|Course Type||Course Code||No. Of Credits|
Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon 2018
Course Coordinator and Team: Ranjana Dave
Email of course coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
The course examines two key issues in dance and movement study and practice: of developing an eye and a critical vocabulary for seeing, reading, interpreting and writing about it - What and how do we see (in) dance? How do we describe, contextualize and analyze dance to address questions of process(es), subjectivity, embodiment and social identities. This course aims to achieve this through studying choreographic works and written portraits of practitioners of the canonical repertory of Indian dance, integrating the study of specific dance practices in their historical context with observable features of specific dance works discerning specific elements that inform selected dance practices. Viewing of diverse selection of choreographers provides the historical, aesthetic and political context for developing frameworks for reflection on contemporary dance and performance practice. These individual practices also help us understand the particular perspectives on practices and texts that have preoccupied dancers, choreographers and scholars in India.
Brief description of modules/ Main modules:
Describing Dance & Translating Affect
These sessions will open ways of viewing and describing dance through creating a repertoire of key words sourced from the body. These sessions will examine ways to translate the affect of dance by addressing questions such as: What does watching dance do to the viewer? How does one translate feelings, emotions, somatic and kinaesthetic responses in writing?
These sessions will also look at ways of generating conversation between different works of the same artist, two different artists or approaches/ genres with a view to comparative/ cross-cultural analysis.
Developing a Critical Language
These sessions will introduce analytical frameworks that allow students to examine ways to develop a critical language for engaging with particular dance works. Viewing very different kinds of performances (could be live or films) and begin a process of description based on effort that is apparent visibly. From thereon, describing the context in which the work is made and viewed and pushing the question of intentionality to develop a rounded understanding of the work and a critical language.
These sessions will also examine notions of time, including tempo, rhythm and repetition, and contexualising them within practice historically and with reference to particular dance works and contemporary dance-makers. An engagement with a range of materials available on choreographer Chandralekha’s body of work will be used as a case study example to help develop student’s own writing.
These sessions will enable students in planning a research documentation and writing project towards a choreographic portrait of an artist’s oeuvre or a specific work. The lectures will introduce students to:
engage with reflective, personal accounts on lives and practices of dance artists as research/ researchable material
develop an understanding about how to design, structure and conduct interviews with practitioners and reflect on documentation practices in dance.
examine available and excavating artists’ notes, drawings, statements, production plans etc. to delve on issues such as intentionality, style, structure, politics in processes of making.
develop an understanding on how to cite, reference & source following the Harvard style sheet
Consolidation Week + Open Feedback
Assessment Details with weights:
objective of the assessment is to evaluate the level to which the student has developed a vocabulary to engage with dance practice. Attending classes regularly is vital and any absence may affect the grades.
Participation in classroom tasks and discussions (30%)
Submission of mid-term assignment (30%)
Submission of end-term written and/or portfolio documents (40%)