Charmain Wells

Undergraduate Discipline

Dance

Graduate Program

MFA Dance Program

BFA, MA, New York University Tisch School of the Arts. A cultural historian, working in dance studies, performance studies, black cultural studies, and queer theory. She is currently pursuing her scholarly interests as a doctoral candidate in dance studies at Temple University. Her research is focused on the concept of choreographing belonging in the African diaspora, in particular within concert dance of the Black Arts Movement in New York City (1965-75). This interest stems from her performance background as a dancer with Forces of Nature Dance Theatre since 2005. She has worked as an editorial assistant on Dance Research Journal and taught in the dance departments of Lehman College, Marymount Manhattan College, and Temple University. SLC 2017-

Undergraduate Courses 2018-2019

Dance

Introduction to Dance History

Component—Year

This course is for all students beginning the dance program.

This course explores the history of Western theatrical dance from the courts of Louis XIV to the present. The course offers an overview of key artistic movements and traces the development of major forms and genres, considering them within their social, cultural, racial, and gendered contexts. Through class screenings, attendance at live performances, and written assignments, students will learn methods of observation, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation informed by a broad understanding of dance’s past and present and how it relates to their own research and practice.

Faculty

Graduate Courses

Dance 2018-2019

Introduction to Dance History

Component—Year

This course is for all students beginning the dance program.

This course explores the history of Western theatrical dance from the courts of Louis XIV to the present. The course offers an overview of key artistic movements and traces the development of major forms and genres, considering them within their social, cultural, racial, and gendered contexts. Through class screenings, attendance at live performances, and written assignments, students will learn methods of observation, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation informed by a broad understanding of dance’s past and present and how that relates to their own research and practice.

Faculty

Graduate Seminar I: African Diaspora Dance: Theory, History and Practices

Graduate Seminar—Spring

This graduate course introduces major concepts, approaches, and issues in the study of African diaspora dance studies by exploring its conceptual underpinnings, including: philosophies of blackness and identity; the role of embodiment in historical black liberation struggles; intersections of gender and sexuality with race and dancing bodies; the global transmission and transformation of dance practices; articulations of social and concert dance; and broad questions about the relationship between agency and movement. Key theorists such as Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Stuart Hall, Brent Hayes Edwards, and Thomas DeFrantz will be discussed. Students will gain familiarity with connections between practice and theoretical discourse through written exercises, oral presentations, lecture, video analysis, movement studies, and group discussion. The goal of this course is two-fold: (1) to understand how these dance practices are bodily enactments of specific historical, cultural and political developments and (2) to investigate different approaches to writing about their significance in order to develop critical perspectives as thinkers and dance makers.

Faculty