Spring 2006

ARTS 669
Writing on Dance


01/23/2006 - 05/06/2006
Wednesday 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Davison Art Center 300

Martha Graham said, "The body never lies." In this class, we will focus on writing as a tool to examine how we see dance. What catches our attention as a viewer? What are we actually noticing, and what are we being asked to see in a given event or performance? Can we catch the body in a lie? We will hone our skills of seeing through improvisational exercises, viewing, writing, and giving feedback about what is written. Considering the kinesthetics of our seeing, and how this influences the pleasure of watching, we will identify our personal viewing styles.

Texts will include excerpts from Contact Quarterly, Edwin Denby's Writing on Dances, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen's Sensing, Feeling, Action, and Simone Forti in Taken by Surprise.

We will practice writing that captures something of our investigations in the seeing of movement. Assignments will consist of weekly journaling, short writing and movement investigations including a response to campus and/or a community performance, and a longer work-in-progress that we will follow through its developmental stages: source material, soliciting feedback, re-working and editing, and public showing.

In-class participation in improvisations will be an important part of the evaluation process.

No prior dance experience required, but a willingness to investigate movement is a necessity! Come to class prepared to move (in loose clothing) and with a short paragraph describing any kind of movement from daily life.

This course may, by petition, count toward the Humanities concentration.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus

Melinda Buckwalter (B.A., Cornell University, M.F.A., Bennington College) will be visiting assistant professor of dance in Spring 2006. She has taught ballet, and anatomy and kinesiology, Qigong, release technique, and improvisation at Cornell University and Bennington College. Her articles have appeared in Contact Quarterly and her book, Trusting the Moment: Composing through Dance Improvisation is forthcoming from the Rosen Publishing Group's Dance and Movement Press.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:

PLEASE NOTE: A course packet of readings is required for student purchase, and will be available at Broad Street Books.


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Contact glsinquire@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. 
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