Magazine article Dance Magazine

Put It into Words: Programs with Strong Dance-Writing Courses

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Put It into Words: Programs with Strong Dance-Writing Courses

Article excerpt

Dancers best communicate through movement, so it's unsurprising that they don't always find it easy to talk about the form. That's why some dance programs make writing part of their curriculum, asking students to think critically about their own work. "Being exposed to writing practices helps us to be more reflective about dance, its place in the world and its impact on us and others," says Linda Caruso Haviland, director of dance and chair of the arts program at Bryn Mawr College. "It can enrich our experience."

BARNARD COLLEGE

New York, NY

barnard.edu

Degree offered: BA in dance

No. of majors: 12-14 per class

Writing courses: Barnard offers dance criticism, in which students analyze live performances and footage from the library's large video collection. They respond to readings by and about significant dance figures, and, In some technique courses, write reflections on their time In the studio. Local critics, like The New York Times' Alastair Macaulay, have given guest lectures.

Senior year: Students complete a one-semester written thesis on a topic of their choice. This Is In addition to a creative project In the spring.

Published work: Select theses and other writings have been submitted to on-campus journals, as well as publications like DanceView and Ballet Review.

Barnard offers several courses that require students to attend and write about performances in New York City.

BRYN MAWR COLLEGE

Bryn Mawr, PA

brynmawr.edu

Degree offered: BA in dance

No. of majors: 4-5 total

Writing courses: Students critique live performances, respond to lectures and readings and keep journals about their experiences In the studio. …

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