What’s the Most Interesting Course at U-M?
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Eight live performances. Three humanities credits. Experience the performing arts up close and behind the scenes.
Engaging Performance (Winter 2019) connects undergraduate students directly to the touring, world-class artists who perform music, theater, and dance on the U-M campus. Students will attend live performances, talk with the artists and the arts administrators who help get them here, and explore how the performing arts are an integral part of our lives and the world at large.
Class will include lectures (including some by guests and visiting artists), required attendance at evening performances, interactive classroom activities, weekly readings, response papers about the performances, and presentations from students in class.
Students will attend live performances of:
- Jan 18-19: The Great Tamer, a new work of experimental theatre from Greece
- Jan 26: Camille A. Brown & Dancers’ Ink
- Feb 15-16: The theatre work Past Tense, a meditation on police brutality by artist Carrie Mae Weems
- Feb 21: A site-specific performance of new music by the International Contemporary Ensemble
- Mar 12: The Philharmonia Orchestra of London led by Esa-Pekka Salonen
- Mar 26-27: The contemporary ballet La Fresque by Ballet Preljocaj from France
- Apr 5-6: A mid-century modern production of Julius Caesar by the Théâtre National de Bretagne
- Apr 14: A jazz vocal concert by Grammy winner Cecile McLorin Salvant
These performances constitute the course’s primary “texts,” and the full package of tickets is available to students enrolled in the course for the dramatically reduced rate of $120. Engaging Performance is made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a partnership between the University of Michigan and the University Musical Society (UMS).
ENG 290.004, MUSPERF 200.001, ALA 260.001
Instructors: Aric Knuth and Matthew Ozawa
Meets Tuesdays & Thursdays
11:30 am – 1 pm
Angell Hall G127
By the end of this class students will be able to:
- Rigorously describe live performance
- Imagine how performance asks questions about the world
- Identify how structural choices vary across performances
- Identify various elements of a performance and discuss how they impact one another
- Have knowledge of tools necessary to research a performance’s historical and social context prior to attending a live performance
- Consider how performance might be a mode of research—a way not just to ask a question, but to investigate that question in motion, through sound, etc.
- Learn more about the UMS and what it offers to students
Is it for me?
No previous knowledge of the performing arts is required from students! It is open to undergraduates at all levels and across all departments at the University of Michigan; no previous experience or special training in arts is required.
Engaging Performance is made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a partnership between the University of Michigan and the University Musical Society (UMS).