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Special Topics

Theatre & Dance Topics Courses 2014-15



TH/DA 200: Topics in Theatre and Dance: Making Space: Site-Performance Intervention for movers, actors, performance-makers, visual artists, social activists and adventurous students.  Site-based explorations will be animated by the following questions.  How might we perform within a particular location – a rock quarry, a pedestrian mall, an abandoned warehouse, for example – or how might the location perform us?  How might we reform a public place into a space of newly imagined possibilities? Or, how might a performance intervene as a public and spatial discourse of social accord or dissent?  Sites both on and off campus will be mined as possible performance locations for our artistic investigations and social interventions.  No dance or performance experience is required to enjoy or to take part in this course. - 1 unit Womack


DA200 Topics in Dance: Bollywood: 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) - 1 unit Kedhar


TH/DA 200 Topics in Theatre and Dance: Eiko Otake; Naked and Delicious: The States of Being Movement is an experiential and experimental course taught by Eiko, dancer/choreographer and interdisciplinary artist who works as Eiko & Koma ( This course combines the "Delicious Movement Workshop" and the study of postwar Japanese arts.  Through the study of movement, readings, videos, and films we will learn that space/time is not a white canvas that stands alone and empty. Here and now are continuous parts of a larger geography (space) and history (time) and as such are dense with memories, shadows, and possibilities. We will see art works and films from postwar Japan as examples of artistic representations of despair and perseverance. What is it to forget, remember, mourn, and pray? How do we transcend violence and loss? How does being or becoming a mover or dancer affect our emotional rigor, seeing/learning, and creativity? These are some of the many questions we will explore.  This is not a dance class, nor is it geared toward performers. We will learn some movement together, but we encourage you to think about movement as a method of accessing human experiences and building knowledge, a way to explore sensations, thoughts, and reactions to a particular space. See the video created by Colorado College student at ( 1unit – Otake


DA/TH 200 Topics in Theatre and Dance: The Hijack Experience was born from the meeting of Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder in Block 5 Dance Composition Class 19 years ago. Upon graduation in 1993, they formed a dance company of two and have toured the world with dances made on their own terms, inspired as much from a block plan rhythm and their liberal arts roots as "dance". Much of our formative shared experience was spent reinventing the wheel. Now, we propose reinventing, reinventing the wheel. Survival skills we present are: contrived movement, juxtaposition, contact improvisation, rigorous whim, lo fi, choreography machines, working the body politic, baby eyes. This art-making intensive culminates in performance. First rule: if you show up, you’re a dancer (whether or not you choose to think you are before or after). 1 unit - Van Loon/Wilder


DA/TH 200 Topics in Theatre and Dance: Sound Art examines the rise of sound as an artistic material and field of study in works drawn from music, installation, performance, film, and new media. Uses readings by authors including John Cage, Roland Barthes, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Jacques Attali in order to identify the philosophical implications of sound and listening for related concepts, such as noise, the human voice, and the effect of new technology. 1 unit – Platt/Lee 


TH 300 Topics in Theatre: The Art of Persuasion combines acting techniques with classical rhetorical theory as a way to guide students in the development of persuasive argument. We will elaborate on ways to structure public speech, debates and lectures. Examples from political speeches and legal opinions may be used as templates for structuring persuasive arguments. This course is especially suitable for seniors. Prerequisite: Consent of department. 1 unit — Edmonds