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OPDI-122

Celebrating Voices of Choreographers: Applications to Teaching, Learning, & Appreciation

  ~ ~ Integrating the Study of Black, Women, Indigenous, and Immigrant Choreographers into Your Curriculum

Male dancer in pose against a purple backdrop

September 12 - December 4, 2022

Professor:  Dr. Naima Prevots

Tuition: $520 member / $595 non-member

12 Weeks; 3 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs

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In this course, we look at a wide range of artistic works created by Black, Women, and indigenous and immigrant choreographers and explore applications to utilize these works in our teaching, learning, and appreciation of dance. These voices address critical issues in American life and in the development of American dance. Students will enhance their own practices in the classroom and in their choreography and discuss ways of expanding what they have learned in practice. This course will expose students to contemporary choreography and cultural material often not available to them in live performance and will help develop a student’s ability to integrate dance as a relative art into other disciplines such as literature, visual art, music, history, women’s studies, Asian Studies, African American Studies, Latinx studies, anthropology, and social justice. The word “contemporary” does not refer to a particular style of choreography, but rather refers to current choreography which includes a wide range of styles and approaches, such as ballet, hip hop, street dance, post -modern and modern.

Drawing on the vast library of the Jacob’s Pillow interactive, this course uses a wide array of video clips, assignment and discussion boards, and hosts several synchronous class discussions to share. Three of the indigenous and immigrant companies have created and provided special videos for the course: Kankouran (African Diaspora); Nã Lei Hulu I ka Wēikiu (Hawaiian); Ragamala (Indian).

Questions about this Course?  Email opdi@ndeo.org

Past Student Testimonials

"This course gave me the opportunity to deeply reflect on the content that I teach and the people behind the dance forms. I have gained a wider appreciation for dance and hunger to learn more. I sincerely appreciate the thoughtful and generous feedback from this professor."

"Excellent course. Introduced me to new choreographers."

"This course allowed me to practice watching a lot of different dance work and articulating my observations. It also allowed me to engage with my fellow students and be in dialogue about our observations.

"I liked the assignments and all of the different work I got to see. I also enjoyed being able to put the material into a context of coming up with teaching ideas related to the content. This was very helpful. "

"I was able to diversify my understanding of important choreographic pieces. I loved the videos and the different lenses of study. "

"Being a student again will help me be a better teacher. I really liked having weekly viewing and writing assignments. I also was happy that there was some embodied work in the course, although I didn't get to work on it as much as I wanted. The writing helped me clarify my values as an educator and gave me new ideas about approaches with material."

Professor Bio

Naima Prevots has been performer, choreographer, teacher, critic, historian, administrator, and in 2019 was awarded NDEO’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Early in her career she performed with Merce Cunningham’s company in 1952 as a student at Brandeis University, in 1955 with Marie Marchowsky at Henry Street Playhouse, and later with Pola Nirenska’s Company in Washington, D.C. Naima’s choreography was commissioned by Princeton Ballet, and the Jewish Community Centers in Maryland and Washington, and in the 1960s she co-founded Dimensions Dance Company, performing and choreographing in many venues.

She is Professor Emerita, American University, where from 1967 until retirement in 2003 she helped found the Department of Performing Arts, serving as Director of Dance and Chair of the Department. From 1971 to 1983 she created a summer program at the university, bringing in companies of Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Murray Louis, Erick Hawkins, Don Redlich, and many others to teach for students and teachers who came from all over nationally and internationally, and to perform for large Washington audiences.

As a critic and historian she has written numerous articles, reviews, monographs, and has published three books: Dancing in the Sun, Hollywood Choreographers 1915-1937; American Pageantry: A Movement for Art and Democracy; Dance for Export: Cultural Diplomacy and the Cold War. She has served on the boards of many organizations including CORD; SDHS; NDEO; ADG; Fulbright Association, and has been consultant for both National Endowment for the Arts and for the Humanities and the Arts and Humanities Councils of Washington and California. Her consulting includes working in Israel, where she helped develop the High School dance programs. As an arts educator she was designated an Artist in the Schools and was on the staff of PROJECT CAREL, one of the first government supported efforts to bring dance and the other arts into the schools. As the recipient of six Fulbright Fellowships, she worked in Belgium, The Netherlands, Australia, Portugal, and Germany. Naima has been teaching in NDEO's OPDI program since 2012, and created the current course in 2021.