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Course Descriptions

Core Courses

Extended Performance Topics: Dance Performance und Laban Movement Studies

3 Credit Hours

Dance Performance (45 hours)

Instructor: Giorgio Rossi

“Dance is all about the man, including the voice,” said the choreographer and theorist Rudolf von Laban. Giorgio Rossi starts from this idea. Seeking to encourage sensory memory from his students, he invites students to explore tactile, auditory, visual and scent memories. Rather than offering answers, Giorgio encourages students to listen, ask and answer questions. He believes that the most important thing to teach is the ability to improvise while listening deeply to what is inside and around, and from there the dancer builds his work.

From Bach to Balanchine, from music to dance, many great artists began their journeys with listening. Imitation is an important teaching tool, but when you invite the energy of a movement to enter your body–for example the leaf in the wind, or the river, or the butterfly-imitation can be enhanced. Students will confront their sensory memories and reproduce the perceived energies and rhythms.

Cultural Dance Studies: Butoh & Tarantella

3 Credit Hours

Butoh, 30 hours

Instructor: Mitsuru Sasaki

Butoh was born in Japan in the sixties and derived from traditional Japanese dance and performance forms. Butoh encourages the occidental dancer to look beyond traditional assumptions about time and space in order to reach out to new ground in terms of performance.

Tarantismo and Popular Dance of the Mediterranean, 45 hours

Instructor: Gianni Bruschi

The Tarantella, in the south Italian tradition, can be subdivided into several dancing-musical forms: love dances, war dances, honour and expiation dances, and ritual dances. The very ancient origins of these dances date back to Dioniso’s cult, and the traditions of these dances reflect a cultural heritage of great human and artistic value.

The assonances and expressive roots of the cultures of the Mediterranean area inspired the creation of a teaching method that, besides developing techniques, will allow the participants to increase their physical, mental and emotional talent through body exercises, expressive movement, intense dance training, and the use of the voice and theatre. Through improvisation, transposition, and interpretation of proposed thematic contexts (Tarantismo, Dionysiac mysteries, Myth, Greek Tragedy), the course is based on the study of the expressive-technical practices common to the dances of the ritual and tribal culture of several people, revised for the contemporary scene. The students will work towards a performance that will be shown in a venue in the town of Arezzo.

Dance Technique: Contemporary and Ballet

3 Credit Hours

Contemporary Technique, 44 hours

Instructor: TBA

This class proposes exercises and sequences supported both by practical demonstration and theoretical description. Beginning with a warm-up on the floor in which all limbs will be activated. Here a gentle stretch of muscles and tendons enhances the range of articulation. Slowly the vertical erection of the spine is being introduced to transfer the weight onto the feet and consequently to grow up to the standing position. The following exercises focus on the body/weight exploration using Curves, Arches, Waves, Deep Curves, Twists and Spirals and by the activation of the articulation of the feet articulation to allow a secure transfer of weight. These exercises are also characterized by juxtaposing en-dehor and parallel position of the legs: the first to allow a bigger range of movement especially in the hip articulations, the second to increase the natural body alignment and placement. Deep Bends (Pliés) will be introduced at this point to exercise the changes of levels and reach the lowest point of the body centre. Later the class develops in exercises which combine wider articulations of the limbs with more dynamic weight transfer to implement the energy and body weight in relation to gravity, referring to the concepts of fall, rebound, recovery and suspension (Humphrey-Limon technique). Longer and more complex combinations will follow including variations of speed, direction, level of performance and change of focus, putting an accent on that important and basic element: the awareness of the body centre. Furthermore the student/dancer will be encouraged to pay attention to the origin of movement (points/sections/parts of the body) and to the conscious adaptation of the proposed movement to the available room in order to discover a balanced relationship between body dimension and space.

Ballet, 30 Hours

Instructor: Carolina Basagni

This class is based on principles Vaganova technique and will take place in a local Ballet School with Carolina Basagni, who studied at the American School of Ballet and was a prima ballerina at the London Festival Ballet.

Philosophy of Art and Performance

3 Credit Hours

Philosophy of Art and Performance (44 hours)

Instructors: Emilija Dimitrijevic, PhD and Scott McGehee, PhD

The many paradoxes of the modern world, perhaps first clearly articulated by Rousseau, continue to provide a backdrop to all of our social activity: greater personal freedoms encased in a world of greater social regimentation, increased diversity of choice amidst an inexorable drive toward homogenization, increasing production of wealth along with the dramatic growth of poverty, vastly expanded communications providing the tools to increased isolation and so on.

These paradoxes often go unnoticed as they appear a natural part of life, but these phenomena had an historical development that in turn profoundly affected individual perception. Through an exploration of the development of mass production, the fragmentation and specialization of life and work, the development of the information age, the commodification of culture, the compression of time and space, the disassociation of the body and the aesthetic shifts that have accompanied these developments, this class will philosophically analyze the significance of each. We will think about art—about its nature and its important place in human life.

To facilitate this, the course brings together the writings of philosophers and the work of artists from a variety of domains. The goal is not to intellectualize art but to understand the intelligence that goes into it, to enrich our experiences of art, and to foster our own creative sensibilities. We will consider famous writings on art by thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Schiller, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Breton, Artaud, Eisenstein, Debord, Baudrillard, Foucault and others in relation to important works of literature, theatre, painting, music, architecture and film.

A philosophical analysis with help the artist situate both the work of art and the actual work of the artist in a broader framework where the role of social mediation between the artist, the work of art and the reception of the work is revealed. Likewise, the potential role of the artist and work of art as social mediation can emerge as a stimulus to the creative impulse itself.

The class format will be based on lectures and seminar-style discussions where each student will present a critical summary of at least one of the readings. A portion of the class, when possible, will include a critical examination of the student’s own experience in a particular workshop and may include Butoh dance, clown training for actors or other special workshops or master classes in which students participate.

Italian Language: Beginner or Intermediate

3 Credit Hours

Italian Language, 46 hours

Instructors: Accademia Britannica, Arezzo

The first semester course will introduce students to basic grammatical structures of the Italian language, enabling students to acquire a basic vocabulary and speaking practice.

In the second semester course, students begin moving toward fluency in Italian by focusing on communication and the exposure to a non-stereotypical, complex and modern picture of Italy and Italians.

The readings will provide a point of departure for conversation, which will be an essential component of both classes. Aspects of Italian culture and society will be covered as well.

Guest Workshops

Feldenkrais and Contact Improvisation

Wide Open Dancing: The Feldenkrais Method and Contact Improvisation, 20 hours

Instructor: Thomas Kampe

In this workshop we will use The Feldenkrais Method® as a resource for Contact Improvisation and partnering skills. Feldenkrais offers a relational perspective on movement, self-perception and somatic authority. By drawing on organic learning processes it supports a refined self-awareness, an improved skills base, and an ability to relate creatively to our environment. Through ‘Awareness through Movement’® lessons and touch-based ‘Functional Integration’® dialogues we will explore the three-dimensional movement potential of our core, to find freedom and greater possibilities in our shared movement choices as CI dancers.

Dance Theater

Instructor: Claudio de Maglio

This workshop will focus on the exploration of the basic principles in theater and dance. Space, time, the conflict and dynamics in dramaturgy and especially work through imagery. We can then begin to orient ourselves in the magnificent game of transformation using improvisation and group exercises. Doing theater is also “play” in the true sense of the word and responds to the need to better know each other, to test themselves and awaken a new life, that of the body and speech of the character. We will play with fragments of poetic texts in fun and dynamic situations.

QUICK DETAILS

15 total credit hours

Spring 2018: January 15 – April 20

Spring Break: March 3 – 11

Application Deadline: October 15, 2017

PLEASE NOTE: The dates above include arrival and departure. The Accademia dell’Arte does not accommodate students before or after these dates. 3 Credit Hours (optional: see Program Fees and Billing for more information)

APPLY NOW for this program. The Accademia dell’Arte undergraduate program is fully accredited by Hendrix College.

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