Dancers Talking Dance describes how to teach students to formulate critical responses to the dances they see, create, and perform.
Written for teachers and dancers at all levels, the book outlines a five-step, systematic approach to critical evaluation. To bring the approach to life the author interweaves practical, how-to examples with explanations of the theories underlying each step. Readers will learn how to help students observe, describe, analyze, write, and talk more effectively about dances and other works of art. These skills will enhance students’ choreography and improvisation experiences.
Dancers Talking Dance features many practical tools to help readers use the book to develop the critical process:
• Think on it ideas for writing and discussion
• Teaching/learning principles
• Teacher hints
• Chapter summaries
• Chapter objectives
• Sample assignments
Part I provides an overview of philosophical and pedagogical issues and perspectives on critical evaluation and its role in dance education.
In Part II, the author outlines the ORDER approach to critical evaluation:
• Recommendations for revisions
He explains each step in the ORDER approach and provides writing and discussion ideas designed to stimulate teacher and student thinking about the critical process and how it works. The book also offers numerous hints to help teachers communicate the approach in their classes.
Part III presents practical suggestions for implementing the ORDER approach in beginning- and advanced-level choreography classes. The author interweaves practical activities with theoretical considerations to help students better understand the critical process. Teachers will also learn how to handle anticritical beliefs and disagreements that arise among students in critical discussions.
With Dancers Talking Dance, teachers can help students hone their critical skills and become more articulate, creative, and confident dancers.
About the Author
Larry Lavender is Head of Dance at the University of New Mexico. He has taught dance at New York University, the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and the University of California at Irvine. He also has choreographed more than 30 dances and composed music for many of them. In 1984 he received the Distinguished Student Scholar Award from UC-Irvine for his original choreography and music of "The Sleep of Reason."...