This course introduces students to the technique and theory of dance as an art form. Novice and experienced movers alike are introduced to dance theory in a lecture setting, and then explore those movement theories in the dance studio. Students gain both theoretical and practical knowledge of dance and self through readings, research assignments, journal writing, film observation, live concert dance, movement experiences, discussion, and faculty lecture. Study topics include an overview of dance styles, multicultural definition of dance, and an introduction to dance criticism, dance history, aesthetics, dance sciences, and movement analysis. (Fall, offered annually)
DAN 110 Introduction to Global Dance Forms This course introduces students to African and Caribbean culture by engaging in a variety of dance practices. This is a studio-based course. Students develop a theoretical framework of the dances studied through movement experiences, readings, writing assignments and class discussion. No prior dance experience or training is required.
DAN 140 Dance Ensemble: Practicum in Repertory and Performance This course follows the creation and performance of dance choreography from audition through final performance. Enrollment is by audition only; auditions are typically held in the fall prior to spring term registration. Students cast in Dance Ensemble learn new or repertory choreography created by dance faculty or guest artists and are frequently active participants in the choreographic process. In addition to developing performance skills, students are introduced to technical theatrical design concepts and are expected to complete pre- and post-production assignments. Concurrent registration in a dance technique course is required. (Spring, offered annually)
DAN 200 Dance Composition I This is an introductory course in the art and craft of creating dances. Techniques to nurture the individual creative process are explored, including movement improvisation, visual art imagery, chance procedures, musical influences, poetic imagery, and prop and costume studies. The course culminates in each student’s presentation of a substantial composition. This course has a multi-disciplinary focus and is open to all students interested in the arts and creative process. (Davenport/Williams, Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN 210 Dance History I This course examines the development of Western theatrical dance from early social dance forms through the flowering of ballet in the 19th century. An emphasis is placed on recognizing how social, political, economic and religious environments and attitudes influenced dance, and were in turn influenced by dance. The course format consists of faculty lecture, student presentations, film and video viewing, and studio workshops. (Williams, Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN 212 Dance History II This course examines the development of theatrical dance from the late 1800s through the mid-20th century. A special focus of the course is the rise of modern dance and the women who were its creators: Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, and Ruth St. Denis, and the women pioneers who followed: Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Mary Wigman, and Hanya Holm. Modern Dance developed in America and was greatly influenced by a spirit of rebellion and feminist reform movements; it continues to be associated with social, artistic, and political reform movements in a global context. The course traces the development of modern dance through the tumultuous 1960s, and looks at the changing definitions of modern dance into contemporary times. (Williams, Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN 214 Dance History III: Contemporary Dance History This course is designed to examine contemporary trends in concert dance and to look critically at how “post modern dance” evolved from the revolutions in culture and aesthetics of the 1960’s, when all the arts underwent tremendous change. Rather than presenting a chronological catalogue of dancers and choreographers, my goal is to make visible and articulate issues of concern for contemporary choreographers: the ways in which gender is constructed and performed in dance; how racial, social, physical, sexual and aesthetic identities are configured and/or displayed; the myriad ways in which technology is changing our definitions of dance and dances, and how the multiple influences of community, society and culture in a trans-global world shape our ideas about dance, dancers, and choreography. (Williams, Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN 225 Anatomy and Kinesiology This course covers human skeletal and muscular anatomy and its relationship to movement skills and postural alignment. Once the basic skeletal and muscular anatomy is understood, the course focuses on analysis of action, with particular attention on the action of gravity and its effect on posture and muscular function. Additionally, the course focuses on principles of alignment, conditioning, and injury prevention. The course material is relevant to students interested in the areas of physical therapy, physical education, athletic training, human biology, and other movement sciences. (Fall, offered annually)
DAN 230 Community Arts: Wellness, Environment, Culture This is a service-learning course that examines how the arts affect wellness, express one's culture, and promote environmental activism. Students explore the arts and artistic expression in their lives and in the Finger Lakes Region. In addition to theoretical readings and assignments in community arts and activism, the class visits community organizations in and around the Geneva area, specifically those that focus on the arts and/or environmental stewardship. Through the in-class discussions and readings and the out-of-class experiences with the community, students acquire a deeper understanding of how the arts can be used to promote positive social change (Whittier, offered alternate years).
DAN 250 Dance Improvisation Improvisation in dance—like its counterparts in music and theatre—relies on the technical skills of the performer, a profound mental commitment and focus, the ability to respond to multiple sensory stimuli, and the development of a body-mind synthesis that allows for action and reflection. The ability to improvise frees the performer from technical and choreographic ruts and gives one the opportunity to create and understand movement from an intensely personal perspective. Students participate in a variety of structured improvisations throughout the semester that are designed to improve their sensitivity to group dynamics, individual movement creativity, and recognition of the expressive capacities for movement expression. While movement is the media, prior dance training is not required. (Williams, Davenport, Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN 260 Site-Specific Performance Site-Specific Performance is a multi-disciplinary studio elective designed for student artists in film, theater, music, dance, visual art, and architectural studies. The focus of students’ involvement will depend on their arts training and interest. For example, Media and Society (MDSC) students will focus on the camera lens and perspectives on social documentary; musicians and composers (MUS) will consider the location as musical context; and actors, dancers, visual artists and architects (ARTS, DAN, THTR) will generate site performances driven by intentions that include social and environmental activism or aesthetic designs and frameworks without humanitarian goals. Theoretical content will include questions about the design and purpose of site performance; history and philosophy of progressive art; “audience” reception predictions; and spectatorship. Primary sub-topics include: artistic expression, interpretation, aesthetic intention, identity, gendered bodies, Formalism, hetero-normativity and other cultural biases. Primary areas of interdisciplinary study: Performance Studies and Politics of Art.
DAN 300 Dance Composition II This course explores further the art and craft of making dances with a focus on group choreography. Composition II covers such aspects of choreography as developing a unique movement vocabulary, group compositions, site-specific work, and choreographic process and documentation. Collaborations with musicians, actors, poets, and visual artists are encouraged. Prerequisite: DAN 200 or permission of instructor. (Davenport/Williams, Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN 305 Somatics Somatics is a term used to describe a broad range of therapeutic and educational practices having to do with integrating the body and the mind, usually with a focus on physical/psychological wellness. In this course we will investigate specific western and eastern body/mind practices such as Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique, Ideokinesis, Body-Mind Centering, Rolfing, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Acupuncture, Yoga, Reiki, and Pilates. Students are expected to gain an increased awareness of their body structure, an understanding of individual patterns of movement behavior, develop somatic self-awareness, witness the potential for teaching through touch and gain a comprehensive knowledge of the field. Course format includes movement exploration sessions, reading and reflective writing assignments and hands-on application of course material. (Iklé, Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN 325 Movement Analysis: Laban Studies This movement-based course introduces the theories of Laban Movement Analysis, which includes studies in Effort, Shape, Space, and the Bartenieff Fundamentals. These theories apply directly to all physical actions of the human body, nonverbal communication, cultural differences, choreography, body wellness and health, live performance, therapeutic practices, and teaching methodology. The course focuses on the personal relevance of Laban theories to the individual student, as well as to the related disciplines such as movement studies/science, theatre, dance, anthropology, psychology, and education. Students are taught how to observe and describe the movement and how to understand their own movement patterns as a way to enhance personal expression, body connectivity, and wellness. (Whittier, Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN 432 Dance Education Seminar This course is designed to introduce the student to the practices and principles of teaching dance. In addition to the traditional pedagogical areas of study—construction of lesson plans, formation of curriculum, and semester unit plans—the course explores the specific concerns of the dance classroom—injury prevention, use of imagery to elicit physical response, and composition of movement material to cognitively as well as physically challenge students. Prerequisites: Successful completion of DAN 105, DAN 225, DAN 305, and/or DAN 325 strongly recommended. (Davenport/Williams/Whittier, Offered alternate years)
DAN 450 Independent Study In this course students are encouraged to pursue explorations of choreography, performance, historical research, teaching, improvisation, arts management and production, or body-mind synthesis within an approved and academically challenging independent study. Permission of instructor required.
DAN 460 Seminar: Advanced Topics in Dance This seminar provides an opportunity for faculty-guided research of a particular area of interest to senior or junior dance majors. (Dance minors admitted with permission of instructor.) Students will work toward the development of choreographic and performance material, in addition to pursuing individual studies of career-related topics such as dance science, somatics, dance anthropology, dance criticism, K-12 dance education, dance administration or other areas of interest. (Iklé/Davenport, Spring, offered annually)
DAN 495 Honors A course to be completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Honors work in dance. Permission of the Honors adviser required.
DAN 499 Dance Internship This internship offers an option for the student who wishes to pursue workplace experience in dance education, arts administration, technical production, and/or professional venues. Specific course content varies with each individual situation, but in general students are expected to spend a minimum of 10 hours a week at their placement under the supervision of a workplace professional. Academic credit is for credit/no credit only, with appropriate mid-term and end of semester assessment agreed upon in advance in consultation with the professor. (Offered each semester)
DANCE PERFORMANCE & TECHNIQUE COURSES (DAN/DAT)
Most dance technique courses may be taken as a one-half credit activity course (DAT) for credit/no credit or as a full credit DAN course. Students electing the full credit DAN technique course are expected to complete the academic components of the course, including weekly reading and writing assignments, concert reviews, and research projects, in addition to participation in the studio-based technique class. Students enrolling in the half-credit DAT course must register for credit/no credit only. All registered students will be expected to complete midterm and final assessments as designated by each professor.
DAT 140 Dance Ensemble: Practicum in Repertory and Performance Students may elect to take the department’s Dance Ensemble course as a studio-based half-credit activity. The course material is identical to that described above, and requires the same audition process. Students electing DAT 140 must register for the course credit/no credit and are not expected to complete the additional academic components of the course, but are required to enroll in a concurrent dance technique course. (Spring, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 900 Beginning Dance This course is an introduction to traditional and contemporary dance techniques for the beginning level student. Students explore the basic principles of dance technique: strength, alignment, coordination, spatial and rhythmic awareness, and performance skills within the context of the unique vocabulary and aesthetic of each dance form. Topics each term are determined by the instructor and may include a combination of Jazz/Ballet/Modern or Modern/Afro-Caribbean styles.
DAN 907 Intro to Jamaican Dance This is a studio-based dance course in which students are introduced to traditional and contemporary Jamaican dance. Students will study the significance of dance and music in Jamaican society, past and present. By examining and participating in Caribbean movement expressions, students will gain insight into Jamaica's historical journey towards the restoration of a national identity and learn how the island's people turn to dance and artistic expression as a method of cultural survival. No prior dance experience is necessary. This course may be taken for full credit only. (Fall)
DAN/DAT 910 Beginning Ballet I This course is an introduction to the techniques and principles of classical ballet, and therefore focuses on learning ballet vocabulary and steps, as well as developing increased balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength. This class also emphasizes artistic play and the development of each student’s expressive potential. Students are challenged to apply body connectivity concepts they learn in class to other movement endeavors. Somatic and kinesiologically sound approaches to learning classical ballet technique are prioritized. Classical ballet variations serve as an inspiration for barre and center combinations so that students gain a deeper understanding of the aesthetic and historical nuances of classical ballet. No prior dance experience is necessary for enrollment in this class. (Offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 915 Beginning Modern Dance I This course is designed for students with little or no previous dance experience who are curious to learn more about their dynamically moving selves and the genre of modern dance. In this studio-based course students have the opportunity to experience movement as a form of individual and artistic expression. Course material focuses on increasing individual kinesthetic awareness and personal artistry with movement lessons that emphasize proper alignment and movement mechanics and the development of expressive range. Students refine their physical skills and develop artistic literacy through the learning of basic movement vocabulary, creative explorations, concert attendance, reading and reflective writing assignments. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 920 Intermediate Ballet I This course covers intermediate classical technique, and therefore focuses on learning new classical steps and movement sequencing, as well as performing the classical vocabulary with greater precision and clarity. Developing a more nuanced understanding of musicality and artistic choice is emphasized. Somatic and kinesiologically sound approaches to learning classical ballet technique are prioritized. Classical ballet variations serve as an inspiration for barre and center combinations so that students gain a deeper understanding of the aesthetic and historical nuances of classical ballet. A solid foundation in ballet technique is expected. (Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 922 Intermediate Contemporary Ballet II This course covers intermediate contemporary ballet technique, and therefore focuses on learning non-traditional ballet positions and movement sequencing, as well as performing the contemporary vocabulary with greater precision and clarity. Developing a more nuanced understanding of balance and off-balance, direction changes in center work, complex musical phrasing and meters, and the differences between contemporary and classical ballet is emphasized. Somatic and kinesiologically sound approaches to learning contemporary ballet technique are prioritized. Contemporary ballet variations serve as an inspiration for barre and center combinations so that students gain a deeper understanding of the aesthetic developments and current artistic trends of ballet technique. A solid foundation in ballet technique is expected. (Fall, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 925 Intermediate Modern Dance I This is a course designed to further students' performance and understanding of the technical, stylistic, and expressive aspects of modern dance. A consistent emphasis throughout the term will be on establishing a strong sense of alignment in both stationary and locomotor sequences, and identifying the particular strengths and weaknesses that contribute to one’s personal movement capabilities. A central focus is on providing a rich array of dance experiences that support students’ growth as dance artists by helping every individual discover and uncover movement habits and patterns that may not be useful, and encouraging students to make choices about alignment and movement patterns. An additional area of focus will be the development (or honing) of kinesthetic awareness, including exploration of mind-body connections and internal pathways of expression. (Fall, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 927 Intermediate Modern Dance II This course is a continuation of Intermediate Modern I. Additional areas of emphasis include technical endurance, rhythmic accuracy, development of individual movement style, and increased work on dynamic phrasing and complex movement combinations. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 930 Advanced Ballet I This course covers advanced classical technique, and therefore emphasizes the development of a unique artistic voice and the performance of complex steps, musical phrasing, and body connectivity concepts. This class prioritizes artistic experimentation, as well as somatic and kinesiologically sound approaches to learning classical ballet technique. Classical ballet variations serve as an inspiration for barre and center combinations so that students gain a deeper understanding of the aesthetic and historical nuances of classical ballet. A strong foundation in ballet technique is expected. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 930-11 Pointe I This lab is linked to the intermediate and/or advanced ballet classes. It is designed for dancers who have reached a level of technical proficiency and strength that enables them to work on Pointe. This class focuses on learning and performing classical ballet variations, and is structured with barre and center floor combinations to teach the technical and artistic principles essential for classical Pointe work. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in DAN/DAT 930 or DAN/DAT 920 and permission of instructor required. (Fall, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 932 Advanced Contemporary Ballet II This course covers advanced contemporary technique, and therefore emphasizes the development a rich and varied ballet movement vocabulary. Sometimes the class maintains a traditional structure beginning with barre and ending with center, but students also experience non-traditional ways of structuring the ballet class. Students explore body connectivity concepts that deepen their understanding of off-balance work, level changes, non-traditional balletic positions, and complex movement patterns. This class prioritizes artistic experimentation, as well as somatic and kinesiologically sound approaches to learning contemporary ballet technique. Contemporary ballet variations serve as an inspiration for barre and center combinations so that students gain a deeper understanding of the aesthetic developments and current artistic trends of ballet technique. A strong foundation in ballet technique is expected. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 932-11 Contemporary Pointe II This lab is linked to the intermediate and/or advanced contemporary ballet classes and focuses on the fundamentals of contemporary pointe work. The emphasis of the class therefore includes a focus on learning and performing contemporary ballet variations, and includes barre and center combinations that teach contemporary concepts such as off-balance work, level changes, partnering, and non-classical positions and movement phrases. Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in DAN/DAT 932 or DAN/DAT 922 and permission of instructor required. (Spring, offered annually)
DAN/DAT 935 Advanced Modern Dance I This studio-based course is designed for the proficient dancer. A strong foundation in modern dance technique is expected. Emphasis will be placed on refining movement skills and artistry within contemporary modern dance at the advanced level. Complex and diverse movement experiences will emphasize proper alignment, movement mechanics, breath support, movement clarity, stylistic versatility, strength and endurance training, body connectivity, partnering skills and self-expression in order to develop greater technical acuity and enhance performance artistry. Concert attendance, reading and writing assignments provide additional resources as students place themselves within the context of contemporary modern dance. (Offered annually)
DAN/DAT 937 Advanced Modern Dance II This course is a continuation of Advanced Modern Dance l. A strong foundation in modern dance technique is expected. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 940 Beginning Jazz This is an introductory level jazz technique course designed for the beginning dancer. No prior dance experience is necessary. Students learn to perform basic jazz dance vocabulary through short movement sequences and longer jazz combinations while developing flexibility, strength, and awareness of rhythmical phrasing, and an understanding of jazz as a varied and ever-changing art form with a rich history. Concert attendance, reading and writing assignments expose students to additional theoretical considerations within the jazz idiom. (Spring, offered alternate years)
DAN/DAT 945 Intermediate Jazz This course will explore the range of dance styles, both traditional and contemporary, that fit within the broader definition of ”jazz dance”. Students should be familiar with basic jazz vocabulary and will learn to perform movement sequences and longer phrases of increasing complexity. Course work will emphasize individual ownership of jazz movement through principles of body connectivity, improvisational structures, exploration of classical and contemporary trends and individual and group choreography. Technical accuracy, improved body connectivity, stylistic versatility, dynamic range, strength, flexibility and rhythmic sensibility are goals within the classroom. There will be an emphasis on individual expression and performance techniques as these are vital components of jazz dance. Concert attendance, reading and writing assignments supplement course material as students place themselves within the context of jazz dance. Prerequisite: Intermediate technique level proficiency in either modern dance or jazz, or permission of instructor. (Offered annually)
DAN/DAT 950 Intermediate Jamaican Dance Technique Intermediate level technique class focusing on both traditional and contemporary Jamaican folk forms, their role in shaping Jamaican national identity and their significance in preserving cultural traditions. This is a dance technique course and requires that the students physically participate every day.
DAN/DAT 955 Global Dance Techniques Enrollment in this course is by audition only and requires participation in the faculty dance concert in April. This is a studio-based technique course that builds upon prior knowledge of Afro-Caribbean dance aesthetics and aims for sophistication and nuance in both theory and practice. Students are encouraged to investigate how the body is used as a tool for expression and definition of cultural voice. This is not an introductory course. (Spring)