Guidelines for Writing about Dance

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UWM Department of Dance
Ballet I Dance -111 and Ballet 2 Dance 112
Section 803 and 804
This is a Sample Syllabus ONLY !
Instructor: Melissa Anderson
Available in office in MIT #345 T/R before and after class and by appointment
E-mail: [email protected] Office phone 229-2571
Mailbox in Dance Department Office in MIT #345
Course Description
This class seeks to increase your knowledge of the Ballet vocabulary, improve your technical
skills, and develop artistry in this technique. Emphasis will be placed on physical strengthening,
flexibility, placement, memorization, and execution of step combinations, basic elements of
injury prevention, musicality and above all artistry. You will also be introduced to basic
information on music and anatomy, as it pertains to Ballet technique and an overview of ballet
history.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, students will demonstrate an understanding of:
 Cultural and historical contexts of Ballet and its connection with other art forms
 Formal elements and principles of Ballet technique
 Of Ballet terminology/vocabulary (French)
 The characteristics and essential qualities, techniques, and processes of Ballet
 The personal and cultural significance of Dance and Dance Making
See GER Rubric for Relation of Learning Outcomes to UW System Shared Learning Goals (SLG)
and Arts Criteria
Arts Distribution Definition/UW System Shared Learning Goals (SLG)
This course addresses UW System Shared Learning Goals (SLG):
1. Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Natural World including breadth of knowledge and
the ability to think beyond one’s discipline, major, or area of concentration. This knowledge can
be gained through the study of the arts, humanities, languages, sciences, and social studies.
2. Effective Communication Skills including listening, speaking, reading, writing, and
information literacy.
This course addresses Arts Divisional Criteria Definition: A branch of learning focusing on the
conscious use of skill and creative imagination in the production of artistic objects or
performances that stress values that stand outside conventional ideas of utility. Arts Divisional
Criteria:
1. Students will demonstrate comprehension of historical, philosophical, theoretical or
aesthetic perspectives commonly used in art.
2. Students will demonstrate an ability to compare and contrast the expressive and formal
features of different artistic media and/or cultural traditions.
This course satisfies the GER program criteria for the Arts by:
 Requiring students to interpret dance work;
 Requiring students to evaluate, identify, and analyze artistic expression
according to its medium, cultural and historical context; and
 Requiring students to demonstrate an understanding of dance as a cross cultural
practice
These criteria are met through class lectures, required readings, performance attendance and
assignment written response.
Requirements:
1. Attend class: Students are required to attend all classes, to arrive early enough to be on
time and to be prepared to dance.
“Dance Department No Absence Policy
The Department of Dance has a No Absence Policy. Dance instruction is delivered in-class and
students must be present to understand course information. For any absence beyond those
permitted by campus policy (religious, military, jury duty, etc), a student may (outside of the
class meeting time) submit written documentation for consideration by the instructor. All
absence penalties are determined by the individual instructor. Any modifications to the No
Absence Policy are at the instructor’s discretion.”*
*Students will be allowed up to 2 excused absences for this course without a grade reduction.
This includes absence due to injury and illness. Please notify me via email or written note
concerning absences due to a death in the family or funeral—these absences are excused if I
am notified. Religious holidays are also excused but please notify me at the beginning of the
semester as to your participation—after-the fact notification will not be excused. Beyond the 2
excused absences and each unexcused absence will result in the lowering of your
attendance/participation grade by 2 points. If you become injured either in class or outside of
class, you are still required to attend, watch class and take notes. Please e-mail me concerning
lengthy illnesses, injuries and medications that could interfere with your performance in class
so we can discuss alternative grading strategies or if it is advisable for you to remain in the
class. Class will NOT meet on March 13th (ACDF) ,18th , or20th (Spring Break)
.
No chewing gum. NO CELLULAR PHONES ON or viewed during class.
2. Complete Mid-term Test and End-of-Semester Final Exam :
a. Midterm: a movement test will be given during the 7th week,
Tuesday March 4 and/or Thursday March 6 , 2014 . This will include Filming the class
while executing vocabulary and steps from barre and center that the class has learned.
Class will then view the recording and turn in written observations.
b. Final: a ballet terms vocabulary test will be administered during class time during the
last class May 8th, 2014 .
3.Attend a Ballet concert and write a review. During the course of the semester, you will
attend one professional ballet based dance concert) and turn in a written review/descriptive
critical/analytical response. I will post a full list of local and regional performances including
Madison and Chicago on our D2L site. The list is also posted on the Dance bulletin board in the
lounge area outside Mitchell 254 and 256. If seeing Milwaukee Ballet is not at all possible, seek
out and attend a professional ballet based concert or other recommended professional concert
(with a strong basis in ballet technique) will be fine for writing your required critique. Student
concerts, recitals or musicals are not acceptable.
We will discuss concerts in class and I will post tips for writing specifically for dance on D2L
(see “Guidelines for writing about dance”). Papers must be a minimum of 3 full pages long
and turned in within 1 week of concert attendance. Please see format for all papers below.
Please include your ticket stub and program or other proof of attendance.
NOTE: All papers, reading assignments and written response assignments have due dates as
posted in D2L. Late papers will be penalized points.
ALL make up work, rewrites, projects etc. due by by April 29, 2014 .
FORMAT (all papers must observe these guidelines) - Your paper must be at least three pages
long, double-spaced, font 11 or 12. Note: 75% of your grade will be for content and
presentation with 25% for the grammar and punctuation. Your name, course name and
number, the name of the professor teaching the class and date must be on the top left-hand
side of the first page. In addition, all pages must be properly numbered (bottom of the page).
No Word Perfect (WPS) papers will be accepted. When you ‘save’ your paper you must do it as
follows:
111_your name_Ballet_Review. Please submit in D2L drop box and turn in hardcopy.
All academic papers must follow the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. For more
details log into the two links below:
UWM Writing Center general site:
http://www4.uwm.edu/writingcenter/Resources.htm
Phone: (414) 229 4339. They also accept walk-ins
MLA style site - UWM Writing Center directs here too...
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
Guidelines for Writing about Dance
You should bring a pen and a notebook with you to the performance so that you can take notes
and /or jot down ideas that come to you during the performance. There are four main ideas to
keep in mind as you take notes. Sally Barnes suggests them in her book, Writing Dancing in the
Age of Postmodernism. They are: Evaluation, Description, Interpretation, and Context.
Evaluation: How remarkable or not was the work you saw? Was it good? Was it bad? What are
your definitions of good and bad?
Description: What did the dancers do? What does the work look and feel like? Metaphor plays
a big role in the descriptive process. As a rule, it helps to write as if you are describing this to
someone who did not see it.
Interpretation: What was communicated to you? What was the dance about to you? What is
your interpretation on the work?
Context: Where does the particular work come from historically, technically and aesthetically?
Or, on a personal level, from what context are you drawing your own interpretation? For
example, if you are witnessing the TV show The Weakest Link, you could say that it was
influenced by the hit TV shows Survivor and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Do not forget the
Introduction of your paper (where you will introduce the content of the review) and the
Conclusion (where your wrap up your thoughts).
A complete review or critique includes all these elements to some degree. The most
difficult element to include will likely be context because you simply may not know the
historical relevance of a work you have seen. Feel free to ask questions or do some research on
context on your own. Context of a dance is more difficult than the other three, but do your
best.
Again, do not assume the reader (myself) has seen any of the work you are writing
about, even if I performed in it. Steer clear of talking to me personally in these reviews. No
sentences like: “I really liked that piece that you were in. That one part where you spin on your
head was cool, well, I guess you know what I mean.”
GER ASSESSMENT RUBRIC
Overall Outcomes
Not Present
Below Average
Average
Excellent
Cultural and historical
contexts of Ballet and
its connection with
other art forms (SLG1,
3
Student did not
demonstrate an
understanding of
historical contexts of
Ballet
Student referenced
historical context
without accurately
demonstrating the
connection to other art
forms
Student demonstrated
understanding of the
historical context of the
Ballet by accurately
referencing course
content
Student demonstrated
exceptional
Student did not
demonstrate an
understanding of
formal elements and
principles
Student referenced
elements and principles
without accurately
demonstrating the
connection to other art
forms
Student demonstrated
understanding of the
elements and principles
by accurately
referencing course
content
Student demonstrated
exceptional
understanding of the
elements and principles
of Ballet Technique
Ballet
Student did not
demonstrate an
understanding of Ballet
Terminology
Student referenced
Ballet terminology
without accurately
demonstrating the
connection to other art
forms
Student demonstrated
understanding of Ballet
Terminology by
accurately referencing
course content
Student demonstrated
understanding of Ballet
Terminology and in
doing so helped us to
see and understand the
Ballet in new ways
Student did not
demonstrate an
understanding of the
characteristics and
essential qualities,
techniques, and
processes of Ballet
Student referenced the
characteristics and
essential qualities,
techniques, and
processes of Ballet
without accurately
demonstrating the
connection to course
content
Student demonstrated
understanding and
essential qualities,
techniques, and
processes of Ballet by
accurately referencing
course content
Student demonstrated
understanding and
essential qualities,
techniques, and
processes of Ballet
through
Student referenced the
personal and cultural
significance of Dance
and Dance Making
without accurately
demonstrating the
connection to the
course content
Student demonstrated
understanding of the
personal and cultural
significance of Dance
and Dance Making by
accurately referencing
course content
Art Criteria 1,2)
Formal elements and
principles of Ballet
Technique
(SLG 1,3
understanding of the
historical context of
Ballet in connection
with other art forms
Art Criteria 1,2)
Ballet Terminology
(SLG 1,3
Art Criteria 1,2)
The characteristics and
essential qualities,
techniques, and
processes of Ballet
(SLG 1,3,
Art Criteria 1,2)
The personal and
cultural significance of
Dance and Dance
Making
(SLG 1,3
Art Criteria 1,2)
Student did not
demonstrate an
understanding of the
personal and cultural
significance of Dance
and Dance Making
thoughtful and
insightful reflection
doing so helped us to
see and understand the
Ballet in new ways
Student demonstrated
understanding of the
personal and cultural
significance of Dance
and Dance Making
through thoughtful and
insightful reflection
4. Follow the Dress Code: Students are required to follow the Dance Department dress code for
ballet classes.
Dress Code
Women
Solid color leotard or unitard,
Yoga pants, pink or black tights
Ballet slippers
Hair tied back.
Men
Form fitting solid color T-shirt or leotard, form fitting bike shorts or tights
Dance belt
Ballet slippers
Class attire is to be adhered to:
No sweats, bulky sweaters OR T-shirts
No chewing gum
No loose or large jewelry
No bare midriffs
NO CELLULAR PHONES on or viewed during class
Ballet slippers and other dance wear can be purchased locally at Trep-Art (13865 W North Ave.,
Brookfield, Phone: 262.786.8868) or on line at
Discount Dance Supply (www.discountdance.com) and
Dance Distributors (www.dancedistributors.com).
Ballet slippers are also available at Danceworks (1661 N. Water Street –east side Milwaukee
phone 414-277-8480 )
Required Text:
Ballet Basics (Fifth Edition) by Sandra Noll Hammond.
Available at new and used at amazon.com and at the UWM bookstore also on reserve at the
UWM Library
Also helpful: Ballet terminology easily available on D2L for this class.
Class content:
Classes will consist of a ballet barre and center. There will be occasional video showings in class
or links to view outside of class time, assigned readings and written responses, assignments to
create and perform short phrases alone or with a partner and discussion of required concerts.
Several classes may be taught by guest Master teachers and/or combined with guest
professors. Students will attend ONE professional Ballet concert off site and OUTSIDE of Class
time.
Course Workload for UWM Dance Classes sections 804 and 806 (3-credit class for 144 hours)




2.5 class hours weekly including showings and/or quizzes/exams (total for 14 weeks=35
hours)
2-3 hours concert attendance or film screening (1 professional performance)
3-9 hours weekly for readings, assignments and video review (total=42-126 hours)
2-4 hours weekly for rehearsals as field experience (total=28-56 hours)
Course Workload for UWM Dance Classes section 803 and 805 (2-credit class for 96 hours)




2.5 class hours weekly including showings and/or quizzes/exams (total for 14 weeks=35
hours)
2-3 hours concert attendance or film screening (1 professional performance)
2-4 hours weekly for readings, assignments and video review (total=28-56 hours)
1-2 hours weekly for rehearsals as field experience (total=14-28 hours)
Physical Contact/Touch:
In order to facilitate awareness and corrections, dance teachers incorporate tactile
manipulation or light touch. If you have discomfort or trauma associated with being touched, I
will be mindful and respectful. Please notify me via e-mail or by speaking with me before class
or by appointment.
Grading Criteria:
1. Attendance and active Participation: punctuality, class participation and
focus/presence/enthusiasm as well as adherence to the dress code and attendance at
required ballet concert
= 50 points /100
2. Improvement: acquired skill, recognition of ballet vocabulary and other information
covered, musicality, personal growth and change
= 10 points /100
3. Mid-term: Filmed class and movement test and written self observations
= 10 points
4. FINAL :vocabulary Test
=10 points /100
5. Critique Paper on ballet based dance concert attended
=10 points
6. Written responses to video or reading selections
=10 points /100
NOTE: Failure to complete any required aspect of the course, including mid-term test,
Final test, assigned readings and written assignments including the performance
critique, is unsatisfactory and will result in failure of the course.
University Policies regarding students with disabilities, observance of religious holidays, military
duty, incompletes, discriminatory conduct, academic misconduct, complaint procedures and
grade appeals can be located at: www.uwm.edu/Dept/SecU/SyllabusLinks.pdf
Final grades will be assessed on the following scale
A
93-100 points
A90-92 points
B+
87-89 points
B
83-86 points
B80-82 points
C+
77-79 points
C
73-76 points
C70-72 points
D
65-69 points
F
64 points or less
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