Spring 2025 | Asia, Africa, and Europe Exploration

D 110 Understanding Dance

Overview of Course

Designed for students who are not familiar with dance, this course is a broad examination of dance as an art form and expression of cultural beliefs and values within a vast historic landscape. It includes a survey of dances from different cultures, their histories, and their influences on contemporary dance and society. Cultural origins, significance, motivations, and techniques will be explored experientially. This course focuses on these concepts of dance genres and stylistic traditions, while also encouraging students to explore creative movement, artistic expression, and enthusiasm for the possibilities of dance.
Through lectures, demonstrations, in-class discussions, readings, videos, field experiences, and the possible viewing of public performances, students will explore dance principles and traditions, as well as social and cultural contexts. The historical extent of the course will cover fairly large time spans to familiarize the student with various periods and allow them to grasp the overall flow of dance from ancient times up to the 21st century as these relate to different geographic regions and cultures of the world. Students will explore fundamentals of movement for various cultures such as polymovements, groundedness, isolations, and polycentrism; elements of rhythm and musicality; and dynamics and spatial awareness through simple composition and improvisational dance studies.
We will study the dance traditions of the countries on our voyage and discuss their influences and impact. Students will have the opportunity to learn about these during field experiences.
No prerequisites. For non dance majors. Previous dance experience is not necessary