Theatre & Dance Topics Courses 2013-14
TH 200 Topics in Theatre: Solo Performance. A practical and academic exploration of the history and practice of Solo Performance; beginning with a survey of the history from Greek monologists to Whoopi Goldberg, Laurie Anderson and many more. This class progresses to the devising, writing, performing of your own unique piece of solo performance. The form includes autobiography, biography, observed characters, dancing, stand-up comedy, performance art, musicals, and adaptation of stories, story telling or any combination of these. Manley - 1 unit.
TH 240 Special Topics in Design: Environmental Design for Performance. Nature continues to provide a wealth of artistic inspiration and set the standards for beauty but currently more artistic attention is being given to the stresses placed on the natural world. Rather than “taking” inspiration join the designers and the environmentally conscious who are exploring various reforms and dogged attempts at remediation within their various practices. Current theatre practice has evolved to include a wide array of performative acts, design installations and dialogical artworks to affect viewers. The special capacity of time-based art and design to inspireand enlighten remains a constant. In this class, you will have an opportunity to put this practice to work by creating works in which the power of performance design is specifically directed toward exploring and addressing environmental issues and concerns. The focus is on projects that convey eco-concepts, visual information, emotions, or reforms and that are infused with both personal meaning and social consciousness. Davis-Green - 1 unit.
DA200 Topics in Dance: Swaying Hips and Heaving Chests: National and Transnational Circulations of Bollywood Dance. Bollywood films are well known for their extravagant song-and-dance numbers. Yet, the choreographic and performative function of these dances has been little theorized. In this course, we will consider the national and transnational circulation of iconic Bollywood movement repertoires – hand gestures, hip sways, flirtatious gazes, and chest-heaving for example – and their significance in the construction of gender, race, caste, nation, and sexuality both within and beyond South Asia. In particular, we will examine the role of Bollywood dances in India's self-fashioning in the post-Independence period, its circulation as a global commodity in the West, as well as its appropriation as a bodily tool by marginalized subjects to negotiate social identities. To this end, we will look not only at the choreographic techniques used in Bollywood films, but also how they are deployed beyond the celluloid screen in dance bars, queer clubs, reality shows, fitness videos, and college dance competitions. Themes include: nationalism, regionalism, modernity, popular culture, post colonialism, orientalism, diaspora, and globalization. Choreographic and video assignments will complement course readings, discussions, and film screenings. (PA250, RE200, FG206.) Kedhar - 1 unit.
TH200 Topics in Theatre: Performing Kabuki in English: “The Medicine Peddler” a Samurai Revenge. For this course the students will present a short, but complete kabuki play: "The Medicine Peddler" (Uiro Uri), one of the "Eighteen Great Kabuki Plays" (Kabuki Jûhachiban). This play incudes virtuoso vocal acting, fight dancing, humorous and romantic dancing, and live sung accompaniment by an Ozatsuma vocal & shamisen ensemble. Roles include courtesans, an avenging samurai hero in disguise as a medicine peddler, a villain and his buffoon-servant, and many more. Students will learn to apply genuine kabuki make-up and costumes will be authentic and professionally dressed. (The class will present three public performances in the Celeste Theater towards the end of the Block). This is a unique opportunity for theatre and dance students to perform in one of the world's great, histrionic theater forms, and for students of Japanese culture to enact and embody characters from Japan's medieval and Edo Periods. (JA250, PA250, DA200.) Kominz - 1 unit.
TH 340 Advanced Topics in Design: Devised Realities: Creating Imaginary Worlds at the Interface of Space and Costume. An experimental performance design course dedicated to creating interpretive 3D environments and the costumes for those who inhabit them, with an emphasis on the collaborative and imaginative creative process. The class will explore narrative and non-narrative text, along with sensory, emotional and psychological topics as the foundation for generating meaning through visually articulated ideas. Unique materials, visual and spatial analysis, proportion and scale, digital interactivity, and design theory will be investigated as tools for the communication and design of performance spaces and the occupants interacting with them. Class limit: 12. Ames/Davis - Green 1 unit
TH300 Topics in Theatre: From the Fringe to the Spot Light: An Intercultural Study of Alternative Playwriting. From the bilingual flatbed truck actors of Luis Valdez to the rhythmic coffee house choreopoems of Ntozake Shange, this course focuses on theatrical styles cultivated by the American marginalized (post WW II). Our mission will be to examine the societal circumstances that birthed important intercultural voices and alternative styles to the mainstream American stage. Selected playwrights will cover a cross section of race, gender and sexuality: Tony award winners, virtual unknowns, and emerging new voices alike. Equal parts historical analysis and creative writing workshop, students will create multimedia presentations and original plays based around their research. This course includes an optional trip to Chicago. Additional cost. (EN286, ES200.) Goodwin-1 unit.
TH 200 Topics in Theatre: Good and Evil. An investigation into the birth, development, and evolution of good and evil as philosophical, anthropological, and even psychological terms, using dramatic texts as guideposts for the discussion. Do good and evil exit? If so, do they exist as entities, or do we create them because of a basic human need? Are good and evil inherently oppositional, or can they be gradated and value-laden? Critical texts will include Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Augustine's Confessions, Nietzche's Beyond Good and Evil, and selected essays of Foucault. Dramatic texts will include Medea, The Duchess of Malfi, Othello, The Devils, Fargo (film script), Aunt Dan and Lemon, and selected scenes. Lindblade - 1 unit.
TH 200 Topics in Theatre: Hip Hop Aesthetics. In this course we explore the principal aesthetics practiced by Hip Hop artists over the last 40 years. This is not a "how-to-for-dummies / step-by-step" on rapping or scratching records or breakdancing. Students will instead research the origins of these forms, making connections with their own artistic interests. How does the practice of reciting improvised rhymes over re contextualized music inform us as writers? How can the application of spray paint to moving surfaces inspire the way we write poetry? In this course we explore these questions through research expeditions, writing and performance exercises. (EN286.) Goodwin - 1 unit
TH 200 Topics in Theatre: The Art of Insurgency: Performance and Political Order. Students will explore the role of performance in insurgencies against political and social order. Particular focus is on the instrumental use of constructs of gender, nation, sexuality and race in both repression and rebellion. Week three will be spent in Belgrade, Serbia where we will study and collaborate with artists from Dah Theatre, Women in Black, The Center for Cultural Decontamination, Gay Straight Alliance and CANVAS/Otpor. Students may choose a paper or performance track for their final projects. Prerequisites: A passport. COI and program fee. (PS203, DA200.) Instructors: Gould, Womack - 1 unit.
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