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Module


Introduction to Critical Dance Studies

Students are taught about historical and contemporary dance, body and movement concepts, performance analysis, methodological issues and current approaches in dance research. They gain an insight into dance practices (including various physical techniques and choreographic approaches) and are encouraged to analyze and reflect on these, taking into account a wide range of theoretical texts. They will learn the basics of movement analysis and notation and try out critical writing about dance in various academic and journalistic settings.

Theory, Aesthetics

The module focuses on theoretical approaches in the field of Critical Dance Studies. The focus is on theoretical discourses that are particularly relevant for dance thinking, from the important theories of the 20th century to contemporary queer and decolonial studies. Students are given the opportunity to gather knowledge about current topics in cultural theory   , and engage with them through analysis and discussion. Students are encouraged to formulate their own positions with regard to the discursive field in order to develop their  research projects in the form of term papers.

Historicity, Historiography

The module uses specific historical examples to teach concepts and methods of dance historiography (including comparative study of sources, reconstruction, reenactment, forms of memory and transmission, historical models of notation, methods of archiving between body and document). Students discuss and critically engage with concepts, methododologies and current  research in dance historiography. The module also includes the presentation and discussion of individual historiographical approaches.

Practice-led Research

Students work together with a lecturer from the field of artistic practice on a project that is accompanied by academic research. They develop and realize ideas independently, prepare a joint public presentation and reflect on the results at an academic level. Among other things, students discuss questions of staging practice, concepts of the body, of music or space as well as practical procedures and conceptual decisions in the areas of dance dramaturgy and curating. They will analyze the significance and the potential of critical dance studies methods in the context of artistic practice.

Dance, Arts, Media

The module investigates the relationships between dance and the other arts and media. Dance is examined as a medium at the interface of various arts (music, theatre, visual arts, film, literature). Students will learn about the historical key position of dance with regard to questions of performativity and its significance for the other arts and media. Students will gain an insight into current inter- and postmedial research. In addition, they discuss the problems and potentials of inter- and postmediality as well as comparative research strategies on the basis of exemplary research questions. A further focus is the examination of modes of representation in different media as well as their exploration and critical reflection.

Transdisciplinary Contexts

The module deals with both crosscurrents and demarcations between critical dance studies and neighboring disciplines such as theater, music and film studies. Students explore different objects of investigation and their distinct approaches as well as overlaps between the disciplines. They gain insights into current research fields and approaches from neighboring disciplines. In addition, they discuss the problems and potentials of transdisciplinarity and comparative research strategies on the basis of exemplary research questions. It is possible to focus on either theatre, music or film studies.

Approaches to Research

Students will engage with current research topics and questions. They present their own specific research topics, contribute to discussions, and learn to explain conceptual and methodological decisionsand sources of information. Principles of academic work and good scientific practice are taken into account. Students also work on their academic writing and oral presentation.

Exemplary Curriculum (PDF)