Visiting Assistant Professor of Critical Dance Studies
As visiting assistant professor of Critical Dance Studies at Hampshire College and The Five College Dance Department, Dr. Chapman will teach courses that blur the boundaries between the studio and the seminar room, practice, and theory. Her research and teaching in critical dance studies engage performance studies, ethnography, African diaspora theory, black feminism, and the queer Caribbean.
How do we ask questions with our bodies? What does dance do in the world and how can it help us understand social identities? What does it mean to write dance and why would we want to do it? This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of critical dance studies and its historical, ethnographic, and theoretical approaches. Dance Studies offers us a way to sharpen our awareness of the impacts of dancing both on and off stage, while also developing our ability to analyze bodies in socio-cultural context. Centered on an exploration of the relationship between theory and practice, we will study many different forms of dance and movement through readings, viewings, discussions, our own embodied practices, interaction with artists and attendance at live performances. Our investigations will be grounded by attention to race, gender, sexuality, nation, class, ability and ethnicity.
In this combined technique and theory course, students will engage in the practice of Haitian dance, and support this embodied learning with study of Haitian artists, history and culture. Bi-weekly physical practice introduces students to the foundations of Haitian dance, and reading, writing and discussion familiarizes students with both important Haitian dance artists and history, and related topics in Haitian studies (the Haitian Revolution, Vodou religion, migration). We will read from the fields of history, ethnography, religious studies, performance studies and literary fiction, and get to know the landscape of iconic and contemporary Haitian dancers. No previous dance experience necessary.
Athletes taking a knee, bodies marching in the street, dance movements that go viral. How can Dance Studies help us see and understand the urgency of movement in our current moment? At the same time, how does dance challenge normative conceptualizations of history and politics? Exploring dance and embodied politics of the 20th and 21st century through the lens of Dance Studies, this course works from the perspective of "Critical Moves" proposed by late dance theorist Randy Martin: "Critical moves. Steps we must take. Movement that informs critical consciousness." The interrelationship between theory and practice will be emphasized through reading, writing, movement exercises and creative workshops. Students will regularly read, write, and move; view and discuss performances; pursue a final research project through embodied, visual, and text-based methods; and work on a collective performance intervention that will take place on campus during the semester. No dance experience necessary, just open curiosity.