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Intermediate Choreography A Shifting Lens WAC 174 Thursdays 5-8 pm

Instructor: Rebecca Pappas Page 1 of 5

This is an intermediate choreography class focused on continually reexamining the dances we make from a variety of viewpoints. It attempts to connect choreographic concepts of time, space, and energy to the construction of meaning in a dance. By working on one dance throughout the entire quarter, I hope to help you complicate, expand and deepen your thinking about dance making. Please note: Syllabus is subject to change. Class Requirements: A) Six Choreographic Studies (40%) The bulk of the work in this class will be six brief choreographic studies that build upon one another throughout the course of the quarter. These studies are the backbone of this course and make up assignments will not be possible. If a student misses class on a day that a study is due they may record the study and bring it on DVD for the professor at the next class meeting. This is only an option once. Otherwise an absence on the day a study is due will count as a grade of zero for that study. The choreography assignments will be graded based on originality, boldness, effort, and clarity in interpreting the assignment. Additional requirementswhile this is not a class focused on using music, sound is always part of the equation when it comes to making dances. Out of your seven choreographic studies: One must be in silence One must be to music that complements it One must be to music that contrasts it One must be to non-musical accompaniment One must have sound or text provided by the performer B) Two page paper (10%) This paper is due in Week 8 and will be based on a students viewing of all of the choreographic work they have done throughout the quarter. The paper should identify what is most interesting to you about the dance that you are working on. Which class investigation that most sparked your interest? Comparing the various versions, what were the choreographic decisions that supported this investigation? In one sentence: What is this dance about? The papers will be evaluated primarily for clarity and depth of thought about your dance as well as for grammar and spelling. C) Final Choreographic Project (20%) Your final choreographic project is due in Week 10 or 11 (We will establish a schedule). It is the culminating (but not necessarily final) version of the dance that you have been working on all quarter. This assignment will be evaluated similarly to the seven choreographic assignments with an additional eye to how your piece has developed through the quarter. D) Video Showing and discussion of work (10%) Along with your final choreographic project, you will be required to present the class with a 2-5 minute video presentation of the two previous versions that most informed your final version and to lead a discussion about your final piece. Be prepared with questions about the work, and information about your investigation. All students should have a mini dv tape that they bring to every class and use as a tool throughout the quarter. These will be available for purchase on the first day of class. E) Participation (20%) Including attendance, participation in class discussion, feedback to your partner, discussions with professor and effort. Throughout class discussion, we will always be looking to connect choreographic decisions and meaning making. More than 1 absence will result in a lowering of your grade.

Intermediate Choreography A Shifting Lens WAC 174 Thursdays 5-8 pm

Instructor: Rebecca Pappas Page 2 of 5

Week 1: MOVING FROM FEELING and THEME AND DEVELOPMENT This week will focus on two subjects: how dances are created from kinetic experience, and notions of Theme and Development. Discussion topics: Kinetic sensation, physical themes, In Class Assignment: Expand these phrases into a dance that highlights kinetic experience, contrasting movement that feels good to dance and movement that feels bad to dance. Perform and discuss studies. Discussion: As an audience, what were our kinesthetic sensations as watchers? What were the physical themes we noticed reoccurring in each piece? Working in pairs identify a movement theme in each dance. Discuss strategies for enhancing a theme: repetition, amplification, fragmentation, variation, transfer to different body parts, change of energies, etc. CHOREO STUDY 1 THEME AND DEVELOPMENT: Return to your dance and redevelop it to highlight movement theme and variation. Week 2: ALLEGORY AND METAPHOR STUDY 1 DUE. Discussion: Can we pick out the movement theme in each work? What are the deeper meanings and metaphors we might ascribe to this movement theme? In Class Assignment: Consider how your movement theme could mean something larger than itself. Consider if there is a social issue or event that you would want to discuss in the dance that you are making. With a partner, watch dances from Week 2 and make a list of possible movement metaphors. Working as a class to develop movement metaphors from non-movement ideas. Then as a class develop a more complex movement metaphor based on a historical or political event. Discussion: Do metaphorical or allegorical pieces always have to be read as such? CHOREO STUDY 2- METAPHOR: Rechoreograph your dance to serve as a metaphor for a larger issue. Week 3: SETTING AND LOCATION STUDY 2 DUE. Discussion: What did this dance seem to be about? What were the choreographic decisions that let us into the metaphor being created? Discussion: What is the world of this study? What are its traits, energies, colors, textures, and setting? In-Class Assignment: Imagine a setting for your danceif you can visit it, do. Either way, make notes about its size, shape, color, lighting, textures, viewpoints, etc. In pairs, try taking your metaphor studies around the building and performing them in different locations. Try each study in at least three different locations, paying careful attention to how the meaning changes in different locations. Look for locations that adhere to the characteristics youve listed for yourself. Discuss this experience.

Intermediate Choreography A Shifting Lens WAC 174 Thursdays 5-8 pm

Instructor: Rebecca Pappas Page 3 of 5

CHOREO STUDY 3 - LOCATION: This assignment has two parts: 1. Place your metaphor study in a nontraditional location. Note how the piece changes in this location. 2. Readapt the study for our studio trying to retain the sense of place that you developed on location. Try confining yourself to the dimensions of your original location. How can you use color, texture, size and spacing to convey your sense of place in a studio environment? Week 4: DANCE AND CHARACTER STUDY 3 DUE. Discussion: What choreographic decisions led to a sense of place? What was conveyed about place, setting, and location? Did this work seem to have a character? What were the qualities of that character? In Class Assignment: Free write about the character in your dance using information from discussion. Establish: 3 physical characteristics of character, 3 mental characteristics of character, 1 character desire/motivation, 1 secret of this character. Parent Gallery and family dance exercise. In partners develop a short study from parent gallery and family movements. Show these exercises. CHOREO STUDY 4 - CHARACTER: Return to your dance and re-choreograph it to emphasize information about who this character is. Week 5: SHOWINGS AND CATCH UP STUDY 4 DUE. Extended Discussion: Who was the character that emerged on stage? Did they seem to have an objective? Was there a narrative that began to emerge? What was it? What are the stages that we have seen this piece travel through so far? Week 6: NARRATIVE Discussion of a variety of ways to tell a story in dance including pantomime, prop, costume, music, unfolding of time, etc. Narrative means there is a set up, a conflict, a resolution. In a group of three or four outline a simple narrative. Working with your group try establishing this narrative through: automatic choreography, spatial relationships, and rhythm. In Class Assignment: Show assignment 5 to your partner. Free write on the narrative you see unfolding in your partners dance: Give it to them. CHOREO STUDY 5 - NARRATIVE: Rechoreograph your dance to highlight the narrative elements and to emphasize a storyline for the audience to follow. Strive for clarity in this narrative. Week 7: REVEALING INFORMATION STUDY 5 DUE. Discussion: Is the narrative coming through clearly? What is the story this dance is telling? How could movement choices clarify or complicate the narrative? How effectively does this dance reveal its information? In Class Assignment: Returning to the concept of narrative consider how information is laid out in the narrative. Working with your partner try fragmenting or rearranging the narrative in your dance. Break the dance into sections and use chance processes to rearrange the chapters of the dance.

Intermediate Choreography A Shifting Lens WAC 174 Thursdays 5-8 pm


Show these fragmented studies.

Instructor: Rebecca Pappas Page 4 of 5

Discussion: Review upcoming paper and discuss what we are learning about how construct meaning and import in dance. What does it mean for dance to be about something? TWO PAGE PAPER : Review the film of each version of your dance. Write a two-page paper identifying what is most interesting to you about the dance that you are working on. What is the class investigation that most sparked your interest? Throughout the versions what were the choreographic decisions that supported this investigation? (See above for more detailed paper guidelines) CHOREO STUDY 6 WHAT IS YOUR DANCE ABOUT? Rechoreograph your dance to highlight what you think the dance is about, or to make clear your choreographic intentions. Think through how time, space, and energy can help give the audience information about what your investigation is. Week 8: WHAT IS YOUR DANCE ABOUT? PAPER DUE. STUDY 6 DUE. Discussion: Is this person reaching their stated goal? What choreographic decisions are effectively addressing this idea? What choreographic decisions could help clarify that idea? Going around the circle, discuss what you think your dance is about. Respond with ideas and thoughts. In Class Assignment: What part of yourself are you making this dance for? Who is your ideal audience? Wrecking the dance: Working with a partner, rechoreograph their dance to emphasize what they have stated their dance is about. How can you use choreographic elements to clarify their ideas? We will rechoreograph for rhythm, design, and special decisions. Show these in class without discussion. Over the week consider which decisions about which changes you want to keep, and which you want to throw away. Week 9: IN CLASS WORK/MEETINGS In-class work time. Meet with the teacher briefly to discuss where your final project is headed. The questions you think need answering. Work in class on dance, getting feedback from partner or not. Over the coming two weeks work to deepen and clarify the final version of your dance. Answer questions about final presentations and showings. Week 10: FINAL SHOWINGS FINAL DUE. Showing and discussion of final dances/presentations. Week 11: FINAL SHOWINGS cont. FINAL DUE Showing and discussion of final dances cont.

Intermediate Choreography A Shifting Lens WAC 174 Thursdays 5-8 pm

Instructor: Rebecca Pappas Page 5 of 5