FAGS1005 Introduction to Performing Arts (3 units)
This course is an introduction to the concept of "performing arts" broadly construed to include not only performance for theatre, film, television, dance, and musical performance, but also performance as a practice of self-presentation, social rituals and interactions, in bodily and speech acts; and in linguistic, visual, and other modes of communication.
The concept of the course is mainly guided by Richard Schechner, one of the founders of the field of performance studies. His rich and rewarding guide to performance, Performance Studies: An Introduction, provides a provocative guide to questions that arise when performance is approached in a global perspective, students will be able to identify linkages of broad ideas to specific contexts, particular thinkers, and precise examples from performance traditions.
By putting students in the interactive dialogue with the most important events, people, theories, questions of the dynamic and emerging field of performance, the course aims to encourage students to consider the social significance of performance, and how it structures our perceptions and social lives. Weekly lectures provide an interdisciplinary overview of particular issues and methodological questions to logically explore the territories of performing arts, embedded with clips and images of many different kinds of performances. Besides Schechner, students will also study foundational texts by major figures in the field, analyse the works of them in the form of presentation/performance to illustrate what they learn, and expand the boundaries of understanding performance.
Students are required to keep an individual journal throughout the course. Each lecture will make specific critical demands on the student, and students are expected to develop their ability to form judgments and enhance their understanding. As a result, the journal will be an articulation of critical analysis, personal reflection and self/peer appraisal.
Guided group discussions as well as a practical project will involve students in participatory activities when they start at the programme, enable them to express themselves and apply the methodologies they study, and eventually let students go beyond their opinions by critically analysing the esoteric issues in the field. Students are thus expected to figure out how to "do" performance studies on their own.
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