Oberlin College Fall 2017


This contemporary dance practice strives: To be inclusive of different worlds of dance, without being exploitative; To disentangle contemporary dance’s appropriative lineage without excusing it; to understand its complexity without ignoring its conflict; and to embody its possibilities without losing sight of intention. In particular, Mixed Movement Technique models Alysia's process of creating contemporary dance that draws from the diverse styles she has studied (modern, post-modern, West African, Afro-Caribbean styles, Afro-Brazilian, Latin dance, American jazz, ballroom, musical theater, hip hop, ballet and tap). Interweaving these disparate strands, students will explore one approach to negotiating within the dancing body the tensions between cultural identities and self-fashioning, the intersections of traditional forms and contemporary approaches, the places where high and low art meet, and the interrelationships among people there. Throughout, sources of origin will be located and acknowledged and their incorporation will be analyzed and discussed. Designed for the experienced dancer, this course begins with a warm-up structured as a series of progressively more complex and physically challenging circuits, and also includes across the floor sequences, phrase work and task-based technique exercises.


This course is a deep dive into the mysterious, soul bearing, physically challenging, highly subjective, constantly evolving sea of making ephemeral art with movement. It is a class that will not endeavor to teach how to do things, but rather provide a space and community to support emerging choreographers as they discover who they are and what they want to say with dance. Classes will provide tools, skills, inspiration and models for the development of a personal creative practice. Assignments will ask students to apply those tools in the creation of original choreographic works. The goal is to identify and shape students' artistic voices and give them opportunities to share those voices with the community. The course work will include phrasemaking, improvisations, composition exercises for solo, duet and group work, student-led short studies, readings, discussions, journaling, art projects, video viewings and critical response methods.


Samba is an introduction to the Afro-Brazilian dance Samba no pé (samba in the feet) in the “Carioca” or Rio de Janeiro style. The course will physically trace the evolution of samba from its humble social roots to its present day incarnation as an extravagant performance of national identity in the world-renowned Rio Carnival. Students will learn the technique of modern samba and some of its antecedents, examining the socio-cultural factors that contributed to aesthetic changes and stylistic splintering in the dance overtime. Using samba as a lens, students will learn about the Brazilian concepts of mestiçagem and antropófago exploring the effects these ideologies have on race, gender, class, culture and national identity. Students will also learn about the history, structure and significance of Rio’s samba schools and the role of samba and Carnival in Carioca culture in general.


Warner Center 106

30 N. Professor St. 
Oberlin, OH 44074, USA


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