practice: the choreography lab
topics to be covered
composition editing tools
Choreography is the stylistic use of all our available skills and means to make dance as art. Choreography is a way of working, of digging into personal experience for something to express in movement. It is my belief that each of us participates in the ongoing evolution of the art of dancing and that whatever we call technique will need to evolve to appropriately support the art we desire to make. We should not only be interested in what dance was, or what dance is, but also in what dance could become and the development of new methodologies of practice that support creative development. Furthermore, I believe that dance is currently saturated with too many imitators. It is my feeling that our art continually needs a new revolution of personal voice. I don’t know what that is, or should be—that is for all of us to discover. In this dance laboratory, we will be seeking the means to uncovering what each of us has to contribute to the continuation of an ever-emerging art.
Toward this aim, I believe that the choreography class should be approached more as a laboratory than as a lecture format. What that means is accepting—even reveling in the fact—that we don’t know the answers yet—none of us, not even the teacher. I feel that such a discovery model of education is the proper supportive forum in which we all mutually learn more creatively from our collective research—a format well suited to creative art.
This course will show, allow, and encourage you to investigate new methods for making dances. Whether you ultimately become a choreographer or not, understanding how choreographic ideas are developed and crafted will also make you a clearer, more purposeful and intentional performer. I believe that this class is absolutely essential to the intelligent dancer. I believe the primary function of this class to be a workshop in which to explore, define, and craft space and time and energy. Through problem solving and design exercises, we will develop a "vocabulary" for more articulate physical expression, and the skills to organize and give structure to your work.
practice: the choreography lab
Ideas to be explored
in the creative process:
Other Skills to be
• Establishing a common vocabulary for discussion and description of what we see and do physically
• Historical perspectives on the artists who have come before us; our movement heritage.
• Developing creative methods of generating new movement
• Using a "tool box," of Composition Editing Tools for manipulating, altering, and refining movement phrases.
• Transferring movement to another dancer--imitation vs. interpretation
• Working with defining the "essence" of emotional motivation
• Timing and Phrasing
• Use of music
• Use of
structures to generate movement
Absences are limited to two, excused or otherwise. With each additional absence, your letter grade suffers a one-third step degradation (e.g. A- to B+ and so on thereafter). There is virtually no way to make-up these classes as there are no other comp classes. If you get into absence trouble, see me and we will discuss what additional work can be done to compensate for the lost time. But please treat this option as an undesirable last resort, not as optional.
Timeliness Class is scheduled from 3 to 5. Punctuality is a traditional etiquette of the dance class--anything less is disrespectful and disruptive to the professional decorum of class.
Unlike our technique classes, this class actually uses the entire two-hour block. Depending on how much work we have to do on a given day, you may be released early to work on your assignment. But we will always start on time.
You will need a good notebook in which to store assignments, ideas, feedback/comments, etc.
You must have your notebook in class at all times. I recommend something more durable than a spiral-bound notebook—something that will last as you may want to keep these notes as a reference for future work.
Seeing live dance performances is required. Unlike technique courses in which you would write a verbal critique of a concert, In this class we will do a movement responsive assignment. For this assignment each student will:
Grading is based on your demonstration of commitment to your work as an artist and will be observed in the following ways:
• participation in the workshop: discussion/feedback
• timely completion of assignments
• development of your craft
is crucial to this class for proper development and participation in the group and individual process. Missing class would be analogous to dancers skipping your rehearsals when you are creating a new work. Only 2 unexcused absences are permitted, after which your grade may suffer sharply.
students must concurrently take a dance technique class at least twice
per week, 200 level higher, as a co-requisite of Composition. Normally,
the student registers for 203 for 2 units, and separately registers for
the appropriate technique class (Modern, Ballet, Jazz, 2-3
units). If for some reason a student prefers not to enroll in a
separate dance class, they can opt for a combo-version, 208; Comp &
Technique, which allows students to bundle both technique and
together under one course number which includes an additional two credits for the
technique added to the composition credits for a total of 4 units.
Note: 208 is identical (meets at the same place and time) and
fullfills the same major/minor and
cluster requriements as Comp 203 for.
How do I properly enroll?
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