DAN-3140 African/Caribbean Dance and Culture

3 credits

Prerequisite: None

The dances of Africa and the Afro-Caribbean Islands share components true of all dance forms which arise out of polytheistic cultures; they celebrate and acknowledge the complexity of the human psyche and of the forces of nature, and also through the human form. Many of these dances are practiced as part of religious celebration and ritual; others are secular. Our exploration of these dances will be through the lens of a living mythological system. We will delve briefly into the realm of Carl Jung's collective unconscious and the phenomenon of archetypes, and then look at how these archetypes are expressed in mythology, particularly as studied by Joseph Campbell. We will then examine myths and archetypes embodied by the dances, and experience the actual rhythms and dances, with live drumming accompaniment. Readings by Africans, Afro-Caribbean, and Westerners, and films portraying the great diversity within this dance form will inform and deepen our understanding and experience.