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DANC 108
Dancing in the Streets Spring 2021
Division I

Class Details

Dancing in the Streets is a song composed during the summer of 1964 and popularized by Motown artists Martha and the Vandellas. This song continues to be interpreted as an enduring anthem for celebration and as a call for action serving as an example of how the practice of artists can embody history. We will examine the impact of vernacular African American dance and music continue to have on use of the body and its’ presentation in various performance traditions. How do contemporary artist engage in collaborations that use the body in ways that are specific and that blur cultural referencing? How are they documenting and commenting on the past, the present and embodying history? We will look at the work of artists across genres including dance, theater, music/sound, visual art/media, text and practices that are multidisciplinary. We will examine how dancers/choreographers Rosie Perez, Fatima Robinson, Charles O. Anderson, Nora Chipaumire and Rennie Herris use dance and media to tell personal stories and document public events. Musicians/performers Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Beyonce, Public Enemy, Kendrick Lamar and visual artists Carrie Mae Weems, Titus Kaphar, Hank Willis Thomas, and Adrian Piper are creators whose work will be referenced. What questions are artists posing? What statements are they making? What can be made that responds to this work and that reflects your own stories? Course meetings will include: 1. Weekly movement and music sessions to learn selected dance and music material 2. Weekly discussion of readings, media and other course materials 3. Making a solo and a collaborative project during the semester to be shared as a final project 4. A short research paper on an artist, movement or form that your work informs your work
The Class: Format: seminar; Seminar/Studio. This course is a continuing collaboration with Gotham Arts Academy in Brooklyn, New York and will include sessions and collaboration with participating students. Other resources include guest artists and scholars, Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive and Archives, Jacob's Pillow Lab, the Williams College Museum of Art, MASS MoCA and the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance CenterSeries.
Limit: 16
Expected: 12
Class#: 5164
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Scheduled showings of material in progress, quality of participation in discussion of materials and class events, quality of a short research paper and final project.
Prerequisites: None. Intended as a second part to DANC 107. Courses do not need to be taken in sequence. Please contact the instructor if you have questions. Students who are beginners and experienced makers of dance, music, visual art, theater are welcome.
Enrollment Preferences: An interest in the arts, culture, history and/or experience in dance, music, writing, visual art, media and theater. Students who have taken the fall course will be given preference however, it is not a requirement, permission of professor may be sought.
Distributions: Division I

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