DANC 201
African Dance and Percussion Fall 2023
Division I
Cross-listed AFR 201 / MUS 220
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

We will examine two forms that embody continuity of tradition or the impact of societal, political or economic change. Lamban was created by the Djeli, popularly called Griots served many roles in the kingdoms of Ghana and Old Mali from the 12th century to current times. This dance and music form continues as folklore in modern day Guinea, Senegal, Mali and The Gambia where it is practiced by the Mandinka people. Bira is an ancient and contemporary spiritual practice of Zimbabwe’s Shona people. While these forms are enduring cultural practices, Kpanlogo from the modern West African state of Ghana represents the post-colonial identity of this nation’s youth and their aspirations for independence at the end of the 1950s. We will also consider the introduction of these forms outside of their origin. This course can be taken for academic and/or PE credit
The Class: Format: studio; Class hours will be used to learn and use the dance and music of at least two forms including historical context, and individual or group performance project. When possible, our process will include guest artists and field trips to see live performances. As well as use of the archives at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Sawyer Library and the art collection at Williams College Museum of Art.
Limit: 16
Expected: 12
Class#: 1576
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Discussion of assignments, semester long group performance project rooted in the materials taught. Students enrolled for PE credit are responsible only for the performance-based projects
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Students who have taken a 100 level dance course or DANC 202; have experience in a campus-based performance ensemble; or have permission of the instructors
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 201 Division II DANC 201 Division I MUS 220 Division I
Attributes: AFR Culture, Performance, and Popular Technologies
GBST African Studies
MUS World Music/Ethnomusicology

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