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Special Topics

Theatre & Dance Topics Courses 2017-2018


DA/TH200 TOPICS: MAKING SPACE For movers, actors, performance-makers, visual artists, social activists and adventurous students. Our site-based explorations will be animated by the following questions. How might you perform within a particular location – a rock quarry, a pedestrian mall, an abandoned warehouse, for example – or how might the location perform you? How does a place move its occupants? Or, how might you re-form a public place to change it 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 and take part in this course. Womack, - 1 unit


BLOCK 3 & 4

TH200 TOPICS: FINDING YOUR OWN VOICE This class is designed to instill confidence in you every time you speak - whether it be as a character in a play, speaking in front of a group, or speaking to prospective employers - knowing that your voice is being heard and understood and that your thoughts and emotions are being clearly conveyed. You will be led through a series of physical exercises for breath support, resonance, and articulation in order to explore all of your vocal possibilities. Then we will apply this work to interpreting texts: poetry, non-fiction essays, short stories, and scenes from plays.  You will be encouraged to bring texts to class that you would like to work on. This class is not only for actors, singers, public speakers, and storytellers, but anyone who has a desire to dig deep in order to find your true voice.   Aronson - 1 unit 



DA200 TOPICS: HIP HOP AND STREET DANCE HISTORY An introduction to Street Dance History and Hip-hop Culture, the course is taught by a renowned Street Hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris. A pioneer in Hip-hop and street dance Rennie is noted for bringing street dance to concert stage and theater.  He has toured with Run DMC, LL Cool J, and Jermain Dupri to name a few.  The course will cover the geographic history of prominent East and West Coast street dance styles otherwise known as Hip-hop.  We will address the origin of the umbrella term “Hip-hop,” and the evolution of street dance and culture as well as review theories and the philosophy surrounding the history of African American dance in the US.  Students will also discuss Street and Hip-hop paradigm shifts and will leave with a fundamental knowledge of Street/Hip-hop dance history rooted in a theoretical structure that springs from the African Diaspora.  With an emphasis placed on the social, political and economic environment in which it was fashioned, we will identify Hip-Hop’s pioneers and innovators and define the terminology and codification of West and East Street dance styles. The overall approach in this course is inspired by the instructor's philosophy, theoretical research, and professional experience. Dr. Harris will teach the class using a traditional African pedagogical method-story telling to contextualize particular movement vocabulary and aesthetics of Street dance and its history. Rennie Harris - 1 unit 



TH200 OUR CITIES OUR SELVES explore how systems at all scales address imbalance and offers a protocol through which human systems might replicate the adaptive mechanisms employed by natural systems to adjust to changing conditions.

The course begins with a simple consideration.  Each of us is responsible for the management of a complex adaptive system: our own body.  Yet, for the most part, we prove inadequate for this task, even when we know what to do. The question becomes; if we can’t even manage our bodies, how can we hope to manage our cities?

The course then engages with an actual site in downtown Colorado Springs, assessing then addressing imbalance within the multiple systems present.  Working with stakeholders, a design problem is defined; the students then brainstorm solutions, testing them first among each other, then the stakeholders, until a satisfying solution is realized.  The students will then prepare a presentation, which they will introduce to the Colorado Springs City Council for their input and consideration.  Marble - 1 unit



 TH 200 ORIGINAL THEATRE: CREATION AND PHYSICAL STORYTELLING This class teaches theatre artists ensemble-building and original work creation. Working in a collaborative style of creation and through structured exercises, students generate a series of original performance pieces which are then organized into a larger group piece. This class blends acting, writing, designing, and directing skills along with ensemble building and voice and body work. Through individual and group assignments such as icon work and physical storytelling, a new show is created by the class and culminates in a public performance on Tuesday April 17th at 7pm. Students leave the class with a skill set to develop their own work allowing them the freedom to rely on themselves for performance opportunities instead of solely on other writers and directors. Instructor Juli Hendren is the Artistic Director of Tricklock Company. Tricklock is a 23-year-old, critically acclaimed, devised theatre ensemble. Mrs. Hendren has created over 20 original shows and has toured across the US, Canada, Europe, Uganda, China, and Colombia teaching and performing her work. Hendren - 1 unit