Dance (DANCE)

Dance Theory 

DANCE-151 Elementary Composition

Fall. Credits: 4

A study of the principles and elements of choreography. How is movement design and meaning constructed? How do the different dimensions of the medium of dance inform and inspire choreographic choices? Course work will focus on experiential and analytical approaches to these questions through readings, video viewings and guided improvisational and compositional explorations of such issues as sensation, time, rhythm, desire, image, shape, space, and effort quality. Students will experiment with a range of tools and strategies for dance making, including movement phrasing, musical structure , collage, group forms, improvisational scoring, and the design of movement in relation to objects and environments.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. Coleman

DANCE-171 Studies in Dance History

Spring. Credits: 4

This course is designed to present an overview of dance as a performing art in the twentieth century. Through readings, video and film viewings, guest performances, individual research projects, and classroom discussions, students will explore principles and traditions of twentieth-century concert dance traditions, with special attention to their historical and cultural contexts. Special topics may include European and American ballet, the modern dance movement, contemporary and avant-garde experimentation, African American dance forms, jazz dance, and other cultural dance traditions.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
C. Flachs

DANCE-205 Repertory: First Year Dance

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

A studio course open to first year students by audition. Students are involved in the creation of a new dance to be performed in November as part of the Mount Holyoke Faculty Dance Concert. Through collaborative compositional assignments, students generate inventive movement material that honors diverse training backgrounds, challenges expressive range, and builds partnering skills.

The department
Restrictions: This course is limited to first-year students.
Advisory: Audition at the first class and at the fall FCDD faculty audition.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-241 Scientific Foundations of Dance

Selected scientific aspects of dance, including anatomical identification and terminology, physiological principles, and conditioning/strengthening methodology. These concepts are discussed and explored experientially in relationship to the movement vocabularies of various dance styles.

DANCE-241AK Scientific Foundations of Dance: 'Anatomy and Kinesiology'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course offers an in-depth experiential study of the human body's skeletal and muscular systems, with additional information on bone growth and development, joint architecture, injuries and their prevention, and the discovery of personal alignment anomalies. Course work will include lecture, laboratory sessions, assigned readings, exams, the creation of a body map and the development of a personalized therapeutic regime.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
T. Freedman

DANCE-252 Intermediate Composition

Spring. Credits: 4

Intermediate Composition is structured as a workshop for you to explore and expand your own artistic vision. It will increase your understanding of inspiration and intention as they relate to choreography as well as encourage active consideration of choreographic possibilities for space, time, performer/audience interaction, energetic qualities, use of text, music, and physical and environmental intelligences.

Crosslisted as: THEAT-215CP
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
J. Coleman, P. Jones
Prereq: DANCE-151.

DANCE-261 Dance Education

DANCE-262 Somatic Studies and Dance Practices

Spring. Credits: 2

This course introduces students to a range of contemporary somatic therapy practices and their application to dance technique and performance. The philosophies and methodologies of these therapies will be investigated through a combination of readings, workshops with local practitioners, and experiential exploration. Therapeutic practices include: Mind Body Centering, Yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonics, Alexander Technique, Feldenkreis Technique, and others.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
T. Freedman

DANCE-272 Dance and Culture

Spring. Credits: 4

How does dance articulate national, cultural, and social identity? How can it inscribe history and place? This course examines dance through the lens of culture and culture through dance. Students will be immersed in the methods, theories, and practice of researching dance in distinct cultural contexts. No dance experience necessary but we will take an embodied approach to our research.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
D. Chapman

DANCE-287 Rhythmic Analysis

Fall. Credits: 4

The study of music from a dancer's perspective. Topics include musical notation, construction of rhythm, elements of composition (visual aspects of music and movement), communication between dancer and musician, and music listening.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Jones

DANCE-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

Students interested in independent study in dance (Dance 295) must provide convincing reasons for pursuing independent work and be self motivated and directed in their work. Students are responsible for choosing and receiving approval from a faculty advisor, with whom workload expectations, meeting times, and outcomes will be mutually negotiated and set for the semester. Credit load (1-4) will reflect the workload level and outcomes of the proposed study (e.g., a 2-credit independent study requires a minimum of 2-4 hours of outside work each week.

The department
Instructor permission required.

DANCE-305 Dance Repertory

DANCE-305CR Dance Repertory: 'Contemporary Repertory'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced dancers interested in performing. The work developed will be performed in the Five College Faculty Dance Concert at Amherst College, March 2-4, 2017.

C. Flachs, R. Flachs
Instructor permission required.
Advisory: Five College Faculty audition
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-305HP Dance Repertory: 'Hip Hop Repertory'

Fall. Credits: 2

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced hip hop dancers interested in performing a premiere hip hop work for the Faculty Dance Concert, November 10, 11, and 12, 2017.

S. Johnson
Instructor permission required.
Advisory: Students must attend the Five College Dance Department Audition at the beginning of the fall semester for permission to register for this course.
Notes: Repeatable for credit. Course meeting times will be determined following the audition.

DANCE-305RB Dance Repertory: 'Ballet Repertory'

Fall. Credits: 2

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced dance students interested in performing. The work developed will be performed on the fall Faculty Concert.

M. Wiss
Advisory: By audition at September FCDD audition.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-305RM Dance Repertory: 'Modern Repertory'

Fall. Credits: 2

This course is designed for intermediate and advanced dancers interested in performing. The work developed will be performed in the Fall Faculty Concert.

B. Diewald
Advisory: By audition
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-309 Dance Repertory: Ballet Variations

DANCE-309BV Classical Ballet Variations

Spring. Credits: 4

This course is designed for intermediate- to advanced-level dance students who wish to study classical ballet variations. The course examines the evolution of classical ballet choreography and compares and contrasts the many revivals and remakes of classical full-length productions. Students will learn variations from Swan Lake, Giselle, and Cinderella. Requirements outside of the classroom include viewing videotapes, researching choreography, and attending live performances. Pointe shoes are optional.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
R. Flachs

DANCE-377 Advanced Studies

DANCE-377NM Advanced Studies: 'New Millennium Choreography'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course looks at the vast and diverse cultural and aesthetic landscape of dance performance in the millennium and the new breed of choreographers making cutting-edge works that pursue radically different methods, materials and strategies for provoking new ideas about dance, the body and corporeal aesthetics. Taking in the vast spectrum of new-age performance, we will ask such questions as: How does non-narrative dance focus on the body as an instrument with unlimited possibilities? How do heterosexuality, homosexuality and androgyny constitute a gender spectrum in new works? How do you evaluate dances from culturally specific traditions?

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
C. Hill
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-387 Rhythmic Analysis II: Performance

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

A continuation of Dance 287. The focus now shifts specifically to performance and the notation of complex rhythmic structures. Working as an ensemble, the class will create a music/dance suite, using body music, movement, vocal work, and music visualization as our inspiration. Emphasis will be placed on odd and mixed meters and rhythmical accuracy. Students will contribute both movement and musical material. Class time will be run like a professional rehearsal. Outside work will focus on musical research, choreography, and music notation. This suite will be performed at Blanchard Campus Center at a date to be determined.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Jones
Prereq: DANCE-287.

DANCE-390 Senior Capstone Seminar

Fall and Spring. Credits: 2

Each dance major will be expected to be involved in a senior project during their final year of study. One should sign up for Dance 390, Senior Seminar for both fall and spring semesters. Senior projects can vary, from choreographic or performance work to research topics.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
B. Diewald, T. Freedman
Restrictions: This course is limited to seniors.

DANCE-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

Students interested in independent study in dance (Dance 395) must provide convincing reasons for pursuing independent work and be self motivated and directed in their work. Students are responsible for choosing and receiving approval from a faculty advisor, with whom workload expectations, meeting times, and outcomes will be mutually negotiated and set for the semester. Credit load (1-4) will reflect the workload level and outcomes of the proposed study (e.g., a 2-credit independent study requires a minimum of 2-4 hours of outside work each week.

The department
Instructor permission required.

Performance Studies

DANCE-113 Beginning Modern

Fall. Credits: 2

An introduction to the basic principles of dance movement: body alignment, coordination, strength and flexibility, basic forms of locomotion. No previous dance experience required.

B. Diewald
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-114 Advanced Beginning Modern

Spring. Credits: 2

This course introduces aligned and efficient dancing through the study of contemporary modern dance technique and principles. Students will build capacity for physical endurance and active presence as well as a deepening awareness of rhythm and anatomy. Each class will begin with a warm up, continue with exercises that move across the room, and build to longer combinations.

B. Diewald
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-119 Contact Improvisation

Fall. Credits: 2

Contact improvisation is a duet movement form that explores communicating through the language of touch, momentum, and weight. Classes will develop simple solo and duet skills - rolling, falling, balance, counterbalance, jumping, weight sharing, and spirals.

F. Wolfzahn
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-120 Beginning Ballet

Fall. Credits: 2

Students will study the basic movements and fundamentals of classical ballet. The movements are taught in a pure form, at a relaxed pace before proceeding to more complex combinations. Ballet I sets the groundwork for the movements and musicality of the ballet lesson.

C. Menninga
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-121 Advanced Beginning Ballet

Spring. Credits: 2

A continuation of the knowledge gained in Ballet I. The course will emphasize maintaining correct body placement, coordination of the arms and head while using the whole body for dance. Curriculum covered will include the small and big classical poses and an increase in the allegro portion of the class.

M. Madden
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-127 Renaissance and Baroque Dance I

Fall. Credits: 1

Sixteenth- through eighteenth-century European social dance, contemporary with the eras of Elizabeth I and Shakespeare in England, the Medicis in Italy, Louis XIV in France, and colonial America. The focus will be on learning the dances, supplemented by historical and social background, discussion of the original dance sources, and reconstruction techniques.

Crosslisted as: MUSIC-147F
N. Monahin, M. Pash
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-128 Renaissance and Baroque Dance II

Spring. Credits: 1

Continuation of Renaissance and Baroque Dance I. Sixteenth- through eighteenth-century European social dance, contemporary with the eras of Elizabeth I and Shakespeare in England, the Medicis in Italy, Louis XIV in France, and colonial America. The focus will be on learning the dances, supplemented by historical and social background, discussion of the original dance sources, and reconstruction techniques.

Crosslisted as: MUSIC-147F
N. Monahin, M. Pash
Prereq: DANCE-127 or MUSIC-147D.

DANCE-132 Introduction to Hip-Hop

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1

This class will introduce students to the basic elements of various styles of hip-hop dance including breaking, popping, locking, and contemporary music video style. In addition, students will learn the history of hip-hop-Rs four elements: breaking, MCing, DJing, and graffiti. Each class will start with a warm-up focusing on hip-hop fundamentals, and conclude with a short combination fusing these diverse styles together.

S. Johnson
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-141 West African Drumming for Dance

Spring. Credits: 1

Using authentic African drums, students will learn to play the various rhythms that accompany the dances taught in the West African dance class.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
S. Sylla
Notes: Repeatable for credit. No PE units. Drums will be provided by the instructor. Drummers are encouraged to play for the Dance 142 class following this class, if they are they are not also enrolled in it.

DANCE-142 West African Dance

Fall and Spring. Credits: 2

The objectives of the course are for students to understand the profound influence African dance has had on American dance forms, to understand the significance of dance in African culture, and to understand the connection between drummer and dancer and to appreciate and respect a culture that is different yet similar in many ways to American culture.

M. Sylla
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-143 Classical Indian Dance

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

This course introduces the fundamentals of movement used in dance and character expressions in the Indian classical and theatrical dance tradition. By employing body movements, hand gestures, props together with masks, the course explores exchanging identity and taking on the persona of "Gods, Demons and Others" in masked creations of expressive and rhythmic sequences. Students learn the basic patterns of formal and folk dance movements including gestural expression in mimetic interpretations through poetry, music compositions and rhythmic structures.

R. Devi
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-144 Tango

Fall. Credits: 2

Argentine Tango is the sensual and elegant social dance of the city of Buenos Aires, which is experiencing a worldwide revival. Cuban Salsa Rueda is a unique Salsa Game developed in Havana, Cuba. Class will include the steps, the history, and anecdotes about the culture of tango and salsa. We will cover traditional and modern forms. All dancers will learn lead and follow, so you do not need a partner. Wear leather-soled shoes or bring socks.

D. Trenner
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-153 Introduction to Percussive Dance

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

Explore the joy of making music with your feet! This course will give you a foundation in the technique and style of four diverse percussive dance traditions: Appalachian clogging, rhythm tap, Cape Breton step dancing, and body percussion. The class is designed for beginners, and the steps will be broken down into clear, approachable elements. Community, rhythm, playfulness, and musicality will be emphasized. Tap shoes recommended.

E. Grace

DANCE-212 Intermediate Modern: Partnering Technique

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

This course offers tools to generate trust-oriented, intricate, three-dimensional partnering. As a safe and supportive ensemble, students will enter into physical investigations of weight sharing, body-part manipulations, off-balance support, lifting and being lifted, negative space, resistance, and various ways of harnessing forces of momentum. Duets, trios, and groups will collaboratively create set partner dances using a series of construction/reconstruction steps challenging technical range while honoring idiosyncrasy. There will be repeated opportunities in the last part of class to perform.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
The department
Advisory: Designed for students with some prior dance experience.

DANCE-216 Intermediate Modern

DANCE-216MA Intermediate Modern 2x/week

Fall and Spring. Credits: 2

This course is a continued practice of modern dance. Physically, the emphasis is on aligned, articulate and efficient dancing through modern dance technique and principles. Students will build capacity for physical endurance and active presence as well as a deepening awareness of the body's potential. Course work will include improvisation, moving into and out of the floor, shifting the centers of gravity, and finding agility and clarity in movement and thought.

B. Diewald
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-216MB Intermediate Modern 1x/week

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

Intermediate and Advanced study in modern technique focuses on body level issues of strength, support, alignment, articulation, initiation and performance issues of rhythmic and spatial clarity, intention, embodiment, intricate coordination's and expanding personal vocabularies. Repertory is studied for the last hour of class.

C. Fermin
Notes: Repeatable for credit. Meets with DANCE-318-02.

DANCE-222 Intermediate Ballet

Fall. Credits: 2

This course is designed for the intermediate-level dancer. It will include a logical and efficient development of exercises culminating with varied allegro combinations. The class will provide the student the opportunity to acquire endurance and learn artistic expression. The importance of musicality within the technique will be a fundamental aspect of the class.

M. Madden
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-223 Intermediate Ballet

Spring. Credits: 2

Continues to perfect the classical ballet technique, concentrating on small and big poses at the barre, pirouettes and adagio work in the big poses in the center, and jumps in the small and big poses in the allegro section of the class. More complex grand allegro will be presented.

C. Flachs, R. Flachs, S. Seder
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-227 Ballet IV: Pointe

Fall. Credits: 1

This course will focus on intermediate-to-advanced pointe technique. Class will begin with a condensed barre and center, devoting the last hour to pointe work. Concentration will be placed on strengthening the foot and ankle and the development of artistry within the technique.

M. Madden
Advisory: Intermediate pointe technique level required
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-228 Ballet IV: Pointe

Fall. Credits: 2

This course will focus on intermediate-to-advanced pointe technique. Class will begin with a condensed barre and center, devoting the last hour to pointe work. Concentration will be placed on strengthening the foot and ankle and the development of artistry within the technique.

M. Wiss
Advisory: Intermediate pointe technique level required
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-232 Intermediate Hip-Hop

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 1

Journey through time and experience the evolution of hip-hop from its old-school social dance roots to the contemporary phenomenon of commercial choreography that hip-hop has become. Using film and text in addition to studio work, this class will create a framework from which to understand and participate in the global culture of hip-hop dance.

S. Johnson
Notes: Repeatable for credit. Audition at first class.

DANCE-237 Intermediate Tap

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

Tap II expands the movement vocabulary and technical skills of the beginner. Students increase rhythmic accuracy, coordination, and speed by practicing tap rudiments and double-time patterns. The class also includes satisfying time steps and breaks, traveling combinations, and some creative improvisation to deepen the dancer's connection to music. Students will learn at least one complete dance from the traditional tap dance repertory. Video/youtube performances by tap masters, past and present will be shown in class or assigned for out-of-class viewing.

S. Arslanian
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-238 Intermediate Level Musical Theater Jazz & Tap

Fall. Credits: 2

This class is for the intermediate to advanced-level dance student. It is designed to challenge and further develop jazz & tap technique and performance quality, while also teaching students about individual styles of well-known musical theater choreographers. Students will need flat dance shoes,character shoes and tap shoes, and at least an intermediate level of dance technique. Some prior tap experience is a must. There will be a potential audition process to be in this class, therefore students should have a back-up class chosen in case they are not ready for an intermediate-level class.

D. Vega
Advisory: intermediate-level dance ability
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-318 Advanced Modern

Fall and Spring. Credits: 2

Intermediate and Advanced study in modern technique focuses on body level issues of strength, support, alignment, articulation, and initiation; and performance issues of rhythmic clarity, spatial clarity, intention, embodiment, intricate coordinations, and expanding personal vocabularies. Students will build capacity for physical endurance and active presence as well as a deepening awareness of the body's potential.

B. Diewald
Advisory: Students must pass the Advanced Placement Audition to take this course.
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-324 Advanced Ballet

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

This course is the study of advanced classical ballet technique. The class focuses on the artistry and musicality of movement incorporating turns, adagio, allegro, batterie, and grand allegro.

M. Wiss
Advisory: advanced placement
Notes: Repeatable for credit.

DANCE-325 Advanced Ballet

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

Course is for advanced dancers and will stress complex classical ballet technique combinations, concentrating on turns at the barre, turns in the big poses in the centre, and batterie in the allegro. Artistry, presentation, and musicality of dance will be incorporated, with the grande allegro serving as the focus of the class. The last half hour will be devoted to advanced pointe technique.

C. Flachs, R. Flachs
Advisory: Advanced placement
Notes: Repeatable for credit.