University of South Florida

School of Theatre & Dance

College of the Arts

Course Components, Paris Summer Program

Students enroll in a month-long, 3-6 credit course entitled "Dance and Culture in Paris." This course is designed as an immersion in Parisian culture from the point of view of the dancer. The course is divided into three major components: technique, composition and history.

Students are exposed to a variety of technique classes each weekday from modern to ballet to yoga, as well as classes in physical theatre, improvisation and choreography depending on the summer’s particular faculty and course offerings.

The purpose of the afternoon choreographic workshops (le dérive – "the drift") is to foster an understanding between the choreographer and the urban landscape: What kinds of inspirational materials can be used in choreography? What kinds of images can be distilled into gestures or phrase work? How does the urban landscape inspire different movement choices? How does the “history” of a certain location influence one’s choreographic choices?

Students visit specific Parisian neighborhoods and explore the architecture, ambience and sub-culture of that area, and transform their observations into a short piece of solo choreography. Among the areas students will be investigating: Père Lachaise Cemetery, Île St. Louis, Montmartre, the Marais, Viaduct des Arts, the Latin Quarter, Les Halles, the Passages, and the Canal St. Martin.

Students are given studio time to work on their choreographic projects, as well as receiving feedback from the faculty. The purpose of the studio time is to create a short study/piece of choreography based on students’ observations, assigned readings, field work, personal journals and sensations. The final pieces are performed in an informal setting to an invited audience.

Seminars are conducted by faculty member Madison Mainwaring to contextualize some of the historical and social lenses with which students experience dance in France.  These seminars will require students to participate in the conversation of ideas around race, gender, aesthetics, social mobility, and their relationship to dance on the Continent.  Assigned readings will accompany these seminars.

Grading is based on weekly projects, journals, a final paper assignment, and pro-active engagement in all aspects of the Program.