By Henry Robertson,2014-05-03 04:46
12 views 0



    Tues + Thurs 10:30-11:45 The Site

    Instructor: Sarah Skaggs

    Department of Theatre and Dance


    Office Hours: Tues 1:30-2:30, Wed 1:30-2:30, Thurs 5-6

Course Description

    This course will focus on contemporary dance history using theoretical frameworks that interrogate how race, class and gender resist, assimilate, and converge to create the construction of American modern concert dance. A key issue we will explore will be how the politics of the dancing female body on the concert stage produced a radicalized agenda for contemporary dance. We will address key themes and questions throughout the semester, questions such as: “What makes a body “modern?” How

    does the feminist agenda on the concert stage aid in the construction of a “modern” body? What was the role of appropriating from exotic cultures in the making of contemporary concert dance? What is the role of technology in the creation of modern dance? What are the effects of war and politics on the dancing body? Orientalism, the Africanist presence in Western concert dance, and the restaging of Native American dances by American choreographers will be addressed as part of the overall construction of American modern dance. Through response papers, in-class presentations, and an in-depth research paper, students will engage with significant issues contributing to the development of modern concert dance.

     Course Goals - Student Learning Outcomes

    - Students will learn to identify and locate historically the work of 20th and 21st contemporary concert


    ? Students will learn to analyze, compare, research, and discuss the works of contemporary

     choreographers in intertextual and interdisciplinary ways.

    - Students will be able to discuss the political, cultural and social contexts in which major dance trends responded to and developed in, focusing on how issues of diversity help define the contours of contemporary dance.

     - Students will enhance their understanding of position, power and privilege within the genre of

     contemporary dance by focusing on the stakeholders of the art form.

    - Students will produce a substantial research paper at the end of the semester that extends their

     understanding of the complex and diverse dynamics that shape contemporary dance.

    This is a WR (writing intensive) course which means you will be required to produce 4000 words or 15 pages of polished academic writing.

Required Texts

Copeland, Roger. Merce Cunningham: The Modernizing of Modern Dance. New York and

    London. Routledge. 2004.

Banes, Sally. Dancing Women: Female Bodies on Stage. London. Routledge. 1998.

    Banes, Sally. Terpsichore in Sneakers. Middletown, Connecticut. Wesleyan University Press 1987.

    Daly, Ann. Done Into Dance: Isadora Duncan in America. Middletown, Connecticut. Wesleyan

    University Press. 1995.

Articles on Moodle

Desmond, Jane. Dancing Out Difference: Cultural Imperialism and Ruth St.Denis’s Radha of 1906.”

     Moving Histories, Dancing Cultures. Ed. Ann Dils and Ann Cooper Albright. Middletown

    Connecticut. Wesleyan University Press. 2001.

    Gottschild, Brenda Dixon. Stripping the Emperor African American Presence in American

    Concert Dance.Moving Histories, Dancing Cultures. Ed. Ann Dils and Ann Cooper Albright.

    Middletown, Connecticut. Wesleyan University Press. 2001.

     Rainer, Yvonne. No Manifesto.” The Twentieth Century Performance Reader. Routledge, 1996.

    Reynolds, Nancy. No Fixed Points Dancing in the Twentieth Century. New Haven, Connecticut, Yale

    University Press. 2003.

Recommended Texts

DeFrantz, Thomas F. Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey’s Embodiment of African American Culture.

    New York, New York. Oxford University Press. 2004.

Garelick, Rhonda. Electric Salome: Loie Fuller’s Performance of Modernism. Princeton, New

    Jersey.Princeton University Press. 2007.

    Gottschild, Brenda Dixon. Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance:Dance and

    Other Contexts. Westport and London. Praeger. 1996.

    Manning, Susan A. Ecstasy and the Demon: Feminism and Nationalism in the Dances of Mary

    Wigman. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California. University of California Press. 1993.

    Murphy, Jacqueline Shea. The People Have Never Stopped Dancing: Native American Modern Dance

    Histories. Minneapolis, Minnesota. University of Minnesota Press. 2007.

    Tomko, Linda. Dancing Class: Gender, Ethnicity, and Social Divides in American Dance, 1890-1920.

    Bloomington, Indiana. Indiana University Press. 1999.

Recommended Journals

Dance Research Journal. Congress on Research on Dance CORD

    The Drama Review TDR

    Movement Research Journal

Recommended Websites

Art Forum


    Infinite Body

    Bomb Magazine


    Movement Research

    New York Times

Required Projects/Assignments

1. Pre + Post free write on your understanding of US Diversity in the context of Contemporary Dance thDue. Jan 26

    2. On-going daily Class Discussion Notes

     thth thnd) (To be scheduled early) 3. Two in-class student Presentations (Feb 7 + Feb 9 Mar 20 + Mar 22

    4. Two short essay tests TBA

    th5. Two 3 paragraph response posts to K Pinero Senior project (due April 17) + DTG concert (due rd May 3)

6. Research topic and annotated bibliography due February 28th (schedule your conference with

     me early in the semester!)

     th 7. Research paper drafts due March 27

    8. Final Research paper due May 3rd

Required Extra-Outside classroom Activities

    1. Attendance required at Noche Flamenca ----- Jan 24th 8pm Mathers rd2. E. Patrick Stewart "Sweet Tea" ----- Feb 23 8pm Weiss Center Rubendall Hall

    3. Off Campus Field trip TBA

    4. Senior Projects K.Pinero ---- April 14th The Cube

    5. DTG Spring Concert ---- April 27th, 28th, 29th 8pm Mathers

Class Policies

    1. Attendance: You are allowed 1 absence without penalty. Each absence after that will significantly

     lower your grade by one-half a letter grade: i.e., A- to B+.

    2. Time: Be on time. If you are more than 10 minutes late, I may mark you as absent. If you need to leave early, please see me at the start of class. Do not leave class without telling me where you are going.

    3. Illness: If you are seriously ill for an extended period of time, please email me to discuss other


    4. No late papers or projects will be accepted.

    5. Texting in class will result in an automatic lowering of your grade by one half letter grade. 6. Talking out of turn or disrupting the class discussion will result in an automatic lowering of your

     grade by one half letter grade.


1. Participation: 30 % (15% oral + 15% class discussion notes)

    2. Short writing assignments, quizzes, response papers, drafts 20%

    3. Presentations and student led discussions 15%

    4. Research paper: 35%

Grading Rubrics

I will hand out specific grading rubrics for each project. Standby!

Notes on Conduct:

    Academic: Violation of the Academic Code of Conduct will not be tolerated. Please refer to the section on Academic Conduct in your bulletin. If you have a question about a source or a citation question, please come directly to me to discuss and clarify the matter. Also, email submissions of your mid-term and final research paper will not be accepted

    No late work will be accepted.

    Disabilities and Special Needs: In compliance with the Dickinson College policy and equal access