Building on the foundation of occasional dance courses offered at Yale since the early 1980s, Theater Studies currently supports a wide-ranging program in dance studies. The curriculum consists of studio and seminar courses that cover the history, theory, and practice of dance forms spanning time and geography, from contemporary West African dance to The Twist.
The dance studies curriculum emphasizes the study of movement as a window into larger cultural processes and historical frameworks. In keeping with the mission of Theater Studies, the courses combine practical and theoretical approaches to deepening students' understanding. In the studio courses, practical execution in the form of mastering diverse dance techniques, canonical repertory and choreographic methods is treated as an invaluable component of research and writing. The curriculum further investigates the fluid and fraught relationship between movement and language. Students develop a shared critical vocabulary for reading, interpreting and writing about dance, even as many of them learn to communicate their ideas through the creation of original dance compositions.
Courses vary in format and prerequisites, from sit-down seminars open to all interested students to studio courses designed to challenge those with prior dance training. Students who have enrolled in one or more dance courses may undertake independent research projects in dance studies. A small number of Theater Studies majors each year propose senior projects in dance.
The curriculum complements the activities of the Alliance for Dance at Yale and the extra-curricular dance groups it represents.
Cross-listed with a number of other departments, the dance studies curriculum promotes the interdisciplinary study of dance as an integral and vital element of human societies.
Dance Studies Courses Offered at Yale, Fall 2013
Dance Studies Courses Offered at Yale, Spring 2014
THST 380 / AMST 370 History of Dance (Emily Coates)
An examination of major movements in the history of concert and social dance from the late nineteenth century to the present, including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, musical theater, and different cultural forms. Exercises are used to illuminate analysis of the body in motion.
For information on meeting times and locations, visit the OCI: http://students.yale.edu/oci/search.jsp
Yale Dance Theater (YDT) is a faculty-led extracurricular initiative that enables Yale students to work with professional artists on the reconstruction of existing choreography and/or development of new work. YDT is conceived as a practice-based research initiative that allows students to investigate choreographic ideas and their historical context through a rigorous, semester-long rehearsal process, resulting in a final public performance. As part of the research, YDT dancers regularly post blog entries about their experience. YDT's mission is to track and contribute to current discourses in dance through an inquiry distinctly grounded in physical experience.
Sponsored by the Arts Discretionary Fund in Yale College in cooperation with the Dance Studies curriculum, Theater Studies, and Alliance for Dance at Yale.
Faculty director: Emily Coates
Student coordinators: Aren Vastola and Karlanna Lewis
For more information and to read the YDT Blog visit: http://ydt.commons.yale.edu