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Special Topics

Theatre & Dance Topics Courses 2014-15 

Block 1 

TH 200 KYOGEN COMEDY IN ENGLISH: is Japan's classical stage comedy, still performed to enthusiastic audiences today, eight hundred years after its birth in the medieval era.  Kyôgen drama (狂言 literally means "wild words") is energetic physical and mimetic farce that overturns the social order and parodies the wealthy and powerful. 

In Performing Kyogen Comedy in English students will read, analyze, and discuss plays and learn the history of this lively theater form.  Half of the class time will devote to learning how to perform songs and dances from Kyogen plays, and to rehearsing several plays for public performance at the end of Block One.   Performances will be authentic replications, using the movements and costumes of the original plays.  We will present two-to-four plays--Kyogenplays range in length from 10-30 minutes in run time.  All will be performed in English (though one might be done in Japanese if advanced language students take the course).  The final performance will also include several dances and plays excerpted from Kyogenplays. 1 unit Kominz 

 

Block 3 

TH 200 SOCIAL PROBLEM FILMS: This course offers a survey of American films made with the explicit purpose to address social, cultural, or political problems contemporary to their production. We will consider the complexities involved in addressing broad social issues in the form of coherent fictional or semi-fictional narratives, as well as the ambiguous boundary that sometimes exists between entertainment and education. Topics may include vigilante justice, government corruption, drugs and the drug war, AIDS, race, class, sexuality, urban crime, terrorism and the “war on terror,” globalization, and global pandemics. Attendance at daily film screenings is required. Readings will include texts in film studies, cultural studies, and political theory. Students will write regular reading/screening responses and several analytical essays. Screenings may include such films as Dirty Harry, Jungle Fever, Boys Don’t Cry, Philadelphia, Traffic, Boyz n the Hood, Syriana, and Contagion, among others.  1 unit Goodwin/Krzych 

Block 4 

CONTEMPORARY ACTION THEATRE: This modern, playful, European form is a synthesis of all theatrical disciplines and a confluence of visual and performing arts.   Stylized acting/dancing and the dynamic transformation of set/costumes are the key components.  Students will learn to apply the philosophy of Action Theatre, from creating an idea, concept, design to directing and performing.   They will play using their bodies, objects, dance, lights, sound, and digital media… culminating in a final presentation. The class will include watching visual materials from the World’s leading, contemporary directors/performances.  1 unit Encho Avramov 

 

Block 4 

DA 200: DANCE IN INDIABOLLYWOOD AND BEYOND 

In this block abroad course to India, students will learn the practice and history of three different Indian dance forms in three different Indian cities: Odissi in Bangalore, Bharata Natyam in Chennai, and Bollywood in Mumbai. Students will take four-day workshops with renowned teachers in each dance form. Yoga will also be offered as part of the dance workshops. Outside of the dance workshops, students will have the opportunity to attend dance performances and meet dancers, choreographers, artists, professors, scholars, and teachers working in the field of Indian dance. In addition, students will take field trips to temples, museums, and monuments that will enhance their understanding of Indian dance and culture.  

 

Block 6 

TH 200 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 exist?  If so, do they exist as entities, or 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. Perquisite: None. (CO 200) 1 unit  - Lindblade  

 

Block 7  

TH/DA 300 PARTICIPATORY ARTS: In both the visual and performing arts, contemporary artists have increasingly questioned the traditional relationship between art event, aesthetics, artist and audience. The role of the artist is reimagined. Rather than a visionary at the center of artistic production the artist becomes a facilitator for collective authorship, for building community and/or for activism. This course is designed for artist-students in visual art, dance, theatre, music and creative writing who desire to turn their artistic investigations towards a social practice. How might you share your artistic expertise to enable a larger public to become collaborators in the process towards the art event?  1 unit Womack/Kanouse