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Writing Criticism of the Performing Arts

ENGL 119.301
M 2-5:00

The seminar aims to provide basic tools for understanding and writing performance criticism. We begin by discussing the position and function of the critic in modern society. We will think about historical art genres and consider the fundamental change performance concepts underwent in the 20th century. Students will practice observing performances from high culture opera and ballet to avant-garde happenings and multi-media spectacles and translating what they hear as well as the images they see into words. Students will be introduced to the professional requirements a critic is confronted with and will learn to write within time and space constraints. We will watch video productions and go to live performances. The seminar will also focus on discussing controversial attitudes within performance criticism itself and analyze well known critics reviews of events.