DANCE 3590 / THETR 3190 / VISST 3519: Music, Dance & Light

Spring 2010


Course Content

Artistic values, parameters, and concerns of music (sound design), dance, and lighting design will be compared and contrasted. The combination of these design elements will be analyzed in contemporary dance. Writing will include responses to readings, audio and video recordings, and performances. Some classes will be devoted to creating sound, movement, and lighting.


  1. To develop an understanding of the vocabularies of music, dance, and lighting design.
  2. To explore combining these three media through juxtaposition and synthesis.
  3. To gain insight into interpreting a creative work with these three media, and to be able to discriminate between methods of interpretation, such as narrative, emotional, or structural.
  4. To develop a methodology of description, analysis, and interpretation in response to an artistic work.


Class participation is essential to this course; attendance is mandatory. Attendance at the departmental dance concerts is also mandatory. Late work will be accepted only at the instructor's discretion under emergency circumstances and will be lowered at least one letter grade. This class will uphold all University policies regarding academic integrity, discrimination, plagiarism, observance of religious holidays, and assistance with student impairment.



Three 1-2 page responses to the music, light, and dance sections of the course will each be worth 5% of the grade. Two 3-5 page papers will each be worth 15% of the grade: an examination of the two concerts (Paper #1), and a critical discussion of an issue raised in class (Paper #2). Two 6-8 page papers will each be worth 20% of the grade: an analysis of Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room (Paper #3) and a final exploration (Paper #4) of some issues and concepts raised in this course using Paper #2 as a starting point. Finally, participation during discussions and the in-class projects involving manipulation of these three media will be worth 15% of the final grade.