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African Dance and Percussion
/ MUS 221
/ DANC 202
Before the 20th century, the African continent was the source of dance and music that influenced new forms rooted on and off the continent. These forms are shaped by the impact of religion, colonialism, national political movements, travel, immigration, and the continuing emergence of technology. In South Africa, the labor conditions of miners instigated the creation of Isicathulo, Gum boots, and in Brazil the history of colonialism is a factor that anchors Samba as a sustaining cultural and socioeconomic force. The birth of Hip Hop in the 20th century finds populations across the globe using its music, dance, lyrics, and swagger as a vehicle for individual and group voice. Hip Hop thrives as a cultural presence in most countries of the African continent and in the Americas. We will examine the factors that moved this form from the Bronx, New York, to Johannesburg, South Africa, and Rio, Brazil. We will examine at least two of these forms learning dance and music technique and composition material that will inform their practice. Each of these genres generated new physical practices, new and enduring communities while continuing to embody specific histories that have moved beyond their place of origin. What is their status in this century?
Format: studio; class hours will be divided among discussion of media and readings; rehearsal of dance and music techniques; field trips to view performances; research at the Jacob Pillow's archives; and interaction with visiting artists
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
a series of discussion, research, and individual and group projects; all of which will inform collaboration on mid-term and final projects
students who have taken DANC 100 or DANC 201; have experience in a campus based performance ensemble; or have permission of the instructors
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST African Studies Electives
MUS World Music/Ethnomusicology