Music Composition for Dance (MCO4152.01)

Michael Wimberly

Music Composition for Dance looks retrospectively at collaborative twentieth-century works for ballet and modern dance from Stravinsky, Diaghilev, Nijinsky, Ellington, Ailey, Cage, Syvilla Fort, Copland, and Martha Graham, amongst others. These collaborations helped revolutionize dance choreography, philosophies and musical methods from their use of tonalities, sonorities, textures, rhythms, narratives, and concepts producing innovative works that continue to inform and inspire. Surveying these collaborations will provide students with an informed understanding of the creative process, and how one can apply these processes to develop their own original work.

Students will collaborate in class while exploring methods that can be used in their creative process to develop music composition for dance, theatre, film, and other related disciplines. Class activities and assignments include, but are not limited to; reading about choreographers and composers, listening and examining music, viewing choreography on film and video, researching Bennington archives in dance and music, viewing and examining musical scores related to dance, creating narratives based on blood memories, responding to biographical readings in discussion, writing and presentation, creating an original music composition or choreography to be presented live or videotaped.

Playing an instrument is not required, however, having basic knowledge of recording music using Garage Band, Logic Audio, Ableton or other recording software is a plus. For dancers, being able to improvise movement and interact / dialogue with other dancers and musicians is necessary. Performing live is a goal, but not required.

Learning Outcomes:
* Embrace your curiosity about the practice and development of dance and composing
* Learn to effectively communicate creative ideas with your peers
* Learn to understand, evaluate, and critique various types of compositions and choreography
* Collaborate with a diverse and inclusive lens through the creative process

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Please send a paragraph of interest to, outlining your music making skills or lack thereof, the instrument(s) you play and/or learning. Identify if you are a dancer, filmmaker, actor, or other, and what you would like to accomplish from this class in regards to the course description.
Corequisites: Music Workshop encouraged
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 2
Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Composition , Dance , Fully In-Person , Two Credit
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