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DNCE BC3550 Dance in Africa. 3.00 points.

This is a course about dance in the history of Africa. The main learning and teaching objectives are to address issues of representation, creativity, agency, and socio-cultural change by drawing on methodologies used by historians, art historians and anthropologists. The course will allow students to understand some aspects of Africa’s pasts through the study of dance and bodies in motion in the cultural, stylistic, political, and aesthetic contexts in which they emerged. We will learn to appreciate some representations, meanings, and ideas of dance in precolonial Africa. We will reflect on the social meanings of dance in African contexts. The class will think about why and how African dancing bodies have inspired artists during the first half of the 20th century. We will discuss the potential of dance to articulate notions of self and ideas about national identity and ‘African personality’. We will talk about contemporary dancers from Africa