History and Criticism
DNCE BC 2565
World Dance History
A survey of the major dance traditions of Africa, Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and the Americas. Lectures and discussions address primary written and visual sources, ethnographic and documentary films, workshops, and performances.
DNCE BC 2567
Music for Dance
A study of musicianship and musical literacy in relation to dance. Using computer software, drumming studies, score and audio-visual analyses students will learn to identify the compositional elements of dance music with a multi-cultural emphasis. Presentation of individual and collective research in written and performance format.
DNCE BC 2570
Dance in New York City
A study of the cultural roots and historical contexts of specific communities using New York City’s dance scene as a laboratory. Students will observe the social environments in which various modes of dance works are created while researching the history of dance in New York City.
DNCE BC 3000
From Page to Dance Stage: Interactions of Literature and Choreography
The study of dance works which have their origins in the written word. Topics considered include: Is choreography a complete act of creative originality? Which literary genres are most often transformed into dance pieces? Why are some texts privileged with dance interpretation(s) and others are not?
DNCE BC 3001
History of Theatrical Dancing (formerly Western Theatrical)
Focuses on the history of theatre dance forms originating in Europe and America from the Renaissance to the present. Includes reading, writing, viewing, and discussion of sources such as film, text, original documentation, demonstration, and performance.
DNCE BC 3002
Choreographing Race in America
This course tells the history of race in 20th- and 21st-century America, indeed queries the very concept of race, by focusing on contributions by artists of color to a range of dance forms, including ballet, movie musicals, music videos, and experimental dance. How does dance express everything from “yellow peril,” to red power, to black joy? How do specific choreographies help produce racial and ethnic identities? In exploring these questions, the course treats “choreography” as a broad conceptual category illuminating the role of moving bodies in histories of immigration and segregation, empowerment and civil rights, and shows what new vantages the study of choreography can contribute to critical race theory.
DNCE BC 3200
Dance in Film
A survey of Theatrical dance in the 20th century specific to film production. Five Kinds of dance films will be examined: musicals, non-musicals, documentaries, film essays and pure dance recording.
Prerequisite: DNCE BC2570, DNCE BC3001, FILM W3001, FILM BC 3201, and permission of instructor. Survey of theatrical dance in the 20th century specific to film production. Five kinds of dance films will be examined: musicals, non–musicals, documentaries, film essays archival recordings and choreography made solely for the camera.
DNCE BC 3240
Seeing the Body: Movement and Physicality in Modern Visual Culture
Seeing the Body: Movement and Physicality in Modern Visual Culture will examine how concepts of movement, space, and time gained an outsized role in photographic and cinematic experimentation, typography, interior design and exhibition, contributing a choreographic voice to the interwar age.
DNCE BC 3550
Dance in Africa
This is a course about dance in the history of Africa. The main learning and teaching objectives are to address issues of representation, creativity, agency, and socio-cultural change by drawing on methodologies used by historians, art historians and anthropologists. The course will allow students to understand some aspects of Africa’s past through the study of dance and bodies in motion in the cultural, stylistic, political, and aesthetic contexts in which they emerged. We will learn to appreciate some representations, meanings, and ideas of dance in precolonial Africa. We will reflect on the social meanings of dance in African contexts. The class will think about why and how African dancing bodies have inspired artists during the first half of the 20th century. We will discuss the potential of dance to articulate notions of self and ideas about national identity and ‘African personality’. We will talk about contemporary dancers from Africa.
DNCE BC 3567
Dance of India
A range of dance genres, from the traditional to the innovative, co-exist as representations of "Indianness" in India, and beyond. Identities onstage and in films, morph as colonial, national, and global contexts change. This course zooms from micro to macro views of twentieth century staged dances as culturally inflected discourse. We review how Indian classical dance aligns with the oldest of performance texts, and with lively discourses (rasa as a performance aesthetic, Orientalism, nationalism, global recirculations) through the ages, not only in India but also in Europe, Britain and America. Throughout the course, we ask:- How is culture embodied? How do historical texts configure dance today? How might they affect our thinking on mind-body, practice-theory, and traditional-contemporary divides? How does bodily patterning influence the ways that we experience our surroundings and vice versa? Can cultural imaginaries instigate action? How is gender is performed? What are dance discourses?
DNCE BC 3576
Intensive practice in writing about dance. Readings drawn from 19th- and 20th-century criticism. Observation includes weekly performances and classroom videotape sessions.
DNCE BC 3585
Devising Immersive Performance
This course is designed as a workshop in both immersive devising and performance skills, revolving around the creation and execution of an immersive experience. Through a collaborative devising process, students will explore possibilities of environmental, site-specific, experiential, and ambulatory design. Students will develop compositional structures and strategies for creating content, create and develop embodied characters, as well as design and physically navigate the particular architecture of a performance environment. Students will also hone skills specific to interactive performance such as maneuvering audience, gaze, breath work, and choice making and improvisation within the parameters of storytelling.
DNCE BC 3800
Dismantling Racism/Decolonizing Dance
A seminar devoted to promoting racial equality, decolonization, and social justice within the field of dance (including our own dance community at Barnard and Columbia), focusing on how power and privilege inform every aspect of the field –– training, performance, casting, funding, criticism. Course will feature a series of participatory workshops led by anti-racist artists, activists, and scholars, that will lead us toward envisioning and organizing an equitable future.