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Digital Dance Literacy: an integrated dance technology curriculum pilot project

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Although the technological methods in which dance artists create, develop, document and present their work have grown significantly over the past two decades, technology education in undergraduate dance curricula in the US often remains peripheral. Some dance programs in higher education, especially those with graduate programs, now include a general course in dance technology that often functions as an overview of documentation methods and basic dance production. Given the technological advances and their creative applications in dance over the past decade (computer-mediated choreography, musical scores, and sound environments; interdisciplinary and mixed media; Internet2 live telematic rehearsal and performance), this curriculum development project sought to design and implement a comprehensive technology curriculum for undergraduate dance students in bachelors degree programs in the US. Four developmental design problems were confronted in this pilot project, including how to provide: (1) integrated delivery of technology in required, rather than elective dance coursework, throughout four-year undergraduate degree programs; (2) student-centred design and relevance, capitalising on students' own technology capital and interest; (3) balanced content in both creative application, as well as practical technological aspects; and (4) completion of digital e-portfolio in the undergraduate senior year. From these guiding research problems, the Digital Dance Literacy (DDL) pilot program at Wayne State University seeks to produce a comprehensive, user-friendly curriculum for integrating advanced technologies into undergraduate dance curricula. This paper gives an overview of this project's development and implementation, description and content of the DDL curriculum and coursework, the project's current status, as well as student, faculty and administrative perspectives. Additional problems in the research and development are also discussed.
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Keywords: curriculum; dance; digital; electronic portfolio; higher education; technology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Maggie Allesee Department of Dance, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA 2: Department of Music and Maggie Allesee Department of Dance, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Publication date: 01 June 2008

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