Dance History: Ritual to Romanticism
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Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Department: The Arts
Course Number: LDAN 2040
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
- Dance History, Theory & Criticism
This course will explore the function of dance amongst indigenous peoples and in various countries and throughout the world. Covering a wide overview of rituals and cultural traditions, we will delve into how dance is used in myriad purposes, from being a societal necessity in rites of passage to being extravagant theatrical entertainment. Dance as devotion will be studied in terms of propitiating the gods in India, Bali, Hawaii, and in Native American tribes. Ancestor worship through dance and trance in the Yoruba and Dogon tribes of Africa and Aboriginal Australia will be explored, as well as dances of purification and healing such as the Korean Kut ritual, the Zar of Northern Africa, and the Num Tchai of the African Bushman. Dance as a means of conveying political power will be viewed through the court dance traditions of Java, Ashanti tribal displays in Africa, lavish ballets during the Renaissance and Baroque eras, and in the “model plays” of China’s Cultural Revolution. Dance as entertainment will be viewed in terms of Japanese Noh and Kabuki Theater, French Romantic Ballet, and Beijing Opera. In addition to written texts and video documentation, we will review examples of related art forms and the rare audio-visual records available in the Dance History Collection at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center.
Open to Undergraduate students.