DANC 3301 Performance and Society - 3 credits - TTH 2:45-4:00 - Rend 104
Office Hours: RH 129 12-1 pm TR and by appointment; (208) 282-6143; garijose@isu.edu
Examination of performance as praxis, the embodiment of theory. Draws upon the canon of 20th century theories and the performance projects they influenced to explore the performance art tradition and to create original interdiciplinary intermedia work that is reflective and reflexive of society.


  • To provide an introduction into performance studies.
  • To examine the history and work of late 19th, 20th and 21st century performance artists.
  • To develop an understanding and awareness of the traditon of intermedia performance.
  • To create intermedia performances informed by the history and theories of performance.
  • To nurture intellectual curiosity and expand critical thinking skills through the pollination of cross-disciplinary resources for examining performance.


The format of this class is grounded in the ideal of roundtable discussion, each participant contributing to discussions fully and actively and workshopping through praxis, metabolizing theory through the creation of original performance. Visual aids such as film, video, recordings and slides will assist in the clarification of ideas as put forth in the readings assigned. As you are intellectually curious and wanting to exercise your curiosity, you will read and you will write. Additionally, you will document all of your work in any media/um you desire, but work must be documented fully; indulgent with detail.

COURSE OUTLINE - A Work in Progress

  • What is Performance Studies?
  • What is Performance?
  • What is Performance Art?
  • The Futurists
    • Marinetti's Manifesto
    • Boccioni, Carra, Russolo, etc.
  • CuboFuturism
    • Khlebnikov and the Zaum Poets
    • Malevich, Mayakovsky, etc.
  • Constructivism
    • Meyerhold and Biomechanics
    • Blue Blouse
  • Ritual
    • Efficacy and Entertainment Braid
    • Liminal, communitas and anti-structure
  • Dada - Surrealism
    • Weimar Germany
    • Cabaret Voltaire, Gallerie Dada, etc.
    • Tzara, Ball, Huelsenbeck, Grosz, Heartfield, Schwitters, etc.
    • Satie, Man Ray, Cocteau, Clair, Duchamp, etc.
  • German Expressionist Theatre
  • Bauhaus
    • Gropius, Schlemmer, Moholy-Nagy, Mies van der Rohe, etc.
  • Play
    • Play acts and play mood
    • Theory of Flow
    • Dark Play
  • Antonin Artaud - Theatre of Cruelty
  • Performativity
    • Early theories
    • Modernism/Postmodernism
    • Structuralism/Poststructuralism
    • Construction/Deconstruction
  • Living Art
    • Black Mountain College, Cage, Cunningham, Tudor, etc.
    • Allan Kaprow and Happenings
    • Fluxus, Judson Church, Dancers' Workshop, etc.
    • Klein, Manzoni, Beuys, Partch, Cowell, etc.
  • Performing
    • Realistic
    • Brechtian
    • Codified
    • Trance
  • Performance Processes
    • Training through to the Aftermath
  • Media Generation
    • Body Art
    • Actionism
    • Intermedia
    • Posthuman
  • Global and Intercultural Performances
    • Globalization
    • Cutlural Appropriation
    • Colonialization
    • Transculturalism
    • Interculturalism
    • Glocalization

    Performance Art: From Futurism to Present. RoseLee Goldberg; Thames and Hudson, 2001.

    Performance Studies: An Introduction-2nd edition. Richard Schechner; Routledge, 2006.

    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.
    • Critical Reading. In this class, you will read - a lot. The performance projects and writing assignnments are based upon the reading and class discussions. Be active with your reading: take notes, highlight areas (with pencil!) that are of interest or that you may not understand. Some of the reading is thick - write down terms you are unfamiliar with, conduct a little online research (internet is superb in this regard), and we'll discuss them in class.
    • 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.
    • Performance Projects. Theory is impotent unless put it into practice - praxis: the emodiment of theory. I have 8-9 projects planned throughout the semester. Some will be individual projects; others group.
    • Writing Assignments. You will be given weekly writing assignments (total of 12) based upon the readings, discussions and work you will experience. Usually, they will be due the following Tuesday, but I reserve the right to make changes appropriate to the progression of the class. Have assignments completed on time. Late assignments will not be accepted. All written assignments, must by typed, 1-2 pages, single or double-spaced, unless otherwise stated. Assignments will be worth 5 points each.
    • Critical Writing Paper. Due April 30.
    • Final Meeting/Portfolio Presentation. Our final meeting is schedule Friday May 10, 10-12pm. If this does not work, we can re-arrange date/time/place.
    • 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.
    • NOTE: Last day to withdraw is March 22, 2013.
  • Discussion/Participation
    Performance Projects
    Writing Assignments
    Critical Writing Paper
    Final Performance Portfolio
    300 - 285 =
    284 - 270 =
    269 - 259 =
    258 - 248 =
    247 - 237 =
    236 - 226 =
    225 - 215 =
    214 - 204 =
    203 - 193 =
    192 - 182 =
    181 - 171 =
    170 - 000 =
    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.