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Courses

THD 500 Improvisation                                                                                                        2 credits

This course investigates solo and group movement improvisation through the use of improvisational structures and sensory experiences, and includes historical context and improvisational theory. Equal emphasis is placed on improvisation for movement invention and improvisation as a performance device and choreographic form. This course seeks to prepare the dancer to be a versatile performer and choreographer and to respond to a variety of movement demands.

THD 506 Dance Theory, Aesthetics and Criticism                                                      3 credits

This course investigates critical and aesthetic theory in relation to dance. Special consideration is given to structures of story telling and representation within dance, valuations of genre, dance philosophy, and historical change in understandings of movement and the body. Students develop their analytical thinking and writing skills as they formulate, articulate, and analyze personal theories, and critically evaluate dance reviews, book reviews, and annotated bibliography as part of the research component of the course.

THD 507 Graduate Tap                                                                                                          2 credits

The course focuses on the historical exploration and comparative study of traditional and contemporary tap dance styles with the following objectives: to broaden the aesthetic range of dance students, to expand their professional preparation in the field, and to solidify their movement vocabulary as it intersects with music/rhythmic complexities. A strong emphasis is placed on aural elements: shading, accenting, and sound clusters; visual elements: foot articulation and body line; and expressive elements: addressing performance and artistic sensibilities. Student will be expected to assimilate traditional and contemporary forms and complete projects and presentations with written observations.

THD 510 Graduate Modern Dance 1                                                                                   2 credits

This course is an advanced modern technique class exploring a broad range of movement material from contemporary styles and theories. The goal of this course is to refine students’ technical and performance skills at an advanced level.

THD 511 Graduate Modern Dance 2                                                                                   2 credits

This course is a continuation of THD510 Grad Modern 1. Students further refine their technical and performance skills in this advanced modern technique class through an exploration of a broad range of movement material from contemporary styles and theories.

THD 513 Graduate Seminar 1                                                                                               3 credits

This course focuses on career resources and issues such as: grant writing, funding sources, resume writing, digital portfolios, establishing web presence, academic -vs- non-academic jobs, and PhD study.

THD 514 Graduate Seminar 2                                                                                               3 credits

This course focuses on current issues in dance and the contextualization of the artist and the art form in contemporary society.

THD 515 Mind-Body Integration                                                                                         3 credits

This course focuses on the study of one or more somatic (mind-body) practices, including but not limited to Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method, Laban Movement Analysis/Bartenieff Fundamentals, Body-Mind Centering, Yoga, Gyrokinesis, and/or Pilates. Emphasis is placed on cultivating self-awareness, individual expressivity, self-acceptance, and personal agency in a non-competitive learning environment. Students are expected to demonstrate and discuss specific applications and benefits of somatic principles and practices to their area(s) of interest.

THD 517 Graduate Jazz Dance 1                                                                                         2 credits

Advanced work in classical jazz dance and its connection to the rich multicultural, multiethnic traditions and histories that inform American jazz dance. Students investigate and define signature styles and schools of thought of classic jazz dance as presented by early prime movers of jazz dance to include: Jack Cole, Matt Mattox, Luigi, Phil Black, and Gus Giordano. Students are expected to assimilate comparative techniques and styles, and complete projects and presentations with written observations.

THD 518 Graduate Jazz Dance 2                                                                                         2 credits

Continuation of THD 517. Advanced work in contemporary jazz dance styles and techniques. Students explore comparative jazz dance movement through vernacular time periods, making connections to current contemporary forms, including contemporary dance, hip hop, and other world dance forms. Detailed attention is paid to cross influences of jazz dance and music. Students are expected to assimilate comparative techniques and styles, and complete projects and presentations with written observations.

THD 520 Graduate Ballet 1                                                                                                   2 credits

This course focuses on the principles of ballet as they relate to the diversified 21st century dancer. Attention is given to anatomically sound movement principles, and ongoing development of artistic expression and mature artistry appropriate to the genre. Opportunity for feedback, reflection and assessment guides the dancer towards their aesthetic goals. Students are expected to complete movement and written projects and presentations.

THD 521 Graduate Ballet 2                                                                                                    2 credits

Continuation of THD 520. Ballet technique of increased difficulty, variety, and complexity, with attention to precision of execution, performance, and style.

THD 530 Political and Cultural Approaches to Dance                                              3 credits

This course examines dance as a reflection of society and culture from the early 20th Century to today. Focus is placed on the development of dance, dancers, choreographers, and significant dance works in relation to existing and emerging social, economic, and political contexts. Students will apply their knowledge of contemporary dance theory to understanding the impact of cultural and political phenomena on the development of dance as an art form. The course introduces interpretation of historical evidence in political and cultural contexts and culminates in the student’s development of an original piece of dance scholarship that engages cultural dimensions of dance production.

THD 532 Kinesiology/Anatomy for Dancers                                                                   3 credits

This course examines Anatomy and Kinesiology as it specifically applies to the needs of dancers. Special attention is placed on experiential learning, practical application to technique class and injury prevention. Students are expected to develop the ability to assess anatomical strengths, weaknesses and differences in themselves and others, to apply this knowledge to their dancing, and to adapt their dance technique to the constraints of their unique structural and muscular systems. A comprehensive research project is required.

THD 535 Studies in Lighting Design                                                                                   3 credits

Graduate study of issues in lighting design for dance. As a final project, students will have the opportunity to create a lighting design for a dance production.

THD 540 Dance Making I: Resources                                                                                  3 credits

This course explores the art and craft of making dances. Choreographic structure and choreographic process are studied through assigned projects. Both traditional and non-traditional choreographic forms and choreographic tools are studied. This course is centered on the expressivity of movement, and challenges the student to make it visible. One focus is on skills: building the abilities to manipulate movement, work fruitfully with others, use sound and music effectively, and create form that is content. The other, and equally important, focus is on uncovering and developing each student’s individual artistic sense and vision. Students explore various inspiration/departure points for making solo, small group and larger group works. All techniques/styles may be used in project work. Students are expected to present and defend work in class via both verbal and written means.

THD 541 Dance Making II: Workshop                                                                               3 credits         

This Lab course is designed for students to expand their dance making skills and hone their critical thinking and speaking abilities in an interactive workshop setting. Students explore, reflect on and cultivate their individual creative processes while developing work to be presented in a studio showing. Issues related to presentation in traditional theatrical venues and alternate performance spaces are addressed. Students also engage with various models of choreographic feedback. Students have the opportunity to audition their resultant work for presentation in formal concerts or other venues. Students are expected to present and defend work in class via both verbal and written means.

THD 542 Dance Making II: Collaboration                                                                       3 credits

This course investigates dance making in collaboration with a broad spectrum of possible disciplines including visual art, technology, film, architecture and music, among others. Participants will experience the collaborative process through the generation of new work and will share their dance making practices through regular work-in-progress presentations. The course includes lectures, video viewings and required readings.

THD 543TUT Graduate Studio: Performance                                                               1-3 credits repeatable

This course is designed to enhance student expertise in the area of dance performance. Students gain performing experience allowing them to further develop their personal artistry and physical expressivity. This course is repeatable, thus offering students a range of choreographic, performance, and/or production opportunities.

THD 544TUT Graduate Studio: Physical Practice                                                     1 credit repeatable

This course is designed to enhance student expertise in the area of physical practice/dance technique. Students gain experience in a specific movement style allowing them to hone their personal artistry and technical skills in the studio and develop a personal approach to dance training. This course is repeatable and can be used to study a wide range of dance styles, proficiency levels and points of view. Students are expected to fulfill the requirements associated with the tutorial course.

THD 545TUT Directed Projects                                                                                          1-3 credits repeatable

This course provides the opportunity for mentored choreographic project work and includes both faculty and peer observation and critique. Students are expected to present their resultant work in a formal concert or other venue.

THD 550 Graduate Laban Movement Analysis                                                            3 credit

This course provides a practical and theoretical exploration of Rudolf Laban’s system of observation, description, and analysis of movement characteristics that include Body, Effort, Shape, and Space, and Irmgard Bartenieff’s system of body re-education for developing techniques that enhance movement efficiency, body connectivity, and expressivity. Focus is placed on application to all aspects of dance and the dance field.

THD 554 Dance Pedagogy in Higher Education                                                           3 credits

This course focuses on pedagogical theory and practice of dance teaching with emphasis on application in post-secondary education. The course investigates industry standards for teaching dance that include: developing goals, objectives; value systems for teaching dance; understanding the content of dance and students needs; and incorporating diverse resources. The course addresses the need to grow professionally and personally in order to meet the challenges of advancing dance and dance education in the 21st century.

THD 575 Internship in Dance                                                                                              1-3 credits repeatable

A hands on experience in the arts and dance community that provides exploration in an area of special interest, networking opportunities, and transition into the workplace. Internships may include but are not limited to: arts administration, marketing, technical theater, dance production, teaching, and writing.

THD 580 Special Topics                                                                                                         1-3 credits repeatable

A seminar/laboratory course focusing on a varying series of topics, selected according to student interests, current faculty research, and available guest artists and master teachers. Topics can include a wide variety of historical, aesthetic, cultural, technological and political issues.

THD 582 Creative Process and Embodied Research                                                  3 credits

This seminar examines practice as theory through analysis of creative processes, critical vocabularies of embodiment, and our own lived experience as practitioners and researchers. It is grounded in the assumption that practice is research, and research is practice. With a firm foundation in dance making and dance studies, we will engage philosophical, cognitive scientific, feminist, queer, performance studies, and historical notions of embodiment in our discussion and engagement as researching bodies. Our investigations will include theories of embodiment and also those phenomena generally ascribed to “the body” such as emotions, the senses (particularly kinesthetic and touch), gender, and race. Students will explore and articulate the research practices inherent in their own creative inquiry, and how their body-based research intersects other disciplines. The course objectives are for students to be conversant in the interdisciplinary field of embodiment via several points of contact and to be able to place themselves as a researching/practicing body within these discourses.

THD 599 Independent Study                                                                                               1-3 credits repeatable

This course is designed to enhance the student’s knowledge and/or expertise in a particular area of interest. Projects may include: performance, choreography, education, production, arts management, and research. Students work closely with a faculty supervisor in the design and implementation of their project. Students will be expected to submit a full report (verbal and/or written) of their work. Creative projects may also have a production element.

THD 602 Masters Project                                                                                                      3-9 credits repeatable

This course provides the platform for the research, development, and performance of a new dance work for MFA thesis concert presentation. Faculty supervision at all stages is required. Students are expected to demonstrate competence in physical preparation and execution of their project. Students must also produce written documentation and analysis of the process and results.

THD 605 Dance Teaching Seminar                                                                                   1 credit

This 1 credit course will serve as an introduction for teaching practices and pedagogical concepts of dance in higher education. Major components include the introduction and practice of writing course syllabi, creating lesson plans, and developing grading rubrics applicable to different proficiency levels and technique styles. The course is constructed to expand the students’ professional preparation in the field of dance teaching. This course is suggested for all emergent dance teachers and required for Graduate TA’s and other dance students who will be teaching THD technique classes. Students will be expected to demonstrate competence in both written and physical preparations appropriate for dance teaching in higher education.

THD 606 Supervised Teaching                                                                                           1-4 credits repeatable

This course gives MFA students practical experience in teaching dance in higher-ed. Students selected for this course must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of dance and pedagogical practices prior to enrollment. Students are responsible for developing and implementing a syllabus appropriate for the assigned course. Detailed lesson plans are required. Students will be supervised, advised and evaluated by dance faculty.

Photo courtesy of Paul Hokanson