Minor in Dance Studies, Courses Details, Eligibility - SNU

Minor in Dance Studies

The Undergraduate Program in Dance Studies is designed to address Dance as a field of academic enquiry, allowing students across diverse disciplines to access and engage with the art form on multiple levels. The programme  integrates the physical and intellectual capabilities of students through a multi-disciplinary pedagogical framework creating a culture of praxis. This program not only provides for performance and vocational skills and the mastery of technique but encourages students to push the boundaries of dance while exploring historical, philosophical, and analytical approaches to the art form.

Students will grapple with philosophical, cognitive and aesthetic issues such as embodiment, pleasure, meaning; with structural features common to all dance forms governing the movement of human bodies in space and time; and with historical, cultural and sociological aspects of dance, such as ritual, patronage, caste, and sexuality.

Key Information

Art, Media and Performance
School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS)
Prof. Aadya Kaktikar
0120- 3819100 Ext. - 121
Time to Start 
2nd Semester
No. of Credits
To complete a Minor in Dance, students must take a minimum of 19 credits.   The following course is mandatory (3 credits): Dance and National Identity. Students choose two of the following courses (3 credits):  a) Writing Bodies  b) Pedagogy   c) Body, Performance, Gesture.  And two of the following (5 credits) a) The Dancer's Body  b) Movement and Meaning  c) Introduction to Odissi Paddhiti  d) Introduction to Abhinaya
Course code
Dance Pedagogy

This course is designed to provide students with the ability to integrate professional studies of technical and conceptual content knowledge with pedagogical content knowledge in dance to allow for a deeper, critically informed engagement with issues and debates in the delivery of dance curricula. Students will gain an understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues within the teaching and learning of dance are organized, represented, and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners, and presented for instruction. Topics studied include curriculum design, teaching strategies, creativity, assessment and learning perspectives within practical teaching sessions.

Learning Objectives

  1. Present a statement of philosophy for teaching dance based on personal beliefs and values.
  2. Become aware of how multiple social, political and historical issues shape dance and its teaching.
  3. Critically reflect and constructively respond to one’s own and other students’ teaching practice by engaging in constructive communication and collaborative learning.
  4. Become familiar with the process of curriculum creation.
  5. Construct  a relevant, sequential, and aesthetically driven dance education experience (syllabus).
Writing the Body

This course examines the body as a site of cultural identity and representation, exploring techniques of analyzing, articulating and critically discussing performance practices. It would explore the fundamental way of understanding our bodies as archives of experiences, while dance creatively connects the body to our social, political and cultural surroundings. The course focuses on performance analysis and writing, grounded in historical trajectories and contemporary contexts. Detailed study of choreographic works, dance compositions and allied performance genres would be used to develop a critical perspective. The course pedagogy would involve self-reflective workshops, performance-viewing, class discussions, journalistic and academic reading material, creative approaches to writing and class presentations.

Learning Objectives

  1. To reflect on how the body is a tool of cultural identity, memories and experiences.
  2. Introduce students to critical perspectives on dance
  3. Focus on the body as a site where representations of difference and identity are inscribed and enacted
  4. familiarize students with approaches to dance writing
  5. Introduce students to techniques of performance analysis
  6. Examine the relationship between the performing body and socio-cultural identities
  7. Develop a vocabulary for reviewing and reflecting on choreographic works
Dance and National Identity

Course Description: This course is designed to give students a broad overview of dance in India since Indian Independence. Students will read excerpts from the Natyashastra in light of its pivotal role in constructing dance in India as ancient, authentic, continuous and ‘traditional’ while examining a range of textual, sculptural and epigraphic evidence that was co-opted to this project. Now Bollywood and contemporary dance in India continue the dialogue between dance and identity, addressed to a global audience. The course traces our “embodied way of knowing” within a social, artistic, religious, political and cultural context, and formulates a critique of dance discourse today.
Objectives: to introduce students to dance as an academic subject, examining how history, politics and philosophy intersect with dance at a critical juncture in the formation of ‘India’.
KNOWLEDGE:  gain a broad overview of dance in India, leading from the 1930s to Indian Independence and up to the present day; identify some main philosophical issues regarding dance; recognize regional styles and histories.  SKILLS: ability to define, synthesize and analyze course material in order to write about dance from multiple perspectives.

The Dancer's Body

This course is a fundamental course for any student interested in the moving body. Available to students with different, little or no prior dance experience, this course aims to equip students with a deep experiential understanding of anatomical principles as a starting point for dance training. The course focuses on movement foundations such as dynamic alignment, body awareness, integration, depth of physical engagement and clarity of initiation as fundamental to the development of a sensitive and reflexive dance practitioner. It aims to equip dancers and those who want to understand movement with key skills in movement creation and analysis.

The course will provide a focused palette of movement practice that allows the participants to build articulation, sensitivity and resilience through a curious and investigative approach. The course encourages students to challenge their existing movement patterns, interrogate intention, heighten awareness of their own bodies as well as the space around them and expand the range and quality of their movement capacity. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Basic movement anatomy and Kinesiology to foster an embodied understanding of dynamic alignment. 
  2. Basics of Strength, Conditioning and Nutrition for Dancers.
  3. Safe Movement practices (warm-ups/ cooling down, injury prevention etc.) for dancers.
  4. Using Movement analysis like Laban to understand movement initiation and sequencing.
  5. Using Reflective practice and Imagery for creating and initiating movement.


Odissi Paddhiti I

This course is meant to be an introduction to the Odissi dance technique and gives an overview of the practical and theoretical aspects of the dance form. Students are introduced to the dance style through movement and readings from traditional and contemporary texts. The course explores the physical, spiritual, historical and social aspects of the dance form. It enables the student to appreciate and understand the dance form and its multidisciplinary nature.

Learning Objectives

1. Understand and execute body alignments, body fragmentation and positions specific to Odissi dance.

2. Execute a range of movement sequences with an understanding of the rhythm    systems.

3. Will become familiar with the gestural system and the way it is used in dance.

4. Will be introduced to a brief historical and social background

5. Perform a choreographed piece set to music.

Method Meets Art

Placing ‘Practice’ at the heart of research, this course introduces students to the emerging fields of Practice Based and Practice Led research methods. The elaboration of the methodologies, contexts and outcomes of artistic research discussed here are aimed at promoting a wider understanding of the value of practice as research. The course will engage with questions like:

What knowledge can studio-based enquiry reveal that may not be revealed by other modes of enquiry? What implications does artistic research have for extending our understandings of how knowledge is produced? How can the outcomes of artistic research enhance understandings of practice beyond the discipline?    

Learning Objectives

  1. Students will be able to recognize, create and articulate the dialogic relationship between acquired and expressed knowledge and studio practice in various disciplines such as design, dance, film, painting etc.
  2. Students will become familiar with the range and flexibility of research methodologies and methods that constitute Practice as Research and Practice Based Research.
  3. Students will engage with the idea of understanding and producing an exegesis (a combination of creative and written work) in various artistic fields.
  4. Students will be able to develop and record an historical, critical, cultural and/or professional research framework pertinent to the development of their practical work.    
Introduction To Odissi Abhinaya

This module explores the complex relationship between nritta or pure dance and abhinaya, the emotive element. Students will be introduced to the concept of Rasa Theory through the technique of abhinaya and its elements. Students will be familiarized with the techniques of generating abhinaya and the contexts in which it may be used. Readings will be assigned from the works of dance scholars, which, along with the students' own studio experiences will explore questions on the role and meaning of tradition for dancers and audience within an increasingly globalized dance community. SYLLABUS
-    Aesthetics of dance in India
-    Rasa theory
-    Context of the body while performing abhinaya
-    Sourcing narrative for abhinaya
-    Tools of Abhinaya
    Gestures and body movements
    The art of storytelling
-    Techniques of producing meaning
    Sanchari- what and how
    Use of music- rhythm systems, repetition and combinations
-    Learn a pre- choreographed piece


Body, Gesture and Performance

Highlighting the primacy of Body in dance, this course aims to address the many lenses through which the Body may be understood in Dance studies. The focus is to address the historical, cultural and political body through questions around identity, gender, pedagogy, power and discipline.  Through critical readings the course uses dance to look at the ways in which the body is generated in and is generative of discourse. It begins to look at dance as a critical dialogue, as a means of addressing the theoretical and political problems of how dance is perceived and produced. 
Learning objectives
1.    Investigate and think critically about how dance is performed and understood.
2.    Study dance at the intersections of multiple issues like globalisation, tradition, gender and pedagogy etc.
3.    Begin to make connections between students’ own dance practice and theoretical concepts.
4.    Make a comprehensive academic argument about an aspect of dance drawing from both practice and theory.
Relevant readings will be posted on BlackBoard.
1.    Class Participation/ attendance: 30%
2.    Mid-Term exam: 20% : Will be posted on Black Board.
3.    In class presentations: 15%
In-class presentations are individual. They are 10 minutes long and should be based on an object/performance of study along with the reading(s) of the student’s choice.
4.    Final Presentation (Paper or Project): 35%
The final paper will be an essay on a topic chosen by the student, something that interests him/her and can be explored further. The essay should have a clear argument and an object/performance of study. Alternatively, the student can make a video (performance) project (with one other student). The video must be at least 3 minutes and have a clear form and script/outline. Please check with instructor before starting. The video should be accompanied by an artist’s statement in the form of a written script/ outline and a concept note.

Movement And Meaning

The class will be a combination guided improvisation and set movement tasks, lessons will also involve some video presentation, reading and working on a presentation by the end of the semester. Aim of the course is to give an overview of contemporary dance practices and an introduction to movement composition. Practical sessions encourage the students to reflect and explore the possibilities of movement. Emphasis is placed on breath, alignment, joint articulation, and the use of gravity and momentum to facilitate movement. Creative sessions allow students to explore creating short movement sketches which will demand them to think, question and investigate body and its politics. Theory sessions will give students a brief about the history and development of modern and contemporary dance.

Learning Objectives

  1. Introduction to body alignment through somatic movement practices like yoga, tai-chi, and kalaripayat.
  2. Examine the body in place outside of the proscenium while looking at the stage audience perspective, the relationship to the architecture the safety issues in a public space and the act of getting art on to a public space.
  3. Investigate the skills of choreography for a camera.
  4. Create and perform a solo dance piece.


Performance and New Media

Dance and New Media is designed to train students in skill sets that support experimentation, curiosity and ability to create new ways of working with technology and dance. This course embraces cross-disciplinary opportunities to blend performance with multiple media. Students interested in video, web, social media, writing, music, theatre, and performance will find opportunities to integrate these multiple media to create a range of work. The course gives an introduction to video production with the concept of camera as an alternate stage space and students develop one dance film or new media work, that includes the creation of a treatment, timeline, budget, storyboard, shot list, set up list, with faculty showings and feedback. The course is designed to help students begin to create their Digital Dance Portfolio.

Learning Objectives

  1.  Understanding the importance of collaboration in the artistic process through projects with fellow dancers, students and faculty from other disciplines at the university, and visiting artists.
  2.  Knowledge of cinematic arts and new media such as filmmaking, editing, animation, gaming, virtual reality and web-based platforms, coupled with an understanding of how digital technologies will continue to impact dance.
  3. Begin to explore the idea of digital dance, performance art, dance for the camera and the role of multimedia in performance making.
  4. Explore multiple digital spaces and places for dance making and performance. 
All undergraduate students must take a core group of common subjects. The CCC is designed to provide students an understanding of the forces that are driving local, national, and global change and to give them an awareness of the problems facing an increasingly integrated world. All students at the University must take between 24 and 30 CCC credits with a minimum of 3 credits from each of the 8 Topic Areas within CCC. Students may take the optional additional 6 credits in any of the 8 Topic Areas.
Human Faces in Art, Society and Media

This course is primarily about communication through body language specifically, the facial expression. The basic skills of drawing the facial expression is taught through lecture, film and practical work. They are introduced to the fundamentals of Indian Rasa theory. See day today communication through the prism of Nava Rasa is discussed. Finally students are asked to take a Selfie of an emotion of their choice, take a printout and colour it using pointillist method.

Course purpose:

A better comprehension of the body language and facial expression is an important tool for good communication in daily life and work place.
1.    Class Test
2.    Presentation

Introduction to Fundamentals of Drawing

In this course students will be taught the basic elements of drawing. Through lectures and exposure to various media inputs, the student will learn different kind of drawings- realistic, abstract etc. The fundamental of all forms is the curved and the straight line. Through practical class work and assignments the students will learn about  composition, form, light and shade, 2D and 3D effect etc.
Field Trip: None

There is no recommendation of any particular book. However students have to watch many practical demonstration from youtube.

1.    Class Test
2.    Presentation