Most of us come to Bryn Mawr having experienced Dance in the studio or on the stage. Dance is art, but it is also play, ritual, social practice, courtship, culture, politics, and more. As a complement to studio and performance, the Dance Program offers a selection of courses that both introduces students to this multi-layered notion of dance and engages a variety of approaches ranging from the analytic to the experiential so that we can make better sense of dance as an important human activity that has existed across cultures and throughout time. These courses utilize the creative, critical, and conceptual processes of dance and position it as both the focus and critique of those fields of scholarly inquiry that study or emanate from dance in its many forms and functions. These courses are open to all students. Our core courses, which are offered in a three year cycle, include: Approaches to Dance: Themes and Perspectives; Dance History I and II; Arts Teaching in Community and Educational Settings; Anthropology of Dance; and Anatomy and Kinesiology for the Dancer. Additional courses cycled in include: Performing the Political Body: Dance and Power; Dance, Migration and Exile; and Performing the City; Theorizing Bodies in Space.
Bryn Mawr also engages visiting professors bi-yearly who have taught lecture courses within a specialized topic within or that explore dance forms and cultures beyond traditional Western theatre dance. A few of these courses have included: Dr. Toni Shapiro-Phim -- Dance, Migration and Exile; Dr. Yutian Wong -- Asian American Cultural Studies and Performance; Dr. Brenda Dixon Gottschild -- Africanisms in American Culture: Dance and other contexts; Dr. Pallabi Chakravorty -- Dancing Desire in Bollywood
Films; and Lester Tomé -- Nation, Class and Gender in Latin American Dance.
In addition, students can utilize an independent study option in dance. Past student work has included a variety of final projects ranging from field research to scholarly papers.