Acts of Trans: -Lation, -Dancing, -Texting, -Posing, -Musicking
NEW! Last Updated: 11/12/2009
Major areas of study include dance and musical performance, writing
Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 50% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.
This program explores music, dance, and writing. What happens when they are in dialog with each another (performing "writing" in "music", "dance" in "writing" . . .)? In some cases, the boundaries between the media will become more obvious, in others, we will create combinations that do not yet have names. Through various juxtapositions and collaborations, we are looking to trans-late --- or rather, to trans-mogrify (change the shape of) --- one medium by giving it the fairy's kiss (or the witch's curse) of another.
these three fields, what are the relationships between a work's
structure and its medium? A writing can have a content that changes the
mind of its audience. A music can have a "form" (12-bar blues, sonata
form) and a writing can have a "form" (sonnet, short story), but can a
dance have a "form"? Is "content" the death of dance, and is dance the
death of "content"? What happens we make music out of the phonebook? An op-ed out of a dance? How
does the juxtaposition of one medium on another change the two? Is a
text ruined if it is overlaid with a music or a dance that is
"inappropriate" to the content? And how do we arrive at the
conclusion of what is "inappropriate" music or dance for a text?
Experiment: read a text by Rush Limbaugh aloud during a dance: how does it change the dance? Now perform the dance again, to the music of "Rubber Ducky" but the lyrics of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" --- how does this juxtaposition change the meaning of the dance? And why does it do so? As creators ourselves, we seek those questions for which the act of answering requires creation --- and we pose them to you too. (Questions whose answers already exist don't need creators --- they need re-gurgitators.)
By understanding a second discipline, the limits of the first are revealed: in order to know one, you must know two. The goal to learn is that by over-reaching yourself, you learn what your reach is, but if you don't over-reach, you'll only retch, not reach, you poor wretch. We give you three subjects to learn --- MusicDanceText --- so that you learn to keep alive the pleasure of learning, which is the pleasure of becoming. The learning goal is: the life of self-directed change. And just as the 2nd is needed for the 1st, so too do we need others to realize what our-selves are: learning is becoming a social activity.
We will have separate workshops on the history, techniques, and exercises of each discipline. Students will choose one of the three workshops to participate in. We will have a combined showing at the end of the quarter of the three workshops' work.
Faculty will present examples of the difficulties and problems with the medium of performance: the resistance of audiences to learning, the perils of "talking down" to an audience, techniques of presentation of social problems, and the social function of language in the presentation of thought. These lectures and workshops, together with skills-based work on various modes of performance, will help frame and support students’ independent work. There will also be class trips to performances, and presentations by visiting artists. Readings may include works by Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, and contemporary artists and thinkers working on hybridity and collaboration. This program will include a strong focus on critical writing. Students should be prepared to challenge the boundaries between critical and creative processes--which will be inextricably linked in all our activities--and to take intellectual risks with each other on a regular basis.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Special Expenses: $100 in Fall for tickets to performances.
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in music and dance performance, writing and activism.
|June 11th, 2009||This program changed from CORE to Lower Division.|
|August 3rd, 2009||This program changed from Lower Division to All Level.|
|August 24th, 2009||Fees have been added.|
|November 12th, 2009||This program will not be offered in Winter; Elizabeth Williamson and Arun Chandra will be teaching Performing meaning, translating thought and Rob Esposito will teach Making Dances: Creative Process in Motion.|