Dance Department

Professor: Jeanne Periolat Czula (Chair), John Meehan (Director of VRDT), Stephen Rooks (Resident Choreographer); Lecturers: Katherine Wildberger* (Assistant Director of VRDT);Adjunct Instructor: Abby Saxon*.

Dance is an elective, non-major course of study. The following may be taken for a letter grade: Dance 264, 265, 266, 267, 278, 364, 365, 366, 367, 394, 395, 396, 397. The remaining courses are taken for academic credit, but as ungraded.

A majority of the courses offered are in technique. Ballet, jazz and modern, may be taken at the beginning and intermediate levels, and modern at the advanced. There are also courses in Craft of Choreography 215, Movement Analysis 170, Graham Technique and Repertory 278, and Improvisation 155. Independent Study, 298 and 399, may be done at the intermediate and advanced level. The performance course, Vassar Repertory Dance Theater 364-367, may be taken with the special permission of the instructor(s) and only after a successful audition in the first week of a-semester. The audition date is announced each year upon the students arrival.

Requirements for dance courses vary with the instructor and subject matter, but each technique course demands a skill level of achievement, attendance, and a demonstrable improvement at an acceptable level. Several courses involve written testing and/or research papers.  Courses within a single discipline/area of study in dance, e.g., ballet, modern or jazz, may only be taken for credit in ascending numerical order, i.e, one may not register in one level and subsequently receive credit in a lower level.  One may, however, with the permission of the instructor, audit classes in an any sequence.  Please consult with the teacher of the course for any audit privileges.

I. Introductory

[ 155a. Dance Improvisation ](1/2)

This is a non-performance oriented approach to discovering one's movement potential and physical and thought patterns through improvisation. Utilizing contact improvisation, music visualization, and personal expression, this course is designed to develop freedom of thought and movement. The improvisation techniques range from aerobic to meditative. Creative games, spatial awareness, and problem solving are investigated in order to discover the innovative language of the body. Disability is not a limitation. Ms. Wildberger.

Not offered in 2009/10.

160a and b. Beginning Ballet(1/2)

Introduction to the fundamentals of the ballet class; includes the basic exercises for the barre and centre. Ballet faculty.

165a and b. Beginning Ballet II(1/2)

This course is for the student who has had some basic training in ballet; includes the entire barre and centre with some emphasis on Vaganova vs. Cecchetti terminology. Ballet faculty.

166a and b. Low Intermediate Ballet I(1/2)

This is a course for the student who has good beginner training (complete barre and some centre work). The emphasis is on the development of steps for centre work, i.e. adagio, petit allegro, etc. Ms. Periolat Czula.

Prerequisite: Dance 160 and 165 or equivalent.

167a and b. Low Intermediate Ballet II(1/2)

This course is continuation of the development of steps for centre work. Ms. Periolat Czula.

Prerequisite: Dance 165 and 166 or equivalent.

170b. Movement Analysis(1/2)

This course focuses on a study of movement designed to increase body awareness in students of all movement disciplines. Through observation, analysis and exploration, students are introduced to functional anatomy, Laban Movement principles, identification of personal movement habits and the understanding of movement efficiency. Students participate in an eclectic mix of movement experiences that include games, improvisations and exercises. This work is beneficial to the dancer, musician, actor and athlete in us all. Ms. Wildberger.

One 2-hour period.

174a. Beginning Jazz Dance(1/2)

Jazz dance, which can be defined as "popular dance of the times", incorporates many different styles and eras of dance including cakewalk, Charleston, lindy-hop and swing, blues, tap, ballroom, rock and roll and hip-hop as well as use of modern and ballet vocabulary. There is an emphasis on body isolations, pulsing movements, rhythm patterns, weightedness and momentum. The class includes warm-up, traveling sequences and a final combination. Ms. Saxon.

175b. Advanced Beginning Jazz(1/2)

Continued work on the fundamentals taught in 174. More demanding combinations are presented. Ms. Saxon.

194a and b. Beginning Modern Dance(1/2)

This course is an introduction to the basic principles and history of American modern dance. Class work introduces students to technical concepts involved in training the body to be an articulate, expressive instrument. The course includes some outside written work, performance attendance, and video viewing all aimed at giving a background necessary to the appreciation of dance as a creative art form. No prior dance experience is necessary. Modern Dance faculty.

195a and b. Advanced Beginning Modern(1/2)

This class continues to develop on the movement principles introduced in Beginning Modern Dance. Modern dance faculty.

196a and b. Low Intermediate Modern(1/2)

Continued work in the fundamentals of American modern dance movement from advanced beginning. Combinations become more demanding and students are introduced to etudes in various modern styles and techniques. Modern dance faculty.

Prerequisite: Dance 195 or equivalent.

II. Intermediate

215a. Dance Composition and the Craft of Choreography(1/2)

An introduction to the basic elements of dance composition. Body space, stage space, time, form, props, and music are incorporated in the creative process resulting in the student's own dynamic studies. Modern Dance faculty.

264a and b. Intermediate Ballet I(1)

Development of the classical ballet syllabus at the intermediate level. This course includes three 11/2-hour sessions per week with an added arranged hour to be used for work in one of the following areas: pointe, terminology, theory, men's class or adagio/partnering. Ms. Periolat Czula and Mr. Meehan.

Permission of instructor.

Three 75-minute periods plus an arranged hour.

265a and b. Intermediate Ballet II(1)

Includes further development of the classical ballet syllabus at the intermediate level. Ms. Periolat Czula and Mr. Meehan.

Permission of instructor.

Three 75-minute periods plus an arranged hour.

266a and b. Intermediate Ballet III(1)

Includes further development of the classical ballet syllabus at the intermediate level. Ms. Periolat Czula and Mr. Meehan.

Permission of instructor.

Three 75-minute periods plus an arranged hour.

267a and b. Intermediate Ballet IV(1)

Includes further development of the classical ballet syllabus at the intermediate level. Ms. Periolat Czula and Mr. Meehan.

Permission of instructor.

Three 75-minute periods plus an arranged hour.

274a. Intermediate Jazz I(1/2)

Continued work in the different styles and eras of jazz dance. Traveling sequences and techniques become more demanding as does the final dance combination. Ms. Saxon.

Prerequisite: Dance 174 and 175 or equivalent.

[ 275b. Intermediate Jazz II ](1/2)

Continued work at the intermediate level of jazz technique including traditional styles such as Luigi and Fosse as well as moving on to more contemporary styles of the later twentieth century. Ms. Saxon.

Prerequisite: Dance 274 or equivalent.

Not offered in 2009/10.

278b. Graham Technique and Repertory(1)

This course is designed for Intermediate/Advanced level dancers who want to explore, in-depth, the codified technique of Martha Graham, a pioneer of American Modern Dance. Students learn excerpts from selected classic works of the Graham Repertory. Supplementary video viewing and a lecture during an arranged lab time are required. Mr. Rooks.

Three 75-minute periods.

290a and b. Field Work(1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser and field work office.

294a and b. Intermediate Modern Dance I(1/2)

Exercises and phrases continue from Physical Education 196. Material builds in complexity and technical demand. Modern Dance faculty.

Prerequisite: Dance 196 or equivalent.

295a and b. Intermediate Modern Dance II(1/2)

This class continues to develop on the movement concepts and investigations introduced in Low Intermediate Modern Dance. Modern Dance faculty.

Prerequisite: Dance 294 or equivalent.

297a and b. History of the Dance(1/2)

Independent reading.

298a and b. Independent Work(1/2 or 1)

Permission of the dance faculty sponsor. Study of a topic in depth at the Intermediate level.

III. Advanced

364a and b. Repertory Dance Theatre I(1/2)

Performance in repertory of master choreographers. Works by students and faculty are also offered. In addition, several workshops in new student choreography are given throughout the year. Auditions for intermediate and advanced students are held the first week in September. Mr. Meehan and dance faculty.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period plus arranged rehearsals.

365a and b. Repertory Dance Theatre II(1/2)

Mr. Meehan and dance faculty.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period plus arranged rehearsals.

366a and b. Repertory Dance Theatre III(1/2)

Mr. Meehan and dance faculty.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period plus arranged rehearsals.

367a and b. Repertory Dance Theatre IV(1/2)

Mr. Meehan and dance faculty.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period plus arranged rehearsals.

394a and b. Advanced Modern Dance I(1/2)

Continuation and enlargement of all previously taught material. In addition, advanced work in phrasing and musicality is combined with the development of a personal ‘voice' or style in one's dancing. Modern Dance faculty.

Prerequisite: Dance 294 and 295 or equivalent.

395a and b. Advanced Modern Dance II(1/2)

Modern Dance faculty.

Prerequisite: Dance 294 and 295 or equivalent.

396a and b. Advanced Modern Dance III(1/2)

Modern Dance faculty.

Prerequisite: Dance 294 and 295 or equivalent.

397a and b. Advanced Modern Dance IV(1/2)

Modern Dance faculty.

Prerequisite: Dance 294 and 295 or equivalent.

399a and b. Senior Independent Work(1/2 or 1)

Permission of the dance faculty sponsor. Study of a topic in depth at the Advanced level.