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WGSS 300
Advanced Ballet--Technique, Repertoire, & Revolution: Women at the Barre, on Stage, at the Helm Fall 2019
Division II
Cross-listed WGSS 300 / DANC 300

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To loosely paraphrase the feminist Emma Goldman, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” Designed for intermediate/advanced ballet dancers, in this course students will explore different topics in past and current ballet history through the lens of famous ballets, dancers, choreographers, etc. In Fall 2019, we will focus on some of the notable female figures in the world of ballet: while ballet is often perceived as a primarily “female” art form-and indeed, there are many more females vying for positions in ballet companies than males-historically, women have held far fewer leadership positions than men, and have had fewer choreographic opportunities. In addition to technique classes, variations and/or ensemble sections from selected ballets will be taught and coached to students. This is primarily a studio course, although readings relevant to our coursework will be assigned. These assignments will offer historical context, as well as provide rigorous looks at some of the ways in which ballet hasn’t always lived up to its potential as a dance form for all people regardless of class, race, and gender. We’ll consider basic information-the plotlines of the ballets-as well as more subtle ideas-famous dancers’ takes on these roles, the socio-political aspects of the works themselves and the times they were created in. Viewings will also be assigned to allow students to fully explore and grasp the ballets and to provide additional contextualization. Students will submit (informal) written responses to the assignments. The class may go on one or two field trips to attend performances and will write response papers when applicable. This course MAY BE REPEATED for general academic credit (but not for additional WGGS major credit). ANY student with adequate prior training is welcome to this class! Material will be introduced at an intermediate/advanced level, and individuals will be assessed on their own personal progress.
The Class: Format: studio
Limit: 20
Expected: 5
Class#: 1384
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: quality of participation and progress (throughout the semester) in classes, rehearsals, presentations, and assignment responses
Prerequisites: a minimum of three years prior training in ballet, and a demonstrated ability to safely keep up with this level of instruction; permission of instructor required
Enrollment Preferences: students with demonstrated ability and desire to continue rigorous study
Materials/Lab Fee: ballet class attire: leotard, tights/leggings, ballet slippers; and for those on pointe, pointe shoes
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 300 Division II DANC 300 Division I

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