DANCE 241 - The Art of Dance: An Introduction to American and European Dance History, Aesthetics, and Criticism
Section: 001
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Dance (DANCE)
Department: Music: Dance
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Did you know that Louis XIV was one of the greatest dancers of his time and that he used dance to promote his political power? Did you know that George Balanchine’s ballet Agon was his way of championing civil rights in the year of Little Rock by creating one of his most beautiful and intimate couple dances for a black man and a white woman? Did you know that Shakespeare and his company performed complex social dances to entertain their audiences at the finish of a play? Did you know that Michael Jackson’s “moonwalk” had its origins in the dance of West Africa?

Dance is one of our most significant art forms with a long and rich history, yet it has been neglected by historians in the academy until relatively recently. This course is an introduction to the history of dance in Europe and America.

  • What is dance’s role in our society and how does it reflect the values of the time in which it was produced?
  • What has been the role of the dancer and choreographer at various times throughout history?
  • What did their audiences expect? How can we recognize and analyze different styles of dance?

Course Requirements:

No data submitted

Intended Audience:

This course, open to all students, surveys theatrical dance from the Renaissance through the twenty-first century including ballet, modern and post-modern dance, African American jazz forms and dance in the movies. No previous experience or knowledge of dance or dance history is necessary to do well in this course. Open to all students (LSA and otherwise).

Class Format:

No data submitted

DANCE 241 - The Art of Dance: An Introduction to American and European Dance History, Aesthetics, and Criticism
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
7Enrollment Management
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780500204115
Ballet and modern dance, Author: Susan Au., Publisher: Thames & Hudson 3rd ed.
ISBN: 9780871271730
Dance as a theatre art : source readings in dance history from 1581 to the present, Author: edited with commentary by Selma Jeanne Cohen ; with a new section by Katy Matheson., Publisher: Princeton Book Co. 2nd ed. 1992
ISBN: 9780199563449
The Oxford dictionary of dance, Author: Debra Craine, Judith Mackrell., Publisher: Oxford University Press 2nd ed. 2010
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for DANCE 241 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Digital Innovation Greenhouse, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)