ERIC Number: ED469424
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
The Legacy of Dance as a Democratizing Force in Higher Education.
Many believe that dance is a democratizing force in academia. Modern dance history is replete with feminist, homosexual, and racial liberation ideologies transcribed through body language. Experiences in planning cross-discipline courses suggest that, without dance, important aesthetic and sociopolitical ideas most fully revealed in nonverbal and physical ways may be neglected. When planning an interdisciplinary course, "Searching for Truth and Beauty: Perceptions of Reality in Western Arts and Sciences," one professor observed that the course outline, which spanned the history of western civilization, featured only two women, and both were dancers. Dance reinforces the value of imagery, symbol, metaphor and myth, types of knowledge underrated in U.S. culture. Dance should be included in discussions of technology as well as science, because it depends heavily on both education and theater technology, while simultaneously resisting their potentially dehumanizing tendencies. As modern college students ask new questions about racial, cultural, and gender identity, dance provides a link to family, ritual, history, and tradition while displaying tolerance for experimental and alternative approaches to lifestyle, personality, and artistic boundaries. Dancers are aware of the inextricable links between scientific, social, and artistic reality, making them powerful agents for democratic change within interdisciplinary contexts in higher education. (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Dance Education Conference (Providence, RI, June 26-30, 2002).