Marlboro College – Dance
ART 910 – Intermediate/Advanced Modern Dance Technique
Spring 2009

Instructor: Kristin Horrigan         Class Time: W, F 10:30-12:20
E-mail: Class Location: Dance Studio
Office Phone: 258-9278 Credits: 2
Office Hours: by appointment  (M, W, Th, F)  Prerequisites: previous dance experience
and permission of the instructor   

Course Description
In this course, we will develop expansive, articulate, and powerful dancing through a study of principles of contemporary release-based technique, complimented by a study of musicality and Rudolf Laban’s effort qualities. Core concepts will include weight, momentum, alignment, breath, focus, and muscular efficiency. We will work on finding center, playing off balance, moving in and out of the floor, going upside down, and finding clarity in our bodies. Through our practice, we will develop strength, range of motion, balance, flexibility, stamina, self-awareness, and coordination.  Short choreographic assignments will be used to help students integrate their understanding of physical concepts.  This course combines intermediate and advanced level study, with students at the two levels assisting each other in learning.

Course Objectives
Upon completion of this course the student will demonstrate:
• Familiarity with principles and aesthetics of modern dance in general, and contemporary release-based technique in specific
• Improved technical and artistic skill with attention to dynamic alignment, flow, musicality, expansiveness, dynamic range, and weight
• An understanding of how principles of alignment, balance, strength, and exertion learned in other techniques can be applied to release-based movement
• Physical understanding of Laban’s effort-shape qualities
• Ability to coordinate physicality with some specific aspects of music

Requirements:  Full participation. 
Students should come to class prepared, 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:
Students may be absent twice with no grading repercussions. A limited number of absences may be made up by making arrangements with the instructor. Each absence beyond the initial two will drop the final grade by a number of points (4) equal to the percentage of class time missed, and NO CREDIT will be given for the course if more than 7 classes are missed (even if some are made up).  Students are responsible for material missed due to absence.

Sitting Out:
Those who observe class due to illness, injury or tardiness, must actively participate by making written observations (to be shown to instructor at the end of class.)  These observations should not be merely a record of exercises.  Rather, they should include thoughtful reflection on movement specifics, corrections given to others, and how you can integrate what you learned by watching into your dancing.  It is the student’s responsibility to make observations and turn them in without prompting by the instructor. 

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, and bare feet. For safety reasons, do not wear large, dangling jewelry or pants so long that they drag on the floor.  Please do not chew gum.


1. Daily Preparation – Your “homework” for this class throughout the semester is to take care of your body.  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 injuries, and to do whatever personal warmup you need before class. 
In particular, figure out how to get the nutrition you need on dance class days.

2. Attend Marlboro Dance Concerts
No Small Feat: A Tribute to Dana Holby, Feb. 7, Whittemore Theater
Bread and Puppet Theater, date TBA, Dance Studio
Plan Performance: Katherine Partington, Apr. 24 and 25, Dance Studio
Plan Performance: Daniel Orkwis, May 1 and 2, Persons Auditorium

3. Short papers regarding the above concerts.  Specific writing assignments will be given.  Unless otherwise stated, the paper is due within one week of the performance viewing. 

4. Self-Assessments – Students will be asked to write occasional brief self-assessments of their work in class.
            Due dates:  March 4, Apr. 15, May 9

5.  Short compositional assignments will be given in class from time to time to help students integrate physical concepts by translating them into their own movement.  Students will be given some class time to work on these assignments, but will be expected to contribute additional time out of class as needed to complete the work. 

6. Occasional readings and video viewings will be given to support our work in class.  Students may be asked to respond to questions in writing (in class or as homework) in response to some readings or videos. 

Students and instructor will work together at the start of the semester to set technical and artistic goals for the semester and to articulate a shared understanding of optimal class participation. 

Quality of Participation 35%
Improvement in Technical and Artistic Skill 35%
Movement Assignments 10%
Self-Assessments 10%
Concert Attendance, Response Paper, and other Assignments 10%

This syllabus is subject to modification by the instructor at any point during the semester.

Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM