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Dance 101 Essay

As a group, sit down to brainstorm, discuss and decide upon a social or political issue that you want to explore through movement. Examples of social/political issues are: homelessness, oppression, environmental issues, corporate avarice, racism, domestic violence, racial profiling, but there are many, many issues that can be explored in addition to those mentioned above. You may wish to bring in source material (a photograph, a poem/song, a painting, news clip, a personal story, etc. , related to the social/political issue.

Using the source material as a starting point, independently create a phrase of movement for yourself that is 32 counts in length utilizing at least 8 of the movement elements listed below. In groups, using your individual phrases as a starting point, combine, manipulate and abstract your phrases, adding formal elements, to create a dance composition. The composition should be between 3-4 minutes long. You may set your dances to recorded music, a sound collage of your own creation or they may utilize text (pre-recorded or spoken in performance). Silence is also an option.

Try to avoid music with lyrics that describe your issue. You should aim to explore and portray your topic through movement, sound and/or text. You may also incorporate props, or costumes if these seem crucial to the performance of your dance composition. August 7 & 8: Each group will show its composition to the rest of the class and receive comments on the work. Utilizing the feedback received on these days, each group will continue to work on its composition and will show the final version during the last week of summer term (Aug 15). Due on the presentation day:

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Each group needs to submit a 2-page type written synopsis of the work before presenting. The synopsis should include the following: • Names of performers • Title of work • Music/Sound/Text credits • Inspiration for the work (the issue you are exploring though dance) • A list of compositional elements your group used in the dance • Your reasons for selecting these compositional devices • Thorough explanations of how these compositional devices were employed to help demonstrate your artistic/choreographic intent. On all working days and showing days, you must bring a CD of the music or an I-pod.

The composition should include a minimum of ten of the elements listed below. Bows should be rehearsed and costuming considered. Movement Elements Time Changes in the speed of movement Use of stillness Flow and Weight Partnering/weight sharing Qualitative changes in movement dynamics Space Level Changes Changes in Spatial pathways–diagonals, circles, squares, scallops Exploration of the Stage Space: upstage, downstage, center stage, exits and entrances, stage right, stage left Formal Elements Unison movement Canon Mirroring Call and response Retrograde Accumulation ABA form Narrative form Recurring theme Appropriation.

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