PASJ 181 - Dance and Social History (4)

Dance, like all of the arts, is a product of the culture in which it is created. Social and political climates, cultural values, and issues of personal identity create the framework within which all dance artists create their work. Throughout history, dancers and choreographers have responded to their cultural contexts in more or less conscious ways. Many have used the craft of choreography to give a voice and/or visibility to ideas, issues or populations that directly challenge the attitudes of their communities. This has manifested itself in many ways as dance has evolved as a presence in our culture. This course will use the history of Western concert dance as a means for exploring these connections in greater depth. Particular focus will be paid to the history of ballet, jazz and modern dance and the principle figures of these fields whose work has impacted the ways we think about dance as an agent for activism, artistic innovation and change.