Movement Practice: Puppance, an Advanced Movement Study of Puppetry and Dance (DAN4246.01)

Maura Gahan, MFA Teaching Fellow

Puppance is an advanced movement practice class that mobilizes the interrelationships between the human body, objects, and puppets. We will examine the broad range of how these forms overlap through the physical practices of dancing, building puppets, and creating scores based on our research. In dance we often talk about how “the space moves us.”  In this class, we will examine this literally — observing the causes and effects of our movements on physical objects in space and creating environments that shift and contort our bodies as the environments move.

Movement will be our primary source for research — in the creation and manipulation of puppets, dance scores for humans, moving objects as dancers, deriving dance material through the mechanics of puppeteering, creating drawings as a result of gestures and gestures as a result of drawings, and  implementing dance scores on puppet construction. Puppets will include: small and large scale, 2D and 3D, single person and group manipulated designs.

This course welcomes advanced students (freshman-senior) in all areas of study — visual arts, dance, music, architecture, mathematics, literature and environmental studies–anyone that is self-motivated and enjoys working with their hands;  values experimenting in cross-disciplinary forms; researching movement, sound and space; and physically relating with the material world. No previous building or movement experience is required, but curiosity is a necessity.


Learning Outcomes:
-Learning techniques in building and manipulating puppets and objects.
-Creating dance practices and scores.
-Working individually and collaboratively in the creation of puppets and dances.
-Developing “Puppance” through experimentation.
-Responsibly and creatively creating a community that is supportive with taking risks in artistic expression.


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor; please email mauragahan@bennington.edu, or write a brief letter describing your background and interest in this research.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 2
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Dance , Updates , Fully In-Person
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