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Selection of Courses


Theater and Dance 111:  The Language of Movement (Amherst College)

An introduction to movement as a language.  In studio sessions students will explore and expand their individual movement vocabularies by working improvisationally with weight, posture, gesture, patterns, rhythm, space, and relationship of body parts.  We will ask what these vocabularies might communicate about emotion, thought, physical structures, cultural/social traditions, and aesthetic preferences.  In addition, we will observe movement practices in everyday situations and in formal performance events and use these observations as inspiration for individual and group compositions.  Two two-hour class/studio meetings and a two-hours production workshop per week.  Selected readings and viewing of video and live performance.


Theater and Dance 35:  Scripts and Scores (Amherst College)

This course will provide structures and approaches for creating original performance pieces and events.  An emphasis will be placed on interdisciplinary and experimental approaches to composition, choreography, and performance making.  These approaches include working with text and movement, visual systems and environments, non-traditional music and sound and chance scores to inspire and include in performance. Students will create and perform dance, theater, or performance art pieces for both traditional theater spaces and for found (indoor and outdoor) spaces.  This course is open to dancers and actors as well as interested students from other media and disciplines.  Consent of the instructor is required for students with no experience in improvisation or composition.



Theater and Dance 353:  Performance Studio (Amherst College)

An advanced course in the techniques of creating original performance works.  Students will create performance pieces that develop and incorporate original choreography, text, music, sound and/or visual design.  Experimental and collaborative structures and approaches among and within different media will be stressed.  The final performance pieces and/or events will be presented and evaluated at the end of the semester.  Can be taken more than once for credit.         


Theater and Dance 50. Video and Performance.  (Amherst College)

This advanced production class will give students an opportunity to explore various relationships between live performance and video. Experiments will include creating short performance pieces and/or choreography specifically designed for the video medium; creating short pieces that include both live performance and projected video; and creating short experimental video pieces that emphasize a sense of motion in their conceptualization, and realization. Techniques and languages from dance and theater composition will be used to expand and inform approaches to video production and vice-versa. Sessions include studio practice (working with digital cameras and Final Cut Pro digital editing) and regular viewing and critiques. Students will work both independently and in collaborative teams according to interest and expertise. Requisite: Previous experience in theater, dance, music composition, and/or video production or consent of the instructor.


First Year Seminar:  The Art of Noticing (Amherst College)

Based on the premise that noticing is a necessary skill for all disciplines and modes of inquiry--requiring curiosity, discipline, and ongoing practice--this seminar is designed to strengthen our ability to pay attention with more depth, engagement and precision using all of our senses. The course will focus on the arts (literary, visual and performing) as a means to sharpen our noticing skills.  Most art comes from observation, paying close attention to one’s surroundings and interactions and developing ways to bring what one notices into meaningful expressions.  Through exercises and improvisations, we will increase our ability to notice new things in ourselves and in our environments, discerning details about things that we often take for granted or that we miss entirely.  We will also notice what is not in the room, what is missing in different places.  Drawing on our observational practice we will experiment with different media--writing, video/photography, performance--to communicate what we have noticed.


Theater and Dance 33:  From Idea to Performance (Amherst College)

A theoretical and practical consideration of the process by which the performance maker’s initial idea is conceived, altered, adapted, developed, rehearsed, and finally transmitted to the audience through the medium of theatrical production.   Students will be involved in the conception, rehearsals and performances of an original performance work directed by the Professor.


Bruss Seminar 13:  Experiments in Collaboration: Performance, Music & Video

(Amherst College)

This seminar will focus on creating performance, music, and video pieces developed through interdisciplinary experiments.  An emphasis will be placed on exploring reciprocal relationships within and between the different media.  We will use the theme of discovery, uncovering, revealing, and conjuring - as a central image to focus the responses and interactions between sound, image, movement, and text.  Students will work individually in their preferred medium (or combination of media) and also work in collaborative teams.  The seminar will culminate in a performance at the new Experimental Theater.


Seminar for the Centre for Ideas: Experiments in Collaboration:  Reconciliation, Mediation and Translation. (Victorian College of the Arts, University of


This seminar will focus on creating multi-media performance as a response to stories and images of reconciliation, mediation and translation.  An emphasis will be placed on exploring reciprocal relationships - mediations and translations - within and between different media.  We will work with personal and found stories and images related to concepts of reconciliation to focus the responses and interactions between sound, image, movement, and text. Students will contribute individual responses and material to directed improvisations and these contributions will be shaped into a final multi-media performance event or a series of performances and exhibition in different media.  An emphasis will be placed on issues and techniques of collaboration in contemporary performance.


Workshop:  Dance in Dialogue (University of Queensland)

This workshop will explore interactions and dialogues between moving and speaking - between gestures, rhythms and patterns in speech and in dance.  Working with improvisational structures, we will experiment with movement as a stimulus to create words and vice versa.  In the process, we will work with different interactions and translations between spoken texts (in different languages) and personal movement vocabularies. The workshop will focus on specific techniques and approaches that encourage dynamic and reciprocal exchanges between writing, speaking, sounding, and dancing. We will practice these techniques and use them to create spontaneous compositions and choreographies.

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