DANC 4401 Aesthetic Issues in Dance - 3 credits - TR 1:00-2:15 - Rend 223
Office Hours: RH 129 12-1 pm TR and by appointment; (208) 282-6143; garijose@isu.edu

Performance Response Guidelines
An examination into the aesthetics of human movement as they relate to the human body biologically, socially, politically, historically and culturally.


    • To inquire into theories of aesthetics as they relate to human movement and more specifically, the human body.
    • To inquire into theories of aesthetics as they relate to human movement and the human body biologically, socially, politically, historically and culturally.
    • To nurture intellectual curiosity and expand critical thinking skills through the pollination of cross-disciplinary resources for examining the aesthetics of movement.


The format of this class is a combination of viewing dance films and videos, readings, class lectures, group discussions. group and individual projects and writing about topics presented in class. Attendance and full participation in all activities is mandatory.

Topics may include:

  • Overview of Historical and Cultural Attitudes of the Body
  • Overview of the Development of an Aesthetic Theory of Art from Classical Antiquity to the Modern Era
  • Aesthetics and Ideology
  • Dewey and Dance
  • Body Culture in the Early 20th Century
  • Marxism and an Aesthetic Theory of Art
  • Aesthetics and Modernity
  • Aesthetics and Post-Modernity
  • An Aesthetic of Sub-Culture
  • The Aesthetics of Gender Construction
  • Aesthetics of Pleasure and Pain
  • Disability Aesthetics
  • The Aesthetics of Structure and the Politics of Theatre
  • What is Art? What is Dance?
  • When is Art? When is Dance Art?
  • A Theory of Inaesthetics


Aesthetics: A Comprehensive Anthology, Stephen M. Cahn & Aaron Meskin, Eds. Blackwell Publishing, 2008

    Additional Reading will be provided on the Assignments page.


  • Attend each class on time, ready to work and participate fully from beginning to end. Full participation is required for full credit. Tardiness and non- or partial participation will not receive full credit.
  • Participate in discussions: creative and critical . You’re perceptions are valid and valued. As artists, we need the skills of presenting and defending our ideas through the use of thoughtful, articulate and eloquent language. Your participation in these discussions is a major component of your cummulative grade.
  • Writing Responses (8). You will be given writing assignments based upon the readings, discussions and videos you will see. You are responsible for responding to (8). Usually, writing prompts will be uploaded to the assignments page no later than Friday and will be due the following Thursday, but I reserve the right to make changes appropriate to the progression of the class. Late assignments will not be accepted. All written assignments, must by typed, 1-2 pages, single or double-spaced, unless otherwise stated. Weekly Writing Responses will be worth 5 points each.
  • Critical Writing Papers (2). All written assignments, must by typed, 5-7 pages, single or double-spaced, unless otherwise stated, citing sources in the text with work-cited page in MLA format. Each Critical Writing Paper is worth 30 points. CW1 due Oct. 17; CW2 due Dec. 5
  • Facilitated Discussion Groups (2). Each Facilitated Discussion Group is worth 30 points. Establish a regular study group/discussion session time to meet. RH classroom 127 is available for reservation.
  • Performance Project (1). Create a performance piece that draws upon any of the aesthetic issues presented this semester. You must also prepare a 3-5 page written component which describes your performance project, the aesthetic  theories and writers you are drawing upon, and why you chose to make this work.  It must be in MLA format. This is your final and will be presented at a date TBD. Your Final/Performance Project is worth 40 points.
  • Attendance of a dance and/or movement performance. A 2-3 page typewritten non-prescriptive critical description is required. All papers must be typed. I will not accept handwritten or late papers. This paper is worth 20 points. Due Dec. 10.
  • Final Meeting, TBD.
  • NOTE: All papers must be original. Quotes and paraphrased ideas must be properly cited. Any student caught plagiarizing or purchasing a paper from an outside source (i.e., Internet) will receive an "F" for the course.Click here for Definition of Plagiarism according to the ISU Student Handbook.
  • NOTE: Last day to register, add/drop, change section, or audit full semester courses is Sept. 9; Last day to withdraw is November 1, 2013.
  • Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
    Our program is committed to all students achieving their potential. If you have a disability or think you have a disability (physical, learning disability, hearing, vision, psychiatric) which may need a reasonable accommodation, please contact the ADA Disabilities & Resource Center located in Graveley Hall, Room 123, 282-3599 as early as possible.
Writing Responses (8) 40
Class Participation 30
Critical Writing Papers (2)-Due 10/17; 12/5 60
Facilitated Discussion Group (2) 60
Performance Project (1)-Due TBD 40
Performance Critique-Due 12/12/13 20
Total 250
250-240 = A
239-229 = A-
229-220 = B+
219-210 = B
209-200 = B-
199-190 = C+
189-180 = C
179-170 = C-
169-165 = D+
164-160 = D
159-155 = D-
154-000 = F
A=exceptional work, demonstrating consistently excellent performance in terms of skill, growth, participation, attendance, theoretical and aesthetic understanding.
B= very good to outstanding work most of the time demonstrating a high degree of excellence in performance in terms of skill, growth, participation, attendance, theoretical and aesthetic understanding, particularly as the term progresses.
C=fundamental mastery of skill, steady growth, good participation, appropriate attendance, basic theoretical and aesthetic understanding.
D=performance marred by lapses in attendance, attention, attitude or missing course work.
F=performance interrupted by significant absence or failure to complete expected course work.
Performance Response Guidelines