Collaboration in Light, Movement and Clothes (DAN4286.01)

Michael Giannitti, Tilly Grimes, & Dana Reitz

​​Visual elements are a significant component of performance, whether it be theater, performance art, music or dance. With many performance projects, there is little time to contemplate, rethink or adjust designs in the actual performance space; there is rarely an opportunity to watch a collaborative art develop. In this class, equipped space is available to give the time to seriously look at and question the interrelationship  of visual and kinetic performance elements. Visual choices affect movement and how it is seen and movement choices affect how visual components are used and seen.  We will explore in fine detail what and how the performance elements communicate to viewers, paying particular attention to the manipulation and refinement of composition, focus, timing and transformation.

Furthermore, this situation is an opportunity to explore equal partnership among the collaborators, whose roles will shift. Students are actively involved in all aspects — making movement, designing lighting and designing costumes. No particular technical skills are expected of those enrolling, as the course will focus on conceptualization, design, making work, and collaboration; instruction in any technical skills needed to complete the assignments will be included in the course.

Explorations are structured for both formal theatrical contexts and informal studio situations as well as found environments. Time for group project development must be invested outside of class in the Martha Hill Theater. While some projects are done on an individual basis, most coursework requires close collaboration with other students in the class and close observation of the work of others. All work done for the course is viewed and discussed by the class and instructors as a group. Students interested in any performance related area, visual storytelling, theatrical design, and/or making work collaboratively will benefit from this course.

Learning Outcomes:
- Ability to make studies involving light, movement and clothes in close collaboration with others.
- Enhanced ability to notice and assess small variations in movement and design
- Experimentation/inquiry regarding implications of particular light, movement and costume choices
- Enhanced facility in the manipulation of composition, focus, timing and transformation

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Please email all of the instructors (;; with a brief explanation of your interest in this course. While it is ideal for students to have studied and/or have some experience in performance, theatrical design, collaboration, and/or visual storytelling, all requests will receive full consideration. Instructor(s) will reply prior to 4000 level registration.
Corequisites: Dance or Drama Lab Assignment
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 30
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Dance , Drama , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Visual Arts (VA)
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