Cheap Art Dance Circus (DAN2236.01)

Maura Gahan, MFA Teaching Fellow

Based on the circus making style of the Bread and Puppet Theater, this is a class for anyone interested in making a fast, cheap, beautiful, frenetic dance/puppet circus.

Students will learn techniques in: lo-tech, fast puppet/mask building with basic tools and materials; Cantastoria (story-singer) crafting; choreographing for large groups; singing/ music making; and editing text into ‘announcements’ that can be shouted without amplification. The class culminates in a singular, classic circus form performance with a ring, backdrop, band, and rapid short acts. The show will reflect student interests, skills and whatever materials are available in the moment.

“Puppet theater is the theater of all means. Puppets and masks…are louder than the traffic.
They don’t teach problems, but they scream and dance and display life in its clearest terms. Puppet theater is of action rather than dialogue. The action is reduced to the simplest dance-like and specialized gestures. A puppet may be a hand only, or it may be a complicated body of many heads, hands, rods and fabric. We have two types of puppet shows: good ones and bad ones, but all of them are for good and against evil.” – Peter Schumann.

1st 7 weeks: remote; 2nd 7 weeks: hybrid w/faculty in person

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 2
T/F 4:10PM - 6:00PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Dance , Hybrid In-Person and Remote
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