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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Andrea I. Woody
DANCE 420
Seattle Campus

Dance Aesthetics

Philosophical investigation of the expressive elements of dance. Reading and discussion of the concepts of beauty, style, and aesthetic theory.

Class description

“Philosophical Issues in the Performing Arts” (cross-listed with PHIL 401). Philosophical frameworks will support our consideration of a number of conceptual issues central to performing arts in general, and dance in particular, such as: What makes an action an artistic performance? How should we identify two performances of the same artwork, for example Shakespeare’s Hamlet or Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring? What makes a performance authentic? Do dance and other performing arts have a more constitutive connection to the body than do other art forms? How should we characterize improvisation in artistic performances? What are the relations between the various collaborators in artistic performances, for example, choreographers, dancers, playwrights, actors, directors, composers, conductors, musicians, and set designers? What difference does it make, if any, that a performance is “live”? Is something lost when we sit home with a cd or dvd? More generally, what role does the audience play in artistic performance? Examples from contemporary dance, music, theater, and performance art will be used throughout the course. Text: David Davies, Philosophy of the Performing Arts

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Some experience in the performing arts or prior training in philosophy is highly advised.

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Andrea I. Woody
Date: 11/22/2013