Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE 20th Century Dance History

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Dance Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit locates dance study in its history and society, in selected periods.

You will study specific aspects of dance history as a means of gaining understanding of some of the traditions, conventions and changes that inform contemporary dance practice in the West. It is, for example, important to realise that historical enquiry cannot be totally separated from personal experience, so there are evidently different interpretations as to what constitutes the ‘historical’ study of dance. History can always be challenged. We begin chronologically, exploring some salient differences between ballet and modern dance, and focussing on these with special reference to notions of narrative and characterisation. We then explore selected readings and visual material in order to recognise essential differences between modern dance, contemporary dance and post-modern dance. The study-unit will make reference to notions of expressionism, modernism and abstraction.

Study-unit Aims:

- to aid articulation of an historical account of contemporary dance practice;

- to develop understanding of dance history as a specific methodology for constructing dance knowledge;

- develop understanding about dance in logical written and oral form demonstrating evidence of application of appropriate study skills.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- demonstrate the development of selected tools to critically describe and analyse dance;

- articulate a chosen historical account of contemporary dance practice;

- understand dance history as a methodology for constructing dance knowledge;

- communicate a developing understanding about dance in logical written and oral form demonstrating evidence of application of appropriate study skills.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- engage in describing, theorising, interpreting and evaluating performance texts and performance events appropriately from a range of historical perspectives;

- demonstrate study skills, interrogation of published works, analysis of dance works on video, and critically describe these works.

Selected Reading:

Au, S. (1988), Ballet and Modern Dance, London: Thames & Hudson

Banes, S (1994) Writing Dance in the Age of Postmodernism, Hanover, Washington DC: Washington University press

Carter, S and J O'Shea (eds) (2010) The Routledge Dance Studies Reader, 2nd edition, Routledge

Carter, Alexandra (2004), Rethinking Dance History: a Reader London: Routledge

Cohen, S (1992), Dance as a Theatre Art (2nd Edition), London: Dance Books Ltd

Garafola, L (1989) Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, Oxford OUP

Horosko, M (2002) Martha Graham: the evolution of her dance theory and training, Florida, University press

Jordan, S and A Grau (1996), Following Sir Fred's Steps: Ashton's Legacy, London: Dance Books Ltd

McDonagh, D (1990), The Rise and Fall and Rise of Modern Dance, London: Dance Books

School, T (1994) From Petipa to Balanchine: Classical Revival and the Modernization of Ballet, Routledge

Various videos and CD ROM Resources

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Independent Online Learning

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Essay SEM2 Yes 100%
Important - Due to the COVID19 Pandemic the information regarding the method of assessment indicated above may have been changed. Further details have been provided by your F/I/C/S.

LECTURER/S Deborah Williams

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Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.