College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
  
    Oct 20, 2021  
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

Music and Dance: Dance


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Courses  


Faculty

PALLABI CHAKRAVORTY, Professor of Dance and Chair
OLIVIA SABEE, Assistant Professor of Dance
JOSEPH SMALL, Assistant Professor of Dance
CHANDRA MOSS-THORNE, Lecturer, Dance (part time)
BETHANY FORMICA BENDER, Associate in Dance Performance (part time)
AQEEL BHATTI, Associate in Dance Performance (part time)
KYLE CLARK, Associate in Dance Performance (part time)
SHIVA DAS, Associate in Dance Performance (part time)
LADEVA DAVIS, Associate in Dance Performance (part time)
NAINA GREEN, Associate in Dance Performance (part time)
JEANNINE OSAYANDE, Associate in Dance Performance (part time)
SUSAN GROSSI, Administrative Coordinator


 

At Swarthmore, dance is a global discourse. The dance and music programs share an integrated approach to composition, history, performance, and theory in lecture/discussion and studio practice courses. We believe this is central to the understanding of dance as an artistic, intellectual, and social inquiry within a liberal arts context.

The Academic Program


The mission of the program is to offer students dance experiences that privilege a merging of embodied practice and history/theory in relation to more than one situated perspective (those listed above). Some courses concentrate on one cultural context only (this is true generally in history, repertory, and technique). Others put a variety of perspectives in conversation (choreographic laboratories, improvisation, history, repertory, and theory).The role of dance as an agent of social change is also present in Swarthmore dance offerings. All dance studies courses engage students in an investigation of the relationship of dance to other arts and areas of thought.

The study of Dance as a liberal art requires an integrated approach to theory, history, and performance, with experience in all three areas being essential to its understanding as an artistic and intellectual pursuit. There is no required GPA to be accepted into the program as majors and minors, but acceptance is through consensus among the faculty, and students should complete the requirements for admission to the major or minor in the first two years of study. The program offers three different areas of focus: Choreography, Dance Studies, and Individually Created (Special Major). If a student has not completed all the requirements for admission to the major or minor at the time of application but has done good work in one or more courses in the program, the student may be accepted on a provisional basis.

Dance Studies

At Swarthmore, dance students are encouraged to consider the links between aesthetics and politics, delving deeply into history or current practices to engage with dance as a global discourse. All courses in the program, whether in Dance Studies or Choreography, engage students in an investigation of the relationship between dance and other arts and areas of thought.  Many of our Dance Studies courses (which are intensive reading and writing courses) are cross-listed with Music, Anthropology, Asian Studies, French and Francophone Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Religion, Peace and Conflict Studies, Theater, and Comparative Literature, as well as eligible for Interpretation Theory and Global Studies.  Individual research projects allow a student to focus on their chosen area of study, deepening investigation under the direction of a faculty mentor.

Choreography/Dance Making

At Swarthmore, students make dances and become choreographers by developing embodied knowledge and conceptual frameworks central to creating movement dialogues and design.  Choreographers learn how to craft movement in relation to space, time, and energy dynamics as well as emotional and political content. Dance Lab (I and II): Making Dance, and Improvisation courses in our program examine how these principles apply across different dance forms and encourage experimentation with new media.  Global dialogues that embrace a variety of dance histories and critical perspectives strengthen the study of choreography from cross-cultural and inter-cultural perspectives.  We encourage students to develop their individual projects, find their own voice, explore cross-disciplinary collaborations, and refine their artistic statements.

 

The Major/Minor requirements for Dance were revised in 2021 and apply to the class of 2023 and beyond. Majors and Minors in the classes of 2021 and 2022 should refer to the 2019-2020 College Bulletin or consult with their advisor for guidance.

 

Course Major


The goal of the course major in Dance is to expose a student to the broad scope of the field. The distribution of required courses for the major provides students with an introduction to Dance Studies, Choreography, and Performance, and allows them to direct their final credit(s) in the major toward a specific focus: Choreography, Dance Studies, or an Individually Created focus (Special Major). Majors will be required to develop an extended paper or a significant dance performance piece as part of their focus. All dance majors are strongly encouraged to participate in technique and repertory classes each semester.

All Majors will design their programs in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Requirements for Admission to the Major (to be completed in the first two years of study):

1. Overall average of C or better in all courses taken during the two semesters preceding the time of application.

2. Completion of one course in dance studies at Swarthmore with a grade of B or better.

3. Completion of one course (Dance Lab I for Choreography focus and Dance Lab I or one additional dance studies course for Dance Studies focus) at Swarthmore with a grade of B or better

4. Completion of at least one .5 credit course in Dance Technique or Repertory/Ensemble

*Although Technique and Repertory courses can be repeated for credit, a student can only apply a course once towards the Major requirements. 

The dance faculty encourages students to pursue a senior project/thesis that incorporates a comparison or integration of dance with some other creative or performing art (creative writing, music, theater, or visual art), with a community-based learning component, or with another academic discipline of the student’s interest. 

Dance Studies


Requirements for the Major - Dance Studies focus:

1. Five Dance Studies courses

a. One course from: DANC 021 or 022

b. One course from: DANC 004 or 025

c. Three Dance Studies elective courses

2. Four .5 credit Dance Technique and/or Repertory/Ensemble courses*

a. One course from: DANC 040, 041, 049A, 049E, 050, 051, 051A, 060, 061, 061A, or 070

b. One course from: DANC 043, 044, 049B, 049C, 049K, or 054

c. One course from: DANC 042, 046, 049D, 049F, 056, or 057

d. One course from: DANC 040-070

3. General Electives (Choose 1 credit)

a. DANC 011. Dance Lab I: Making Dance

b. One Dance Studies course

c. Two Dance Technique and/or Repertory/Ensemble courses from DANC 040-070

4. DANC 095 and/or 096. Senior Thesis

Total credits for Major - Dance Studies focus: 9-10
 

Choreography


Requirements for the Major - Choreography focus:

1. DANC 011. Dance Lab I: Making Dance

2. DANC 012. Dance Lab II: Making Dance

3. DANC 045. Dance Technique: Yoga

4. Three Dance Studies courses

a. One course from: DANC 021 or 022

b. One course from: DANC 004 or 025

c. One Dance Studies elective course

5. Three .5 credit Dance Repertory/Ensemble courses*

a. One course from: DANC 049A or 049E

b. One course from: DANC 049B, 049C, or 49K

c. One course from: DANC 049D or 049F

6. Three .5 credit Dance Technique courses*

a. One course from: DANC 040, 041, 050, 051, 051A, 060, 061, 061A, or 070

b. One course from: DANC 043, 044, or 054

c. One course from: DANC 042, 046, 056, or 057

7. One Dance Technique and/or Repertory/Ensemble course from DANC 040-070

8. DANC 094. Senior Project

Total credits for Major - Choreography focus: 10

Note: Majors with a focus in Choreography are also strongly encouraged to enroll in THEA 003. Fundamentals of Design for Theater Performance and THEA 004B. Lighting Design. 

Course Minor


The goal of the course minor in dance is to expose a student to the broad scope of the field. The distribution of required courses for the minor provides students with an introduction to Dance Studies and Choreography and allows them to direct their final credit(s) in the minor toward one of these two areas. Minors will be encouraged, but not required, to develop an extended paper or a dance performance piece as part of their program. All dance minors are strongly encouraged to participate in technique and repertory classes each semester.

All Minors will design their programs in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Requirements for Admission to the Minor (to be completed in the first two years of study):

1. Overall average of C or better in all courses taken during the two semesters preceding the time of application.

2. Completion of one course in dance studies at Swarthmore with a grade of B or better.

3. Completion of at least one .5 credit course in Dance Technique or Repertory/Ensemble

*Although Technique and Repertory courses can be repeated for credit, students can only apply a course once towards the Minor requirements. 

Dance Studies


Requirements for the Minor - Dance Studies focus:

1. Three Dance Studies courses

a. One course from: DANC 021 or 022

b. One course from: DANC 004 or 025

c. One Dance Studies elective course

2. Additional elective courses (totaling 2.5 credits) proposed by the student and approved on an individual basis by the faculty from a combination of dance studies, choreography, technique, and repertory/ensemble courses.*

Total credits for Minor - Dance Studies focus: 5.5

 

 

Choreography


Requirements for the Minor - Choreography focus:

1. DANC 011. Dance Lab I: Making Dance

2. Two Dance Studies courses

a. One course from: DANC 004, 021, 022, or 025

b. One Dance Studies elective course

3. One .5 credit Dance Repertory/Ensemble course

4. Two .5 credit Technique courses from two of the three categories below (totaling 1 credit):

a. DANC 040, 041, 050, 051, 051A, 060, 061, 061A, or 070

b. DANC 043, 044, or 054

c. DANC 042, 046, 056, or 057

5. Additional elective courses (totaling 1 credit) proposed by the student and approved on an individual basis by the faculty from a combination of dance studies, choreography, technique, and repertory/ensemble courses.*

Total credits for Minor - Choreography focus: 5.5

Performance


Requirements for the Minor - Performance focus:

The Minor - Performance focus is currently on hold. Minors in the classes of 2021 and 2022 should refer to the 2019-2020 College Bulletin or consult with their advisor for guidance.

 

 

Honors Major


Majors in the Honors Program must have received a grade of B+ or better in all dance courses before admission. The choice of focus for a student’s major will be determined in consultation with an adviser from the dance faculty. 

The Dance Major in Honors is identical to the Dance Course Major in its basic coursework requirements.

Additional Requirements for the Honors Major: 

All dance majors in the Honors Program must do three preparations of two credits each: 

1. Dance Studies: two dance studies courses

2. Choreography: DANC 012. Dance Lab II: Making Dance and one dance studies course

3. Either Senior Project or Senior Thesis:

Senior Project (Choreography)

DANC 092. Independent Study (Fall)

DANC 094. Senior Project (Spring)

Senior Thesis with a literature review (Dance Studies):

DANC 095. Senior Thesis (Fall)

DANC 096. Senior Thesis (Spring)

Students’ choice of which courses to include in their preparations is subject to faculty approval. Syllabi, papers, and videos of student choreography from these courses will be submitted to external examiners as part of students’ Honors Portfolio. Students should be prepared to submit their final senior project or thesis proposal at the start of their junior year. 

Honors Minor


Students in the Honors Program who are presenting a major in another discipline and a minor in dance must do one two-credit preparation in dance, in either Choreography or Dance Studies. 

The Dance Minor in Honors is identical to the Dance Course Minor in its basic coursework requirements.

Additional Requirements for the Honors Minor: 

Choreography: 

1. One dance studies course

2. DANC 012. Dance Lab II: Making Dance or DANC 094. Senior Project

Dance Studies: 

1. One dance studies course 

2. DANC 095. Senior Thesis

Students’ choice of which courses to include in their preparations is subject to faculty approval. Syllabi, papers, and videos of student choreography from these courses will be submitted to external examiners as part of students’ Honors Portfolio. Students should be prepared to submit their final senior project or thesis proposal at the start of their junior year. 

 

Special Major


The program for a Special Major comprises a minimum of five credits in dance coursework. The two disciplines in this major may be philosophically linked or may represent separate areas of the student’s interest. The faculty encourages students to consider the philosophical links between the two disciplines. Examples of past special majors include: Dance and Anthropology, Dance and Art, Dance and Biology, Dance and Education, and Dance and Psychology.  Special Majors are encouraged to take at least one dance class before applying.

All Special Majors will design their programs in consultation with a faculty adviser.

Dance Studies Focus


1. Four Dance Studies courses

a. One course from: DANC 021 or 022

b. One course from: DANC 004 or 025

c. Two Dance Studies elective courses

2. DANC 095. Senior Thesis

Choreography Focus


1.    DANC 011. Dance Lab: Making Dance I
2.    DANC 012. Dance Lab: Making Dance II
3.    DANC 045. Dance Technique: Yoga
4.    One Dance Studies course from DANC 004, 021, 022, or 025A
5.    DANC 092. Independent Study
6.    DANC 094. Senior Project

Additional Information Regarding the Dance Program


Dance Technique Courses


In a typical semester, more than 30 hours of dance technique classes are offered on graded levels presenting a variety of movement styles. Technique courses may be taken for academic credit, to fulfill physical education requirements, or for 0 credit. Advanced dancers should consult with instructors or attend placement for level II or III technique classes. A total of no more than 8 full credits (16 0.5-credit courses) in dance technique and repertory classes and in music performance classes may be counted toward the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. No retroactive credit is given for technique and repertory/ensemble classes.

Off-Campus Study


Given the Dance Program’s emphasis on the cross-cultural study of dance, we strongly encourage students to pursue study abroad opportunities. The possibility to study dance in another country gives students the opportunity to hone their technique in a different cultural setting (in many cases in a different language!) as well as to explore dance studies and choreography from new perspectives and styles. In recent years, students from the Dance Program have studied in countries including England, France, Australia, Cuba, Ghana, India, and Japan as well as pursuing intensive dance study through domestic off-campus study programs. Swarthmore has a special affiliation with the University of Ghana, where students have the opportunity to study traditional dances from a wide variety of ethnic groups and regions of Ghana as well as drumming and singing.

Majors and minors interested in off-campus study should contact their faculty advisor for assistance in identifying an appropriate program. The Dance Program also offers funding to majors and minors wishing to study a dance form in Philadelphia if it is not offered on campus.

Dance Courses


Dance Technique and Repertory/Ensemble Courses


Note: Technique courses (040-048, 050-053, 060, and 061) and Repertory courses (049 [all sections], 071 and 078) may be taken for 0.5 academic credit or may be taken for physical education credit. All dance technique courses numbered 040 to 048 are open to all students without prerequisite. Courses numbered 050 to 058 and 060 to 061 have a prerequisite of either successful completion of the introductory course in that style or permission of the instructor.

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