Body Space Time

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSCC2DP2014

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon 2018

Course Coordinator and Team: Mandeep Raikhy

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: This course is suitable for the students who have a general interest in dance/ performance-making.

Course Objectives/Description:

This course investigates the body as a dynamic material constructed by, and as a medium of, temporal and spatial considerations. In what way is the body organized by tempo, duration, repetition, or stillness? How does gesture, action and mobility interact with temporal considerations to enliven space? How are landscapes of time negotiated through relationships, geometries, emptiness and topographies?

The course re-examines and deconstructs notions of body, space and time by challenging and expanding their traditional constructs in relation to performance. By examining the ideas around composition in various mediums such as photography, painting, choreography, architecture, film and music, the course will enable a more sophisticated understanding of spatial and temporal considerations in relation to the body.

The course will also examine a series of site-specific works to unpack an understanding of body in space and time outside the traditional studio/ theatre setting.

Course Outcomes:

  • To utilize compositional technologies to demonstrate an emergent understanding of the body’s interrelationships with space and time.
  • To understand and to deploy these interrelationships as a meaning-making device.
  • A familiarity with the nuances of dance-making and the composition of the moving images.
  • An ability to make aesthetic choices while composing dance, with an awareness of the history and politics of choreographic practice.
  • An ability to engage with the notion of form beyond the limits of the body and to examine it within the larger realm of the interdiscplinary.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  • Relationships Topography Geometries
  • Rhythm Stillness Duration
  • Viewpoints & Sensory Awareness
  • Impulse & Gesture
  • The Dancer in Space
  • Abstraction and Manipulation

Weeks 1-2

Relationships Topography Geometries

Starting from a study of spatial constructs, students go on to explore how the body and bodies are organized in relation to geometry, symmetry, unity, balance and emptiness.

Week 3-5

Rhythm Stillness Duration

By examining duration, pace, rhythm and stillness, students will deconstruct time through a range of task-based sessions.

Week 6-7

Viewpoints & Sensory Awareness

Building on the previous workshop, these sessions will deconstruct large group movement compositions into distinct ideas of time, space and shape by using the technique of Viewpoints as a trigger. The workshop will also use visualization and imagination as a means to enrich the clarity and intention of movement through a dialogue between the inner landscape of the performer and external space.

Week 8-9

Impulse & Gesture

In these sessions, students will explore various sources as impulses for the generation of gestures, examining how the energetic force of the impulse can be distilled and enlivened while divorced from its original context. Rather than re-enacting a situation, by allowing the sensation to travel through the body you free up the possibilities that movement can have. How do students work with different kinds of impulses that then transform into gesture?

Week 10

The Dancer in Space

What shifts in the space when a dancer inhabits the space? When does the everyday turn into a performative body? By examining notions of entry and exit, gaze and the role of the spectator through various exercises, these sessions will open up the question of the ‘performative’ in dance through the work of Chandralekha.

Week 11-12

Abstraction and Manipulation

How can the exploration of body as a material constructed by, and a medium of, space and time be made precise by pegging this exploration to a particular starting point? How can the starting point be excavated through manipulation of spatial and temporal constructs? Students will choose from a range of starting points including an image, a piece of music or text, an object, the work of another artist or observations from everyday life in order to create duets. Students will use their chosen starting points not only to manipulate these constructs but also to explore how ideas can transform through this process of abstraction and manipulation. The sessions will take the form of rehearsal adventures, making work using a play instinct rather than work instinct.

Weeks 13

Tutorials and Assignments

Students will examine relationships between body, space and time in other disciplines such as architecture, sound, visual arts, and film making.

Week 14

Submission Week

Assessment Details with weights:

The objective of the assessment is to evaluate the students’ ability to utilize compositional technologies as a means of exploring the body’s interrelationships with space and time, and the ways in which these can be manipulated as a meaning-making device.

  • Participation in classroom tasks and discussions (30%)
  • Mid-term assignment (30%)
  • Submission of end-term assignment, practical presentation and written and/or portfolio documents (40%)

Reading List:

  • Frederick, Matthew. 101 things I learned in architecture school. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007.
  • Vatsyayan, Kapila. Concepts of space, ancient and modern. Abhinav Publications, 1991.
  • Krages, Bert. Photography: the art of composition. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 2012.
  • Papadopoulos, M. (1996). Motion in music: a study of movement and time
  • through musical interpretation. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)
  • Balslev, Anindita Niyogi. "A study of time in Indian philosophy." (1983).
  • Bogart, Anne, and Tina Landau. The viewpoints book: a practical guide to viewpoints and composition. Theatre Communications Group, 2004.
  • William Forsythe improvisation technologies: A tool for the analytical dance eye (2nd ed.) [CD-ROM and booklet]. (2003). Karsruhe, Germany: Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie.
  • Preston-Dunlop, Valerie, and Ana Sanchez-Colberg. Dance and the Performative. London: Verve (2002).
  • Hunter, Victoria, ed. Moving sites: Investigating site-specific dance performance. Routledge, 2015.
  • Newlove J. and Dalby J., Laban for All, Taylor and Francis, 2004.
  • Cunningham, M. (1968). Changes: Notes on choreography (F. Starr, Ed.). New York: Something Else Press.
  • Burrows, Jonathan. A Choreographer's Handbook. Routledge, 2010.