Dancing Cultures

Kingston University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Dancing Cultures

  • Host University

    Kingston University

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study

    Anthropology, Dance

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Content:

    In this module students will study dances from an anthropological perspective through
    both theoretical and critical analysis, and embodied practice and performance.

    Students will study, analyse and embody dance practices from a range of cultures and
    societies. Discussion will include how dances have been, and currently are regarded by a
    range of ?audiences? and their participants, as well as analysis of the specific contexts of
    their production, reception and consumption. Inherent in these discussions are notions
    of change, transmission and migration of dance forms and practices to other contexts.

    Students will be encouraged to explore the relationships between dance and culture,
    dance and identity, and dance and the community, as well as reflecting on the role, place
    and value of dance in a range of cultures and societies, including their own.

    Throughout the course students will participate in blocks of practical workshops that will
    develop technical and expressive skills in relevant dance styles.

    Topics covered include:
    ? Theoretical perspectives: dance anthropology, dance ethnology,
    ? The role, place and value of dance in different societies and cultures
    ? The concept of community dance
    ? Definitions of and basic critical perspectives on ?ethnic?, ?folk?, religious, competitive, theatrical, social, vernacular and popular dance forms
    ? Ethnography: participant observation, dance analysis
    ? Classical Indian dance (e.g. Bharata Natyam, Kathak, Odissi)
    ? African people?s dance
    ? The transmission of martial art forms (capoeira, wushu) to movement /
    dance practice
    ? The development of ballroom dance styles from social to the competitive
    ? ?Folk? and ?traditional? dance forms: clog, step dancing, contra dances,
    country dances, Morris dancing.

    Autumn semester topics:
    Introduction to dancing cultures, dance anthropology and its development, anthropology
    and historiography, dance and national identity, Bhangra, Folk, traditional and classical.
    Spring semester topics:
    The transmission of martial art forms (capoeira, wushu) to movement/dance practice,
    classical Indian dance (Bharata Natyam), African people?s dance.

    Teaching: Lectures, seminars and practical workshops

    ? Practical Performance Assessment (8 - 10 minutes)
    ? Written Essay (1250 ? 1500 words)
    STUDY OPTION 2 or 3:
    part of Option 1 assessment.

    Study Option 1 = Whole Year Return to top.
    Study Option 2 = Autumn
    Study Option 3 = Spring/summer

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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