Political and Cultural Perspectives in Dance Studies
with Natalie Zervou
About this Course
Political and Cultural Perspectives in Dance Studies (Dance 268) examines the role of dance as a cultural form of expression within the political sphere. It draws on a variety of case studies ranging from popular dance TV shows, to European modern dance, to hip-hop, to dancing at public protests and asks the questions:
- What constitutes dance?
- What is its social and political function?
Dance 268 is an intermediate level course. No prior dance experience is required.
June 12 –
Meet Your Professor
Dance Scholar and Performer
Natalie Zervou is a dance scholar and performer with PhD in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside, an MA in Dance Cultures: Histories and Practices from the University of Surrey (UK). She completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Athens (Greece), and earned Diploma in Dance and Dance Pedagogy from the Higher Professional Dance School Morianova Trasta (Greece).
Her research interests concern contemporary dance in Greece, during the recent socio-political and economic crisis and the ways that dancing bodies negotiate national identity construction in this fluctuating landscape. Her research has been supported by the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (Greece) and a Dissertation Year Fellowship from the University of California, Riverside.
As a performer, Zervou has trained in classical ballet and modern dance technique (Limón), as well as Greek folk dances and European character dance. She has choreographed and performed works in Greece, Britain, Amsterdam, and the USA and maintains an active artistic agenda, constantly experimenting with new media and art forms. (Source)
Her teaching philosophy: “As a dance studies scholar and dance teacher it is my responsibility to introduce students to the various ways that embodied practices intersect with scholarly theories, and to teach them the cultural, social and political value of dance. Having taught in a variety of settings, such as elementary and middle schools, lower division lecture classes, studio courses, as well as online courses, the majority of my students have been from a variety of disciplines with various backgrounds. The major challenge that I have encountered with such a diverse student populations has been to unsettle misconceptions that the students have about dance classes being ‘easy’, or viewing dance as entertainment, rather than a theoretical tool. My primary focus is thus on cultivating students’ appreciation of the art form and providing them with the methodological and theoretical tools to foster their ability to appreciate, critically analyze, and develop an informed understanding of dance and its many facets.” Read More on her Website >