Dance History

Dance History
Undergraduate ARTS course (advanced level, liberal).

This course provides a historical overview of dance as an expressive art form, starting with what we know about Ancient Greek dance and theater. We’ll primarily focus on Western Theatrical Dance, but will include coverage of Asian classical traditions, and global influences on 20th-21st Century dance forms. Though our emphasis will be on evolving aesthetics, technique, choreographic principles, and leading figures in dance history, we’ll also examine social, political, cultural, economic, and artistic contexts influencing key developments in dance. Students read scholarly articles, analyze and critique digital and/or live dance performances of key works, and investigate a dance history topic.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Through written assignments, discussion, and course projects, articulate a critical understanding of key events in dance history, the role and contribution of prominent dance makers, and the social, political, cultural, economic, and artistic contexts influencing developments in dance over time.
  2. Synthesize readings from scholarly journal articles on dance, and discuss critical issues addressed in dance history scholarship.
  3. Investigate a topic in dance history and present the research findings in a culminating research or creative project, with formal proposal, annotated bibliography, and paper or alternative format (such as a digital presentation or dance performance).

Prerequisites: Advanced level reading, research, and writing skills. An introductory level course on arts and culture such as: Humanities Through the Arts, Diversity in the American Arts, Exploring the World of Music, Music Across Cultures, Dance Across World Cultures, Art History or the equivalent.