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COURSE SYLLABUS: Jazz I for Musical Theater: Fall 2019

CRSE 3103, CRN 33667, Section 002


Tuesday and Thursday, 11 am-12:20 -pm, Tomlinson Rehearsal Hall, (TMLSON 0102A)
Instructor: Ryan Tuerk MFA
Contact: Email: ryan.michael.tuerk@temple.edu Phone: 484 868 1212
Office Hours: The instructor does not have an office. Meetings are by appointment only.

Course Description and Objective:


This course is designed to introduce and solidify execution of the fundamental principles and techniques
characteristic of Jazz dance, enlivening and training the actor’s instrument to use dance as a primary
means of expression. Students will learn and execute: a technical warm-up based on jazz, ballet, modern
conditioning and stretching techniques, across the floor sequences and movement combinations in a
variety of jazz styles. Emphasis will be placed on fundamentals of alignment, physical conditioning, body
awareness, use of space, flexibility, endurance, dynamic and stylistic range, strength, poise, personality,
musicality and acting through movement. We will also explore the history of Jazz dance, its major
contributors. cultural significance and relevance to acting and musical theatre.

Student Learning Goals/Objectives: To the degree appropriate for this level of jazz training,
students in this course will learn to:
1. Maintain optimal vertical alignment while standing and while in motion, explore and apply
anatomy fundamentals to movement
2. Identify habitual patterns and tendencies and explore the effects on technique to assess and
balance out strengths and weaknesses
3. Increase and apply strength and stamina, flexibility and range of motion
4. Understand and physically manifest the duality of mobility and stability existing
simultaneously in two different parts of the body (supporting and working sides)
5. Grasp, retain and work to consistently execute the sequence and subtleties of warm-up, center,
across the floor exercises and combinations from Jazz I skills (listed below) as appropriate to this
level of Jazz dance training
6. Identify and execute the nuances of phrasing, spatial pattern and dynamics pertaining to
qualities of movement and style
7. Develop a deeper understanding of musical meters, rhythm and syncopation
8. Learn about and execute studio, rehearsal and performance etiquette
9. Move quickly from learning to performing; apply technique w/ sense of “self” and
presentation
10. Implement technical/artistic corrections consistently & in all applicable contexts
11. Understand a basic history of Jazz dance and contributions within the field as well as
relationship to musical theatre; maintain a sense of personal responsibility for learning by
completing reading, writing, and viewing assignments on time and with thoroughness, clarity,
and correct terminology

***Learning goals mark distinct areas of skill in dance technique. Excellence in dance artistry is
a matter of developing a high degree of skill in each area and integrating these skills during the
performance of movement.
The goals also describe efforts/attitudes necessary for progress toward excellence in dance and
indicate specific behaviors that demonstrate them.
Teaching Strategies To enable student achievement of the learning goals, the instructor will:

· Demonstrate, explain, analyze, and lead explorations of movement exercises, combinations and
writing assignments designed specifically to develop the skills required for achievement of
learning goals
· Observe work in class and orally assess the student’s achievement of learning goals, and make
recommendations for improvement in achieving learning goals
· Provide opportunities for individual appointments in which we may discuss the student’s
learning efforts
· Provide opportunities for the student to assess their progress toward the actual achievement of
the learning goals
*Not every student will receive individual feedback during each class, but all students will
receive appropriate individual feedback regularly throughout the course of the semester.

Participation and Guidelines for Assignments: The fundamental and ongoing assignments in
this class are to:

· Attend to movement material presented, as well as to explanations and analyses of its specific
components
· Listen carefully to and apply all corrections and recommendations for improvement that are
provided in class
· Learn the movement material as quickly as you can through observation and home practice;
· Perform the movement material as accurately as possible each time you are called upon to do
so
· Maintain a physical conditioning regimen outside of class five days a week
· Reflect in writing as assigned, as well as articulate your progress toward and actual
achievement of the learning goals
· Observe other dancers as a way of helping you to understand your own dancing

Attendance and Expectations: Dance is an art form that you can only master by DOING and
requires personal discipline and motivation. Mindful participation is the only way to meet the
objectives of this class, therefore, it is essential that you come to class on time consistently with
enthusiasm and focus. Respect for yourself, other students and the instructor helps to create a
safe and nurturing environment. Try your best to be attentive and active. Some days will be
harder than others, so have a forgiving and positive attitude towards yourself and your abilities,
and step into the ebb and flow of training. This is a fundamental skills class and I expect you to
be present. You get one freebie absence. Use it ONLY if necessary (remember this is YOUR
valuable training time and financial investment). You are given a total of 4 points for each
class for attendance which you can track on Canvas, as well as the participation rubric (0 for
absence and 4 being the highest possible). Points are taken off for lateness, improper attire and
negative attitude or work ethic. You can read about the additional grading system percentages
below.

*You are responsible to learn the choreography on your own if you miss class so that you don’t fall
behind the following week, just as you would if you had to miss a rehearsal. You are advised to ask
other students for material missed in class. It is not the instructor’s responsibility to re-teach you when
you are absent.

*I do not accept doctor’s notes for general illness or appointments. An absence is an absence unless
excused for a Theater Department mandated performance, a true medical or family emergency (all require
documentation). Make smart and respectful choices about when to attend and not attend class if you are
very ill and/or contagious. Do not put others or yourself at risk.
*PLEASE NOTE: This is a fundamental skills class. More than four absences will automatically
result in a failing grade (F). *Any extenuating circumstances will be evaluated on a case‐by‐case
basis for exemptions.

*Observation Policy: “Sit-In and Write-Out” is an acceptable option for full class credit if you are
sick, injured, or not feeling up to dancing for other personal reasons. An observation must be
emailed to me within 24 hours of the day you observed class with the date and class written in the
subject line. Observations should be thoughtfully written and should include the new information you
discovered during the class. A statement explaining why you observed the class should also be included.
If you are observing, you must hand write your observations while watching the class work. No phones,
no computers. After viewing, please organize and type your written notes into an email and send to
ryan.michael.tuerk@temple.edu
*Make-up classes in another dance class are not permitted due to liability issues.

*Communication: I expect you to communicate through email if you need to miss


class. This does not mean that the absence is excused; it simply means that we have a
relationship, and when you are gone I worry about your well-being. Communication is very
important, for this course and your future correspondence within the professional world. I
expect emails to be respectful and well-crafted with use of proper grammar and spelling, and
encourage you to practice the valuable trait of warm and clearly stated correspondence. If
questions pertain to the information in this syllabus, I ask that you read your syllabus thoroughly
before asking an intelligent question on clarification. You are encouraged to ask questions during
class when appropriate and if you need or want more feedback from the instructor, please do not
be afraid to ask. Remember, unless you communicate and come to me directly, I will assume that
you are satisfied and happy. I want you to have a great dance experience.

*It is your responsibility to know your schedule and tend to all information and
dates/deadlines communicated through this syllabus, TU email and on Canvas. All
assignment dates are set at the beginning of the semester. Practice good time management
and put alerts and reminders for these things in your phone/calendar!

*I know you are all coming from a variety of movement backgrounds. I ask that you challenge
yourself to work at the very best of YOUR individual abilities. This means being fully present physically
and emotionally during class, taking risks, and stretching & strengthening your body on a regular basis.
During class, we are also dancing as an ensemble. It is essential to be supportive to those around you, to
learn from one another, give each other respect, encouragement, and inspiration. Remember, the energy
you put into the space either contributes or contaminates. We are all in this together.

STUDIO ETIQUETTE:
· Personal hygiene and proper dress/grooming is expected and is its own reward. We are also
learning the discipline of emotional, physical and intellectual presence and focus in the work
space to keep things safe and conducive to learning for all of us. Cultivate a growth mindset!
 Cell phones must be silenced and put away.
 NO videoing or pictures permitted
 No food or drink except water is allowed in the studio during class. No gum.
 Once inside the studio, begin warming up and transitioning into focused class time. When
class is over, please gather all belongings and change/exit promptly in respect for the next
class. If you have questions for the instructor, wait until they pack up and can chat
outside the studio (if possible).
 Take every correction as though it were your own. A correction for one is 99% of the
time a correction for all.
 Do your best to stay focused and involved during the entire class. It is a discipline and a
practice to stay engaged and be aware of the physical reflection of this in your demeanor
throughout our session
 We will often sweat during class, particularly through the warm-up. If you have
developed a puddle as a result of awesome hard work, celebrate! THEN please get paper
towels at the water break and wipe up your area so no one slips or falls during across the
floor.
 Please no heavy perfumes or scents during class – many folks are sensitive to this and we
are breathing deeply during class work.
 Respect the custom of Reverence – a ritual of honoring the art form, the teachings, the
ensemble and our individual efforts by taking a group bow and clapping at the end of
every class.
 While questions are absolutely welcome and a crucial component of your learning
process, I request that you quietly focus when I am demonstrating or verbally sharing
content; and please be obliged to hold all questions pertaining to performance skills
and/or technique until appropriate (or once I have opened the floor for inquiries). This is
simply to keep the momentum of the class moving for us all.
 Respect the physical aspects of the space: floor, barres, mirrors, music equipment.
 Observe the utmost in decorum by keeping within safe distances from other students
during combinations. BE SPATIALLY AWARE.
 If you are dressed in layers and take clothes off through the warm up, please don’t throw
the clothes in the visual area of the mirror. Take them back and put them neatly with your
belongings. The space needs to be visually clean and clear. Same for water bottles.
 Develop a professional attitude during all exercises: Warm-Up, Center and Across the
Floor, Combinations; this translates directly to the rehearsal studio and stage
performance.

**The use of respectful physical touch is a routine and beneficial teaching practice in dance
classes. You will always be asked for your consent and approval before a physical adjustment.
Every student has the right to refuse the use of touch. Please inform the instructor immediately if
you have specific concerns or reservations regarding the use of touch in this class. There are
plenty of alternate methods that can be used to accommodate. I want you to always feel that you
have agency over your instrument.
**Students participating in dance classes do so at their own risk. As with any physical
activity, there is always the chance of personal injury occurring during the normal conduct of
dance classes. Students are advised to take responsibility for their own physical and spatial
awareness and safety. Neither Temple University nor the instructor is liable either legally or
financially for any injuries should they occur.
Materials/Dress Code:
Shoes: You will need a pair of JAZZ shoes. The particular style and color is up to you. Black is standard.
You may prefer a shoe with a moleskin bottom as opposed to rubber with the Marley floor, but that is
personal preference. Both work fine. No dance sneakers – you need to be able to articulate and strengthen
your feet. You can purchase shoes online at discountdance.com, (if using this online retail site you can
use the Studio/Teacher ID: TP65026 for a small discount on your order) or try the dance supply stores
in Philadelphia. Please contact me if you need help with purchasing dance shoes. You may wear socks for
warm up.

ATTIRE/ DRESS CODE OPTIONS:


· Women: Jazz/Yoga pants, leotards, tights, dance shorts (tight only), leggings, tank tops, sports bras.
· Men: Jazz pants, dance tights, Bike shorts, fitted T-shirts, tank tops, fitted warm-up pants or shorts
(nothing too baggy), support garment (dance belt).
*Please note this dress code reflects industry standards for dance class and chorus call auditions and
provides a guideline to understand these standards. Non-binary or trans identifying students may pick
from any of the options above.
· This is an academic environment where we cultivate collaboration, art and respect. I want you to be
focused on your body as an instrument and vehicle of expression, not on your body “parts.” Please refrain
from wearing clothes that are too revealing and inappropriate to the learning environment. If I feel
something falls in this category, I will discreetly and respectfully let you know.
· ALL: Please wear clothing where I can see your body lines, no distracting logos or loud
patterns. Long hair must be tidy and secured UP for class. No jewelry (except for small earrings or
small finger rings-no other piercings for safety and neutrality’s sake), no hoodies or hats Also
recommended to have in your dance bag: a small hand towel, Band-Aids, hair ties, extra pair of socks,
water bottle.

Reading Materials: You will need to purchase the e-book “Beginning Jazz Dance” with web resource
by James Robey at this link: (you can also purchase an actual book if you prefer, but you will want the
web resource materials that come with the book)
https://us.humankinetics.com/products/beginning-jazz-dance-ebook-with-web-resource
Supplemental vocabulary, terminology, selected readings, historical and theoretical information required
for this course will be posted as links on Canvas. You may want a journal to record movement sequences,
corrections, and individual goals- not required but highly encouraged for your own artistic process.
Access to a Computer: It is your responsibility to know your course calendar and deadlines for
assignments and tend to all content information communicated through TU email and Canvas
alerts and announcements. The syllabus, assignments, videos, announcements and supplemental
resources will be posted on Canvas. You need to check your TU account and set Canvas to
receive announcements and alerts regularly each weekday (Mon-Fri). This is the primary means
of communication.
Grading/ Methods of Evaluation: Grading consists of:
*Active classroom participation and attendance (70%),
*4 writing assignments (spread over the course of the semester) dealing with self-assessment, dance
analysis and history/evolution of jazz dancing. Each are 6%, (total of 24%). Due dates will be posted
below and on Canvas. You are expected to use the resources posted (video tutorials, history,
vocabulary/terminology, etc.) as reference and homework.
*Final: skills and combination assessment; in-class practical “showing” (6%). You MUST be present on
this day to receive the credit.
Rubrics are posted on Canvas of how your grades are calculated and how much each category is
weighted. You may check your grade and progress at any time online.
*Due dates for writing assignments (All papers submitted online directly to Canvas):
WRITING 1: Thursday September 12 by 5 pm (Goal setting and dissection of a pirouette)
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WRITING 2: Thursday October 10 by 5 pm (History and Evolution of Jazz dance and contributors)
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WRITING 3: Thursday November 7 by 5 pm (Analysis of dance components for


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performance/performer)
WRITING 4: Wednesday December 11 by NOON (Self-reflection and evaluation)
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Only in the case of an emergency, late papers are better than no paper at all, however, points will be taken
off for lateness with each additional day. You must communicate with me directly before the due date if
your paper will be submitted late; otherwise, I will assume you have not completed the assignment and
will record your grade accordingly. I advise you to put the due dates in your phone or computer calendar
and set alarms a week or two before to keep yourself on track.

TEMPLE UNIVERSITY ONLINE COURSE MANAGEMENT (CANVAS) GRADE


SCALE:
100-94: A
93-90: A-
89-87: B+
86-84: B
83-80: B-
79-77: C+
76-74: C
73-70: C-
69-67: D+
66-64: D
63-60: D-
59 and below: F

SKILLS for Jazz I: center, traveling phrases and combinations build on a solid knowledge and
foundation of all skills from Ballet levels I and II syllabi; students in this level of jazz dancing should
learn and work to execute/perform consistently the following exercises that include but are not
limited to:
· Center: technical warm-up (plies, tendu, degage, rond de jambe, fondu, frappe, extensions, etc.),
isolations sequences, selected Horton series (preparatory hinges, roll downs, laterals), spinal series,
layouts, jazz lunges (specific postures and bases from Luigi, Mattox, Giordano), contraction series,
stamina for core/body conditioning, experiential anatomy within dance technique, center battements w/
proper placement (front/side/back/fan, straight/developpe, flat/releve, vertical), jazz adagio (focus on
control and quality), petite allegro. Most of Jazz I warm-up facings stay en face (towards mirror), but
students should know body facings/advanced positions from ballet I and II if utilized.
· Turns: Jazz pirouette (preparation - held position on releve, solid single, multiples-only if
appropriate to skill level but not a requirement for level I, both parallel and turned out, en de hours and en
de dans in center and traveling, with various preparations), touch turn, lunge turns (similar to touch turns
with accent on the forward lunge), pencil turn, barrel turn, chaine turns (basic and with alternating spot),
pique turns, drag turn (sometimes called compass turn, leg skimming floor can be bent or straight), low
arabesque turn, 3 step turn, triplet turns, attitude turn preparation (en de dans, leg in back), coupe turn
(foot in front), pas de bourree en tournant, degage turn, drag w/ 3 step turn working on the diagonal,
swivel turns (like a soutenou with a “scoop” or hallowing/contraction of the torso).
· Traveling floor pattern skills and transitional steps: jazz walks/runs- variations, grapevine, jazz
square, battement sequences on and off the vertical front side and back (straight leg and developpe leg, on
flat and releve supporting leg), flick kicks, “cut” (like jazz style rond de jambe en lair) jazz pas de bourree
(triplet timing), triples, drags with suspension, hop step cross, cross ball change across the floor (straight
time), alternating chasses, pivots, lunge turns, fan kick, hitch kick, leg catch (no turn, just the hold), dive
roll (forward). Stylistic vocabulary includes chugs, truckin, Charleston, sugars, shorty George, Susie Q,
fall off the log, pony, and Cuban Hips (Latin body action).
· Jumps: Prances, tuck jumps (various), saute passe (arms in V overhead and arms out to side w palms
flexed), Battement saute (leg front and side), saute arabesque, grand jete w/ various preparations and
sequences (straight, developpe leg), chasse en tournant, saut de basque, stag leap (stationary and
traveling), straddle jump, reverse jete.
· Conditioning: Students should maintain stamina and proper placement in planks (on both hands and
forearms and variations), bird dog and various core work from table top, push-ups with proper form
(regular or modified on knees) as well as tricep dips, wall sits, basic form for squats and lunges, simple
sun salutation, cobra, locust, camel, (backbend), bridge, hip/butt lifts and kickbacks with proper core
stability from various positions.
· Stretching: Students work to understand, identify and embody (sequence, breathing and properly
placed physical structure and anatomical organization) stretches in both reclined, seated and standing
positions for the following muscle groups/anatomy: hamstrings, quadriceps, feet, calves, inner thighs,
inner and outer hips, hip flexors, spine (lower, middle and upper back), IT band, shoulders, chest,
forearms, wrists, neck (students should also be familiar with the basic anatomy and function of these areas
as well as skeletal structure and alignment).
· **Note: At each level of jazz dancing, students are analyzing and manifesting the concepts of
shape/form, dynamics/efforts, space (patterns, topography, relationship to physical structure of the room,
self and each other), tempo/time, weight (bound or free – also closely correlated to dynamics). Students
are also being pushed to find ways to bring artistry, self-expression and musicality to the exercises and
movement phrases, incorporating specific techniques for embodying and expressing elusive concepts such
as vulnerability and specific psychological states of being. This work gets more nuanced and hopefully
becomes an integral and consistent part of the skill set at each stage of the dance trajectory.

Course Calendar: Class meets twice a week (Tues/Thurs). In each class we will perform a set, technical
warm-up. Monday classes, following the warm up, will consist of skills: various center and across the
floor progressions (turns, kicks, leaps, etc.) from the skills list above. Thursday classes, following the
technical warm-up practice will be combinations in various styles of Jazz dancing found on the musical
theatre and concert stage (may include but not limited to): classic jazz, theatrical jazz, swing jazz,
pop/funk jazz, contemporary jazz, modern jazz, lyrical jazz, ethnic influenced styles, working with props
or chairs. Skills may be introduced either in progressions or combinations. You will work two weeks on
most skills progressions and combinations (some may only take one week and then we will move on).
There will be various conditioning and stretching sequences as well as acting and imagistic exercises
layered on the warm up sequences to enliven the body as a vehicle for sensation and expression and to
help make discoveries within repetition.

DATES: Please refer to the TU academic calendar for university closings and spring break vacation
dates. http://www.temple.edu/registrar/documents/calendars/19-20.asp
-Monday, September 9th is the last day to add or drop a Full Term 16-week course
-Wednesday, Sept. 25th is the last day to withdraw from a Full Term 16-week course
-1 week begins Mon, August 26th, 2019; last day of classes: Mon, December 9
st th

Exam: Tuesday Dec 17th, 2019 10:30-12:30 in RH


Schedule: (ALL IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE based on experience, needs and momentum of the class)
WEEK 1:
Class 1 – Introductions, Discussion of Syllabus as contract, learn Warm-Up structure.
Class 2 – Continue to refine warm-up, discuss alignment fundamentals, start combination 1
WEEK 2:
Class 3 – Continue to refine warm-up and technique, progressions
Class 4 – Class discussion, Warm-up and technique, choreography
*Have chapters 1-4 from our text Beginning Jazz Dance read for discussion
WEEK 3:
Class 5 – Technique, emphasis on progressions
Class 6 –Warm-up, technique, choreography
*Writing 1 due by 5 pm (Goal setting and pirouette dissection)
WEEK 4:
Class 7 – Warm-up, technique, emphasis on progressions
Class 8 – Warm-up, technique, choreography
WEEK 5:
Class 9 – Warm-up, technique, progressions
Class 10 –Class discussion, Warm-up, choreography
*Have chapters 5-7 from our text Beginning Jazz Dance read for discussion
WEEK 6:
Class 11 – Warm-up, technique, review progressions and choreography for MIDTERM in class
demonstration
Class 12 – Warm-up, technique, review progressions and choreography for MIDTERM in class
demonstration
*Read chapter 8 from our text Beginning Jazz Dance – will also help for writing 2
WEEK 7: MIDTERM WEEK
Class 13 – Warm-up, technique, progressions
Class 14 – Warm-up, technique, new choreography
*Writing 2 due by 5 pm (History and Evolution of Jazz dance)
WEEK 8:
Class 15 – Warm-up, technique, progressions
Class 16 – Warm-up, technique, choreography
WEEK 9:
Class 17 – Warm-up, technique, progressions
Class 18 – Warm-up, technique, choreography
WEEK 10:
Class 19 – Warm-up, technique, progressions
Class 20 – Warm-up, technique, new choreography
WEEK 11:
Class 20: Warm-up, technique, progressions
Class 21: Warm-up, technique, choreography
*Writing 3 due by 5 pm (Analyze components of a great dance performance/performer)
WEEK 12:
Class 22: Warm-up, technique, progressions, and choreography for final
Class 23: Warm-up, technique, progressions, and choreography for final
WEEK 13:
Class 24: Warm-up, technique, progressions, and choreography for final
Class 25: Warm-up, technique, progressions, and choreography for final
**THANKSGIVING BREAK WEEK – no class Nov 25-29th
WEEK 14:
Class 26: Warm-up, technique, progressions, and choreography for final
Class 27: Warm-up, technique, progressions, and choreography for final
*Monday, Dec 11 Writing 4 due by 5 pm (self-reflection and evaluation)
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WEEK 15: Final exam date is Tuesday, Dec 17th 10:30 – 12:30 am in rehearsal Hall. Demonstration of
select Jazz I syllabus skills and two contrasting combinations from the semester will be evaluated in small
groups.

UNIVERSITY POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND RESOURCES:

Many resources are available to you for academic enrichment. There are professionals available
to help you with things like time management, goal setting, study and critical thinking skills,
assessment, writing, etc. Please note that diminished mental health (stress, anxiety, depression,
untreated mental illness) can interfere with optimal academic performance. Counseling support
should be obtained when personal difficulties threaten your well-being. In the event I suspect
you need additional support, expect that I will express to you my concerns and the reasons for
them. It is not my intent to know the details of what you might be experiencing, but simply to let
you know that I am concerned and help is available if needed. Remember, getting help is a smart
and courageous thing to do – for yourself and for your loved ones.

Academic and Personal Behavioral Support/Resources for Students:

http://bulletin.temple.edu/undergraduate/about-temple-university/academic-support/

http://www.temple.edu/bulletin/archive/webarchive/bulletin2009/Support_services/student_servi
ces/support_student_services.shtm

www.temple.edu/studenthealth (Health Services)

www.temple.edu/counseling/ (Tuttleman Counseling Services)

http://careteam.temple.edu/its-community-commitment (CARE TEAM)

http://careteam.temple.edu/students

Writing Center: http://www.temple.edu/writingctr/


Freedom to teach and Freedom to learn: These are inseparable facets of academic freedom.
The University has a policy on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities,
(Policy # 03.70.02) which can be accessed through the following
Link: http://policies.temple.edu/getdoc.asp?policy_no=03.70.02
Disabilities: Anyone who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a documented
disability should contact me privately before classes begin or during the first week of class to
discuss the specific situation and make sure we can provide an optimal learning experience
conducive to the nature of this class. If you have not done so already, please contact Disability
Resources and Services (DRS) at 215-204-1280 in 100 Ritter Annex to learn more about the
resources available to you. I will sensitively work with DRS to coordinate reasonable and
appropriate accommodations for all students with documented disabilities.
www.temple.edu/disability
Inclement Weather Policy: http://news.temple.edu/inclement-weather-and-unscheduled-
closings

DEPARTMENT OF THEATER COMMUNITY MISSION STATEMENTS:


Cultivating the Citizen Artist
The Temple University Department of Theater strives to instill in our students an ethical
aspiration to become true Citizen Artists; highly trained, creative and deeply informed
individuals committed to making a difference in the future of our human community through
applied artistry; citizens who support and promote the use of artistic expression as a valued tool
for creating and sustaining a culture of enlightened and compassionate citizenship and civility.
An Ethical Foundation for the Department of Theater
The Temple University Department of Theater embraces the spirit of creative community both in
the classroom and on stage. Theater is by nature a uniquely collaborative art form. During your
time here as a student, you are in every respect called to be a supportive, contributing member of
a large resident ensemble; committed at every level of endeavor, regardless of the task, to
achieving artistic excellence in our work together as a company.

Inspiration: I look forward to witnessing your growth and passion as we progress together with
your training. Learning to express yourself through movement and dance is extremely empowering
and just downright FUN. Feel free to email me with any questions, concerns, or revelations.

“I think Balanchine and Robbins talk to God and when I call, he’s out to
lunch.” – Bob Fosse
Writing assignment 1:
Dissection of the Pirouette
and Goal setting, due
Thursday September 12th
at 5 pm
Part I: Write out a complete analyzation/breakdown of the execution of a jazz pirouette (outside turn on
one leg with the supporting leg straight and foot in releve and lifted leg in parallel passe, coming from a
preparation of tendu 2nd to a parallel 4 position with back heel lifted). Include as much detail as possible,
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as if you are teaching someone who has no prior experience to learn how to perform this dance move.
Include verbal cues for every physical action of the entire body (head, arms, torso, pelvis, legs, feet, etc.),
alignment, useful imagery, and thoughts and emotional strategies for proper and optimal execution.

Part II: List 3 SOLID goals that you would like to accomplish in your dancing by the end of the
term. You can also reference the learning goals and skills list for the class on the syllabus for ideas.
Considering the knowledge you have already gained this semester, name three things you can do (or
apply) to help contribute to the realization of those goals. Keep it simple.
Format for all writing assignments:
12pt Times New Roman or similar font
Double Spaced and pages numbered
The top left of your paper should include your name, the course title, and date.
Then on the next double spaced line, your title centered.
Do not add extra space between paragraphs. Just one double space and a tab in.

Writing assignment 2:
History of Jazz dance
Technique and
Contributions to the Style,
due Thursday October 10th
at 5 pm
This assignment deals with the history of Jazz Dance Technique, how it evolved and the primary
contributors to developing the technique as we teach it today. It is to help you understand the historical
context and big picture in which we are working. I am not looking for a regurgitation of historical events,
but I do think that it is crucial to read and comprehend the material so you have a broader and well-
educated working knowledge of the art form and style. No piece of art is void of what came before, and
we are each part of this beautiful continuum.
Part I: Read the articles on Canvas and watch the Youtube video clips listed below that pertain to the
history and evolution of Jazz Dance Technique and the “Fathers” of Jazz Dance Technique as we know it
(I have comprised all the information in the following articles on Blackboard under the “Jazz Dance
History/Articles on Dance/Resources” tab on Canvas. It is all there for you. The word documents include:
Jazz Dance- Past and Present, Jack Cole-father of Jazz Dance, Luigi-A pioneer in Jazz Technique, Matt
Mattox-Jazz Innovator and Teacher, Gus Giordano-Innovator in Jazz technique. )
Video clips (all can be found on Blackboard under video link as well-scroll down):
JACK COLE - The Jack of Clubs (brief documentary section for Jack Cole)
Gus an American Icon trailer (info on Gus Giordano)
LUIGI - from Rick McKay's "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age" (info on Luigi)
Luigi jazz (actual Luigi technique)
Matt Mattox jazz dance technique, no. 17 "Hip in place in one count" (Matt Mattox actual technique,
links to more of his progressions)
Part II: Once you have read the articles and studied the clips, write a response and synopsis about the
evolution of the art form of jazz dance and its founding fathers. Next, include a study of a recent dance
choreographer or dance work (can be from a musical or separate –look at clips of the work online) where
you can analyze the effects of the historical influences and contributors to Jazz dance within this person’s
work. Please support your statements by referencing knowledge gained from the articles. Some ideas (just
to get you started, but certainly not limited to) include: Bob Fosse, Andy Blankenbuehler, Garth Fagan,
Rob Marshall, Susan Stroman, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Jerry Mitchell, Michael Bennett, Kathleen
Marshall, Tommy Tune, Bill T. Jones, and so on…
Format for all writing assignments:
12pt Times New Roman or similar font
Double Spaced and pages numbered
The top left of your paper should include your name, the course title, and date.
Then on the next double spaced line, your title centered.
Do not add extra space between paragraphs. Just one double space and a tab in.
Writing Assignment 3:
Learning through
Observation and Imitation,
due Thursday November
7th, 5 pm
Take a famous dancer whose work you admire (recent or past) and study a clip (or clips) of the dancer in
action online (YouTube or elsewhere - you can also check with the Arts resource Librarian for dance
archive video resources).
Give a brief background and contextual information about why the dancer is significant (their
contributions/credit/accolades), then analyze and write about why the particular performer is effective in
dealing with the following elements of movement: shape, (specificity of body shape and how the parts
and alignment is organized), tempo (timing), dynamics (effort and ease), space (performers use of space
and/or sensitivity of relationship to others in the space); clarity of storytelling and style (abstract essence
or more direct, the emotional connection, a sense of giving, abandonment, joy or mystery); athleticism;
physical control of the instrument of the body (ability to stabilize and mobilize, appear as if floating,
falling or exploding with skill and craft); ability to connect the personal to universal by eliciting and
emotive response through movement and gesture - the language of dance; and relationship to music or
silence or accompaniment.
What can we learn by watching and studying, emulating and stealing? Talent isn’t just magic; it is clear
skill set, practice and consistency. What skill set do you see in the dancer that you have chosen that is a
result of attentive practice? What would you like to incorporate into your own work? *Include the links
to your clips.
Also note: to maximize the learning goals of this assignment, it is best to pick a dancer that is known for
an essence or quality that is something you need to work on in your own performance. For instance, if a
contemporary or hip hop style comes more naturally to you, study someone like Gene Kelly or Syd
Charissee in their classic approach to jazz dancing. If you are more lyrical in nature, study a dancer who
is known for a more aggressive and athletic attack in their dancing. If you are great at presentation and
expressivity but lack in technique, study a dancer known to be an excellent technician and articulate how
that supports expression.
Here are the categories we are dealing with in our response (this also applies to any sort of arts critique):
Historical and Contextual - BASIC BIOGRAPHICAL INFO and CONTRIBUTIONS
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS ABOUT THE DANCER: What did you notice about a certain moment?
What struck you? What did you love? We simply want to identify what resonates, what gets us interested.
What did the moment reveal that was surprising, beautiful, or moving? What did it tell you?
STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS: Addressing what we actually see and hear. (What occurs, separate from
what we feel or interpret). It is the "scholarly or technical narration" between beginning and ending. We
ask the viewer to describe components of the movement, giving only factual, observable information. We
comment on the execution's actual structure without jumping to an interpretive analysis, which may be
highly subjective. We really examine HOW things are being accomplished.
Because the human brain is a meaning-making machine, it can be easy to skip the rigor of
structural analysis and immediately offer subjective interpretations of what the meaning might
“mean.” (This is general sentences like "The dancer is good at telling a story," without supporting that
statement in your critique) But structural analysis is essential to our piece critiques. It helps us identify the
elements and compositional decisions used in a moment, so that we can intentionally change or
experiment with any aspect we choose when WE are the performer.
Interpretive Analysis: Once we have clearly described what happened, we can move on to discuss the
feelings and meaning it evoked and the possible stories it suggested. Interpretive analysis might start with
“it was as if…” or “it seemed like…”
Format for all writing assignments:
12pt Times New Roman or similar font
Double Spaced and pages numbered
The top left of your paper should include your name, the course title, and date.
Then on the next double spaced line, your title centered.
Do not add extra space between paragraphs. Just one double space and a tab in.
Writing assignments rubric/ evaluation
Rubric for grading: 10 points for each assignment
Ideas, addressing all given content: 5
Organization: 2
Personalization/style/Creativity: 2
Mechanics, Visual Image (if asked): 1

Writing assignment 4: End


of semester reflection and
self evaluation, due
Tuesday December 10th
due by noon
JAZZ I SELF EVALUATION. Address the following topics/questions: Discuss the relevance of
studying jazz dance in your theatrical training. How does dance/movement contribute to your personal
growth and goals as a creative artist and citizen (knowledge of self)? What have you learned about
yourself through the movement on a physical and emotional level? Where would you like to go from
here? (Self-critique: struggles, improvements, joys, frustrations, goals, expectations, etc.) To answer some
of this, please also refer to the learning goals and skills for this level/class as posted on your syllabus in
your response.
Address and articulate your insights on at least three of the following words that have significance to you:
Artistry, Discipline, Passion, Responsibility, Technique, Practice, Repetition, Engagement, Mindfulness
**Include a visual with your paper, some kind of image or images that you feel represents your thoughts
and experience over the semester. It doesn't have to be literal at all, just something that strikes you that is
relevant to your dance experience.
Format for all writing assignments:
12pt Times New Roman or similar font
Double Spaced and pages numbered
The top left of your paper should include your name, the course title, and date.
Then on the next double spaced line, your title centered.
Do not add extra space between paragraphs. Just one double space and a tab in.