Short Paper Assignment -- ACDF

Dance As Social Action


Paper #1 Assignment


The human body presented as the substance of art comments on both art and life through its relationship to the bodies of everyday existence.  Even in the absence of a live performing body, one could argue that all art has a political dimension in the way that it relates or does not relate to society.  Consider an analogy with the act of voting in a democratic society: on election day, every eligible voter performs a political act, whether by voting, refraining from voting, or forgetting to vote.1 


One could argue that this same inescapability is present when making dances for public display.  


Consider the above ideas in relation to the dances you see at ACDF.  Have these choreographers “chosen to vote”?  What social commentary is inherent in their work?


Focus your paper around one or two specific dances of your choice, discussing the ideas from the Aptekar quotation in relation to these example(s).  Choose whatever strikes you the most – a mechanics of a particular dance, overall trends you see in the performances (as exemplified by one or two dances), a specific aspect of the Aptekar quotation that you can discuss through examining a dance, etc. 


Be certain to support your arguments with descriptive evidence from the dances.  Please also contextualize your writing by naming the choreographer and title of any work you discuss and providing your reader with necessary background information. 


When you select the dances that you wish to write about, please confirm first that your instructor has seen them.   (I will make my best effort to see all performances at the festival, but we all miss a few here and there.)


Length: 4-5 pages  


Due in class on Friday, February 20*


*But you don’t need to wait!  It will serve you to write while your memories are fresh.  Early papers will be happily accepted.










1Aptekar, Bernard.  “Making the Invisible Visible: The Roots of an Original Magic Language.”  Artistic Strategy and the Rhetoric of Power.  Ed. David Castriota.  Carbondale: Souther Illinois University Press, 1986.  174. 



Last modified: Sunday, February 5, 2012, 3:16 PM