Topic outline

  • Course Description

    Instructor: Alison Mott                                                           Class Time: T, Th 10:30-12:50

    E-mail:                                               Class Location: Dance Studio

    Office Hours: by appointment (T, Th)                                Credits: 2

    Prerequisites: previous dance experience and permission of the instructor

    In this course, we will develop expansive, articulate and expressive dancing in a contemporary release-based idiom. Along the way, we will dip our toes into several conceptual frameworks that have developed out of Labanotation  – including, but not limited to motif notation – and use those tools to sharpen our physical practice, generate ideas for choreography and help us remember sequences. Each class will begin with warm up exercises designed to fine-tune proprioception, improve dynamic alignment and build strength. Center and traveling phrase work will provide ample opportunities to play with space and gravity. The repertory component will evolve out of class work and will involve students in creating, learning and performing an original work.  In addition to improvisation and rigorous technical training in the dance classroom, students will be expected to write and to generate material from written scores outside of class-time.

    • Course Objectives

      Upon successful completion of this course, students should:

      • Demonstrate improved technical precision, muscular efficiency and ease;
      • Have facility using theoretical frameworks to guide thoughtful, expressive movement choices;
      • Have experience applying these skills and frameworks to a collaborative dance-making process.
      • Course Policies

        Requirements: Students will come to class prepared to participate whole-heartedly and demonstrate personal progress. In addition, students should expect to contribute some out-of-class time each week to the class; see assignment list below for details.

        Attendance policy: You must be present consistently to succeed in this class. We will be creating an original piece during repertory time and your regular attendance is essential to that process. Please arrive on time and be prepared to dance at the start of the class. You are allowed up to two absences for illness, injury, family emergency, religious observance, etc. Each absence beyond the first two will lower your final grade by 4 points per class missed. NO CREDIT will be given for the course if more than 7 classes are missed. A limited number of absences may be made up by arrangement with the instructor.

        Sitting out: Those who observe class, due to illness, injury or extreme tardiness, must participate actively by making written observations, to be shown to the instructor at the end of class. These observations offer an opportunity to analyze the day's material through the lens of theoretical frameworks we will be building as well as to consider how to integrate into your own dancing what you learned through watching. It is the student's responsibility to make observations and turn them in to the instructor without prompting. Students who are sitting out for the day will participate actively as coaches or directors during the repertory part of class.

        Tardiness: Please arrive on time for all classes. Three late arrivals will be considered equivalent to one absence.

        Dress and other details: Appropriate attire includes fitted tops, flexible pants or leggings and bare feet. For safety reasons, please do not wear large jewelry or pants so long that they drag on the floor. Do not chew gum.

        • Assignments

          • Daily Preparation: Spend 10-15 minutes before and/or after class attending to your personal warmup/cool down exercises, resolving areas of tension in your body, creating and practicing personal imagery and/or stretching. In addition, just as you allot time for readings and papers for other classes, make time to get an extra hour of sleep before dance class, to eat properly and drink plenty of water, to care for any injuries, and to arrive at class in time to shift your attention to dancing. Your preparation and personal practice will factor into your participation grade.
          • Attend Marlboro College Dance Concerts:
            • Saturday September 21, 7pm, VPL presents Pavel Zuštiak, New England Youth Theater, Brattleboro, FREE! Transportation from campus provided
            • Wednesday October 23, 7pm, VPL presents Luciana Achugar, Whittemore Theater
            • Saturday October 26, 7pm, Alumni Choreographers Sunny Hitt and Heather Labor, Dance Studio
            • Thursday November 7, 7pm, NY-based choreographer Vanessa Aspanaugh, Dance Studio
          • Participate in Fall Dance Production: Dances in the Rough: Tech week will be December 2 – 5, 6 – 10 pm and performances Saturday and Sunday December 7 and 8 at 7:30.
          • Self-Assessments and Other Short Writing Assignments: you will be asked to write occasional, brief self-assessments of your work in class. Other short writing assignments may be given periodically as relevant.
          • Choreographic Assignments: will be given regularly during repertory time, and may also require time outside of class time.

          • Grading

            We will work together at the start of semester to set technical and artistic goals for the semester and to arrive at a shared understanding of what constitutes productive class participation.

            • Quality of Participation                                            %40
            • Improvement in Technical and Artistic Skill             %40
            • Self-Assessment and Other Assignments               %20
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