Mar 19, 2018  
Course Catalog 2010-2011 
Course Catalog 2010-2011 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Nusha Martynuk, Professor of Dance, Program Director
Ann Cooper Albright, Professor of Dance
Roger Copeland, Professor of Theater and Dance
Holly Handman Lopez, Visiting Artist
Carter McAdams, Professor of Dance
Elesa Rosasco, Associate Professor of Dance
Adenike Sharpley, Artist-in-Residence, African American Studies/Dance
Deborah Vogel, Lecturer in Dance

The Oberlin Dance Program encourages students to create, perform, and think about movement in a manner that is consonant with their experience in the other fine and liberal arts. The curriculum offers various approaches to the study of movement, from creation and performance to physical techniques, critical inquiry and somatic studies.

Dance at Oberlin is characterized by its commitment to experimentation and to the creation of original work. Student, faculty and guest artist choreography is presented throughout the year in formal concerts, and in a regular series of studio events. Outstanding resources for artistic collaboration with student and faculty directors, designers, composers, musicians, and video artists are found in Theater, the Conservatory of Music, Cinema Studies, and the Art Department.

Students also have the opportunity to explore somatic studies; with its focus on alignment, movement integration and meditative practice it offers an excellent preparation for a lifetime of personal health and work in therapeutic fields.

The Dance Program provides critical study of the field’s rich history to encourage and support students’ curiosity and willingness to take risks and explore new ideas.  Students are encouraged to recognize that movement has cultural meaning, and to find the variety of meanings inherent in different traditions and cultural contexts.  The practice of research and writing about dance in its historical context is developed to widen an appreciation of dance as an artistic and cultural phenomenon:  to include rather than exclude.

In the second semester of the junior year qualified students may be admitted to the Honors Program in Dance. The Honors project may be either, 1) an advanced level creative project in dance performance or choreography, or 2) a research topic in dance history, criticism, or theory resulting in a substantial written thesis. Advanced level creative projects also include a significant written component. At the completion of the senior Honors Project, the student is examined orally by a panel consisting of the Honors student’s faculty advisor and at least two other faculty members. Applications and further information concerning Honors work are available in the Theater and Dance Program office, Warner Center.

Winter Term
Winter Term provides an opportunity for students to engage in individual projects or a group project sponsored by the faculty. Guest artists are brought to campus each Winter Term to work with students for an intensive two or three-week period. In addition, students use this time to participate (at times with alumni of our program) in various off campus dance-related internships.

Off Campus Study
Before credit is awarded for off-campus study, students must obtain tentative prior approval from a member of the Dance faculty and the Associate Dean of Studies. After the study is completed, the student must supply evidence of satisfactory participation. A maximum of 16 hours of off-campus study may be applied to the major in Dance. 

Trinity/LaMama Performing Arts Program in New York
An intensive, one-semester Oberlin College Affiliated Program emphasizing interdisciplinary work in theater and dance that includes internships, seminars, studio classes and attendance at 45+ performances and events. Full semester’s credit through Trinity College, Hartford, CT. The program is offered in the fall semester only.  Students interested in this interdisciplinary immersion in the arts in New York City should contact Carter McAdams, Professor of Dance, for additional information.

GLCA Arts program in New York
This consists of a semester of work, ordinarily in the junior year, in the areas of technique, performance, production, and related studies. In the past, the GLCA Program has placed students with various theater companies, film and video studios, major dance studios, dance presenting organizations, dance critics, and stage designers. Students who successfully complete the GLCA Program earn credits upon payment of the transfer of credit fee. All arrangements for transferring credit must be made with a member of the Dance faculty and approval for an academic leave of absence must be granted by the Associate Dean of Studies before a student begins the GLCA Program. 

Spring Semester at NYU’s Tisch School of Arts
An affiliated program designed to offer Oberlin students a concentrated semester of study in film production, film studies or musical theater. The program is offered in the spring semester only. Interested students should contact the Office of the Dean of Studies for application forms and detailed information about the program.

The Laban Centre in London, England
A year long affiliated program, administered through Butler University, offering a unique combination of study abroad in a vibrant artistic community along with rigorous dance training in technique, theory, and technical production. Students interested in this performance based intensive should contact Elesa Rosasco, Associate Professor of Dance, for additional information.

Dance Major

Students planning to major in dance must secure the approval for a program of study from a member of the faculty in the dance division who thereby agrees to act as the student’s academic advisor. The major in dance requires 30 credit hours in course work.  Potential dance majors are advised to complete the Breadth of Study requirement first; at the time of their major declaration, in consultation with their academic advisors, students will provisionally specify those courses which will meet the Focused Study requirement.

All Dance majors and minors must sign up for required courses during pre-registration.  Only courses requiring a placement class or audition are exempt from this rule.

If concentrating in the area of Creation and Performance, rising seniors must request a senior production by April 15th of their junior year.

Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C- cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the major.


Dance Major (30 hours):


The dance major is comprised of 30 credit hours, divided into the following four areas of study:  Creation and Performance, Critical Inquiry, Physical Techniques and Somatic Studies (see listings below).

1.) Breadth of study (approx. 16 credit hours):
             2 courses from each of these areas of study:
                   Critical Inquiry, Physical Techniques
             1 course from each of these areas of study:
                   Creation and Performance; Somatic Studies 

2.) Focused study (10 credit hours, 6 of which must be above the introductory level): 
             In consultation with their major advisor, students will choose further 
             courses which will create a focus in the major. Up to two courses
             taken outside the dance program can be used toward this requirement
             provided that those courses relate directly to the chosen area of study
             and will be meaningfully integrated in the Senior Project.

3.) Remaining requirements (4-5 credit hours): 
             One course in the area of design and production
                   (see Theater course listings) 2-3 hours 
             One Production Lab (THEA 199) 0 hours 
             Senior Project - 2 hours


Dance Minor (15 hours):

A student planning to minor in dance must secure the approval of a program of study from a member of the dance faculty. The minor requires 15 credit hours in dance courses.

1.)    Courses in defined areas of study (approx. 9 hours):
         Take one course in three of these four areas:
                                 Creation and Performance
                                 Critical Inquiry
                                 Physical Techniques
                                 Somatic Studies

2.)   In consultation with their minor advisor, students will choose their remaining
        6 credits in elective courses in dance.



Critical Inquiry - theoretical and historical studies in dance

Physical Techniques - courses which focus on technical proficiency and experiential insight into various dance forms

Creation and Performance - choreographic and improvisational creative work and performance

Somatic Studies - learning about the body through a variety of movement practices and theoretical approaches which develop kinesthetic awareness and understanding of how the body functions



Critical Inquiry

Theoretical and historical studies in dance.

Physical Techniques

Courses which focus on technical proficiency and experiential insight into various dance forms.


Creation and Performance

Choreographic and improvisational creative work and performance

Somatic Studies

Learning about the body through a variety of movement practices and theoretical approaches which develop kinesthetic awareness and understanding of how the body functions.


Elective Courses

Elective Courses (may be counted under Focused Study if agreed to by advisor)


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