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Robert Xavier Rodríguez Tuesdays, 7:00-9:45 Jonsson Performance Hall ELEMENTS OF ART AND PERFORMANCE AP 3300 A concentrated exploration of creative arts criticism taught by an active composer-conductor. We will develop insights, criteria and procedures for perceiving, analyzing and verbalizing the artistic experience. An important part of the course will be the examination of the working sketches of master creators in all media (music, literature, drama, cinema, dance and the visual arts), comparing rejected drafts with the final versions. We will thus attempt to view each work “from the inside out,” reconstructing the artist’s train of thought and exploring both the rational and irrational aspects of turning a blank canvas or page into a work of art. The course will begin with an introduction to the basic terminology of aesthetics and arts criticism. Each class thereafter will feature a different topic (i.e., Form and Content, Dramatic Shapes in Time, Art about Art, The artist revealed through his/her art, The Creative Process, Art and Society, Art and Myth, etc.), which will serve as a focal point for a short lecture by the instructor or a guest speaker, followed by student presentations and class discussion. REQUIRED READING: Ghiselin (ed.), The Creative Process Egri, The Art of Dramatic Writing Sporre, Perceiving the Arts Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing about Art RECOMMENDED READING: Barrett, Criticizing Art Stravinsky, The Poetics of Music Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hudson & LeClair, Thinking and Writing in the Humanities plus class handouts and assigned readings on library reserve REQUIREMENTS/EVALUATION CRITERIA: There will be no tests. Instead, each student will be assigned to write a portfolio of twelve one or two-page formal essays. Each essay will analyze a specific work of art (or pair of contrasting works) chosen by the student to illustrate the topic for that week’s class session. In addition, students will make informal class presentations concerning their chosen examples, as time permits. Students will be graded on their written work and on their class attendance and participation.

Instructor: Dr. Robert Xavier Rodríguez ( Office Hours (JO 4.640): Tuesdays 6:00 – 7:00 by appointment (972-883-2766) TA: Brenne Meyro (

Office Hours (JO 5.310) by appointment (972-883-2110)

AP 3300 Syllabus Tuesdays, 7:00 - 9:45 Jonsson Performance Hall 1. January 10 – Definitions; Overview; Points of Attack for Verbalizing/Interpreting the Artistic Experience: Reporter (Subject matter, Medium, Elements), Theorist (Aesthetic Perspectives, Technical Systems, Worldviews), Analyst (Form, Balance, Technical Means of Conveying Expressive Content), Historian (Style Characteristics, Periods, Influences, Socio-Political Context, Parallels to Other Arts), Companion (Viewer’s Insight, Personality), Judge (Test of Time, Comparison with Similar Examples), Independent Creator (Critic as Artist; Observer as Co-creator; Art as Inspiration for New Art); Form vs. Forms; Form(s) vs. Content 2. January 17 – Playwriting; Characterization; Shapes in Time; Dramatic Structure: Exposition, Climax and Denouement Reading: Egri (all), Sporre (Chapter 6), Hudson & LeClair (begin reading, continue throughout semester) 3. January 24 – Guest: John Pomara – Perceiving Visual Art: Points of Attack Applied to
Line, Color (Hue, Intensity/Saturation, Value), Shape, Space, Form, Medium, Texture

Reading: Barnet (all), Sporre (chapters 3 and 4) 4. January 31 – Guest: Tom Linehan - Technology and the Arts: Points of Attack Applied to Works of Art Inspired by/Created Through Technology Reading: Sporre (chapters 1 and 2); Barrett (all) 5. February 7 – Perceiving Music: Points of Attack Applied to Location, Pitch (Melody, Harmony), Dynamics, Duration (Rhythm, Meter, Tempo), Timbre, Form, Texture; Abstract vs. Programmatic (Imitation, Symbol, System) Reading: Stravinsky (all), Sporre (chapter 5) 6. February 14 – Guest: Dean Dennis Kratz - Myth and the Arts: Points of Attack Applied to Works of Art Inspired by/Interpreted Through Myth Reading: TBA Essays 1-4 due.

7. February 21 – The Creative Process: Points of Attack Applied to Works in Progress Reading: Ghiselin (all) 8. February 28 – Guest: Michele Hanlon – Perceiving Dance: Points of Attack Applied to The Body, Movement, Line, Space, Energy, Rhythm, Music, Light, Color, Form Reading: Sporre (chapter 8) March 7 – SPRING BREAK 9. March 14 – Art and the Artist; The Artist’s Life and Personality Revealed Through His/Her Work Reading: TBA 10. March 28 – Art and Society; Art as Mirror; Art as Barometer of Social Change; History of Style Reading: TBA Essays 5-8 due. 11. April 4 – Guest: Fred Curchack - A Midsummer Night's Dream: Analysis of the Play and Comparative Analysis of Productions Reading: Shakespeare (all), Sporre (chapters 7 and 11) 12. April 11 – Art about Art; Works of Art Based Upon/Interpreted Through Other Works of Art Reading: TBA 13. April 18 – The Commedia dell’Arte; Film: Les Enfants du Paradis Reading: TBA April 20, 21, 22 - RXR world premiere at Dallas Symphony (student tickets available) 14. April 25 –Discussion of Les Enfants du Paradis; Course Summary (no essay required for this week) April 28 – Musica Nova concert – free - Complete portfolio of twelve essays due.