Embodying Creativity Winter 2020

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Class Details

Are you writing a thesis? Are you planning your life after graduation? Are you learning a new skill or trying to solve a problem? All these tasks can benefit from creativity. This course is based on the premise that we are all innately creative and can access this part of ourselves by connecting to our bodies through movement and the perceptual senses. By embodying our creative nature, we also develop more confidence in facing the unknown, resiliency in handling conflict, and empowerment in our decisions. Class time will be spent primarily on experiential learning in a dance studio-setting, where we will practice individual and partner techniques geared towards cultivating mindful awareness and bodily presence. Exercises include free writing, blind contour drawing, and Authentic Movement. We will also draw from post-modern experiments from the 1960’s and 70’s in New York City, concepts in expressive art therapy, and principles in Eastern body-mind healing modalities to establish a framework with which to contextualize our practices. You will then take what you learn in class to support your own creative project outside of class. Required text is Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. We will also use readings from Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit, Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, Mabel Todd’s The Thinking Body, Barbara Dilley’s This Very Moment, Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living, Greg Johanson and Ron Kurtz’s Grace Unfolding, and selected works by Joseph Campbell. Evaluation will be based on class participation, completion of assignments, midpoint feedback, final 10-page paper or creative project/presentation that demonstrates a level of engagement with class material. We will meet 2 times per week for 3 hours. One minimum individual meeting with the instructor will be scheduled during the course to focus on each student’s project. If you have any questions about this course, feel free to contact the instructor at [email protected] Adjunct Instructor Bio: Tracy Hu is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Texas Medical Branch studying to become a Family Medicine physician. After graduating from Williams in 2013, she investigated the mind-body connection through extensive training in massage, contact improvisation, and meditative practices. She is interested in how modern medicine can benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to understanding disease and promoting wellness on both an individual and community level.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 10
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: 10-page paper or equivalent creative project/presentation demonstrating understanding, application, and integration of class material including but not limited to visual arts piece, performance, writing portfolio, interpretive presentation, etc.
Prerequisites: open to all students; no previous creative work or dance experience required
Enrollment Preferences: statement of interest (a little bit about yourself and your interest in the course)
Materials/Lab Fee: approximately $14 for books

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