Dec 05, 2022  
Catalogue 2021-2022 
    
Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dance Department


Chair: Miriam Mahdaviani-Goldstone;

Professors: John Meehanb, Stephen Rooks;

Lecturer: Miriam Mahdaviani-Goldstone;

Visiting Instructor: Leslie Partridge Sachs;

Adjunct Instructor: Lisa Harvie, Julian Llanos.

b   On leave 2021/22, second semester

Dance is an elective, non-major course of study. The following may be taken for a letter grade: DANC 264 , DANC 265 , DANC 266 , DANC 267 , DANC 278 , DANC 364 , DANC 365 , DANC 366 , DANC 367 , DANC 394 , DANC 395 , DANC 396 , DANC 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 DANC 215 - Dance Composition and the Craft of Choreography , DANC 170 - Movement Analysis , DANC 278 - Graham Technique and Repertory , and DANC 155 - Dance Improvisation . DANC 298 - Independent Work  and DANC 399 - Senior Independent Work , may be done at the intermediate and advanced level. The performance course, Vassar DANC 364 - Repertory Dance Theatre I , DANC 365 - Repertory Dance Theatre II , DANC 366 - Repertory Dance Theatre III , DANC 367 - Repertory Dance Theatre IV , 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.

Courses

Dance: I. Introductory

  •  

    DANC 155 - Dance Improvisation


    0.5 unit(s)
    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.

    Not offered in 2018/19.

    Course Format: OTH
  •  

    DANC 160 - Introduction to Ballet

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    Introduction to the fundamentals of the ballet class; includes the basic exercises for the barre and centre. Class exercises and video materials introduce elements of ballet artistry, choreography, and performance. Miriam Mahdaviani-Goldstone.

    Course Format: OTH
  •  

    DANC 164 - Upper Level Beginner Ballet

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    This course is for the student who has had some basic training in ballet; includes the entire barre and centre work. Class exercises and video materials introduce elements of ballet artistry, choreography, and performance. Miriam Mahdaviani-Goldstone.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: OTH
  •  

    DANC 165 - Upper Level Beginner Ballet II

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    This course is designed to reinforce basic training in ballet; includes the entire barre and preparation for more advanced centre work. Class exercises and video materials introduce elements of ballet artistry, choreography, and performance. Miriam Mahdaviani-Goldstone.

    Prerequisite(s): DANC 164 .

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: OTH
  •  

    DANC 166 - Low Intermediate Ballet I

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    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. Class exercises and video materials introduce elements of ballet artistry, choreography, and performance. Skyla Schreter.

    Prerequisite(s): DANC 160  and DANC 165  or equivalent.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 167 - Low Intermediate Ballet II

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    This course is continuation of the development of steps for centre work. Class exercises and video materials introduce elements of ballet artistry, choreography, and performance. Skyla Schreter.

    Prerequisite(s): DANC 165  and DANC 166  or equivalent.

    Course Format: OTH
  •  

    DANC 170 - Movement Analysis

    Semester Offered: Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    This course is designed to offer insight and information into body structure and movement aimed at increasing a body awareness in students of all movement disciplines.  Application of the material extends from the pedestrian experience into physical disciplines e.g.: athletics, dance, martial arts, yoga, physical therapy. Through observation, reading, exploration, discussion and analysis, the student is invited to increase body awareness and movement efficiency,  and to develop and  assimilate tools to optimize physical mechanics. With the tools of Laban Movement Analysis/Bartenieff Fundamentals (LMA/BF),  the study of basic anatomy and movement explorations, exercises and experiences, each student has the opportunity to expand awareness and integrate material fostering an increased understanding of personal movement methodology. Leslie Sachs.

    One 2-hour period.

    Course Format: OTH
  •  

    DANC 174 - Beginning Jazz Dance

    Semester Offered: Fall
    0.5 unit(s)
    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. Lisa Harvie.

    Course Format: OTH
  •  

    DANC 175 - Advanced Beginning Jazz

    Semester Offered: Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    Continued work on the fundamentals taught in DANC 174 . More demanding combinations are presented. Lisa Harvie.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 194 - Beginning Modern Dance

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    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.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 195 - Advanced Beginning Modern

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    This class continues to develop on the movement principles introduced in Beginning Modern Dance. Modern Dance faculty.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 196 - Low Intermediate Modern

    Semester Offered: Fall
    0.5 unit(s)
    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(s): DANC 195  or equivalent.

    Course Format: OTH

Dance: II. Intermediate

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    DANC 215 - Dance Composition and the Craft of Choreography


    0.5 unit(s)
    An introduction to the elements of dance composition. Body, effort, shape and space are explored within the context of creating and developing a dance.  Motivation, style, creative elements and choreographic devices are investigated along with props, music, and sound, for a discovery of one’s physical voice facilitated through movement studies. Leslie Sachs.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 264 - Intermediate Ballet I

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    1 unit(s)
    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, variations, terminology, theory, men’s class or adagio/partnering. Miriam Mahdaviani-Goldstone and Desmond Richardson.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

    Three 75-minute periods plus an arranged hour.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 265 - Intermediate Ballet II

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    1 unit(s)
    Includes further development of the classical ballet syllabus at the intermediate level. Miriam Mahdaviani-Goldstone and Desmond Richardson.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

    Three 75-minute periods plus an arranged hour.

    Course Format: OTH
  •  

    DANC 266 - Intermediate Ballet III

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    1 unit(s)
    Includes further development of the classical ballet syllabus at the intermediate level. Miriam Mahdaviani-Goldstone and Desmond Richardson.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

    Three 75-minute periods plus an arranged hour.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 267 - Intermediate Ballet IV

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    1 unit(s)
    Includes further development of the classical ballet syllabus at the intermediate level. Miriam Mahdaviani-Goldstone and Desmond Richardson.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

    Three 75-minute periods plus an arranged hour.

    Course Format: OTH
  •  

    DANC 274 - Intermediate Jazz I

    Semester Offered: Fall
    0.5 unit(s)
    Continued work in the different styles and eras of jazz dance. Traveling sequences and techniques become more demanding as does the final dance combination. Abby Saxon.

    Prerequisite(s): DANC 174  and DANC 175  or equivalent.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 275 - Intermediate Jazz II


    0.5 unit(s)
    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. Abby Saxon.

    Prerequisite(s): DANC 274  or equivalent.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 276 - Hip Hop

    Semester Offered: Spring
    0.5 unit(s)


    This is an Intermediate-level Hip Hop dance course (prior experience or permission of the instructor is required).  Students learn and master the different elements that make up Hip Hop dance. Hip Hop’s core movement originated from African dance and was developed by inner-city African and Latinx Americans in the Bronx in the 1970s. It has since entered the mainstream dance culture and is performed all over the world. This course covers a wide range of Hip Hop styles and introduces students to the latest street/urban dance moves, including Breaking (Breakin, BBoyin, and BGirlin), Popping, Locking, and House.

    Hip Hop dance classes complement the offerings of the Dance department’s Ballet, Jazz and Modern courses, thus broadening the diversity and range of styles offered to Vassar dance students. It is available as another resource for the student choreographers on campus as they continue to develop their unique choreographic voice and vocabulary. Julian Llanos.

    Prerequisite(s): Prior Hip Hop dance experience or permission of the instructor.

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: OTH

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    DANC 278 - Graham Technique and Repertory


    1 unit(s)
    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.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 290 - Community-Engaged Learning

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 or 1 unit(s)
    To be elected in consultation with the adviser and the Office of Community-Engaged Learning.

    Course Format: INT
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    DANC 294 - Intermediate Modern Dance I

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    Exercises and phrases continue from DANC 196 . Material builds in complexity and technical demand. Modern Dance faculty.

    Prerequisite(s): DANC 196  or equivalent.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 295 - Intermediate Modern Dance II

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    This class continues to develop on the movement concepts and investigations introduced in Low Intermediate Modern Dance. Modern Dance faculty.

    Prerequisite(s): DANC 294  or equivalent.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 297 - History of the Dance

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    Independent reading.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 298 - Independent Work

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 or 1 unit(s)
    Study of a topic in depth at the Intermediate level.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the dance faculty sponsor.

    Course Format: OTH

Dance: III. Advanced

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    DANC 364 - Repertory Dance Theatre I

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    1 unit(s)
    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. John Meehan and the dance faculty.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

    Tow 2-hour periods plus arranged rehearsals.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 365 - Repertory Dance Theatre II

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    1 unit(s)
    John Meehan and dance faculty.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

    Two 2-hour periods plus arranged rehearsals.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 366 - Repertory Dance Theatre III

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    1 unit(s)
    John Meehan and dance faculty.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor.

    Two 2-hour periods plus arranged rehearsals.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 367 - Repertory Dance Theatre IV

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    1 unit(s)
    John Meehan and dance faculty.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

    Two 2-hour periods plus arranged rehearsals.

    Course Format: OTH
  •  

    DANC 380 - NIQUE Contemporary Dance

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)


    NIQUE is the official techNIQUE of Complexions Contemporary Ballet founded by Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden. This technique was developed with a total body approach to training and uses a fusion of Classical and Contemporary-based dance methods to explore both on and off-center movement.  NIQUE is geared toward dancers who want to broaden their understanding of the relationship between the upper and lower body, as well as the complexities of moving freely and clearly within a Contemporary style. 

    This technique uses a Classical Ballet structure as its foundation, yet allows momentum, and the integration of a fully mobile torso, weight shift, and dynamics to enhance the outcome. Contemporary in its perspective, NIQUE places a special emphasis on coordination, physical cognition, precision, efficiency, and clarity of form.

    The NIQUE training method is designed to take a dancer to the next level, through a series of fluid exercises constructed to build strength, stability, and overall placement. From the barre to center floor, NIQUE focuses on versatility and range - with a keen awareness of the fullness in physicality necessary to convey impactful dancing.

    Within the NIQUE class, students explore the full range of the class structure from Pre-Warm Up , Plie’s, Tendeus, Dégages, Shear & Shapes, Center floor exercises, Center adagio/ traveling adagio, petite allegro, fast floor work, pirouettes, grand allegro and much more, all to ensure that the dancer has a cognitive experience in transforming their knowledge of Contemporary Ballet.

    Students write out their research on the means in which contemporary ballet bridges the gap between modern and classical dance.  Video content of various Contemporary Ballet companies such as Complexions Contemporary Ballet will be shown to the students to engage the class in a dialogue of investigation and transformation. Desmond Richardson

    Two 75-minute periods.

    Course Format: OTH

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    DANC 381 - Choreography, Performance and Production

    Semester Offered: Spring
    1 unit(s)
    Choreography, Performance and Production utilizes tools of craft and improvisation in development of an evening-length work (20-minute piece) to be performed to an open house with Q & A to follow. Students are guided through processes from the origination to the development of an original dance work, which includes design elements of music, lighting, and costuming.  Students select dancers, establish regular weekly rehearsal times, maintain a production schedule, formulate a budget (when applicable), coordinate advertising, and document their experience. Leslie Sachs.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the instructor.

    One 2-hour period and individual conferences with the instructor.

    Course Format: INT
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    DANC 394 - Advanced Modern Dance I

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    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(s): DANC 294  and DANC 295  or equivalent.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 395 - Advanced Modern Dance II

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    Modern Dance faculty.

    Prerequisite(s): DANC 294  and DANC 295  or equivalent

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 396 - Advanced Modern Dance III

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    Modern Dance faculty.

    Prerequisite(s): DANC 294  and DANC 295  or equivalent.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 397 - Advanced Modern Dance IV

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 unit(s)
    Modern Dance faculty.

    Prerequisite(s): DANC 294  and DANC 295  or equivalent.

    Course Format: OTH
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    DANC 399 - Senior Independent Work

    Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
    0.5 or 1 unit(s)
    Study of a topic in depth at the Advanced level.

    Prerequisite(s): Permission of the dance faculty sponsor.

    Course Format: OTH