DANCE 200G Dance and Culture

DANCE 200G | ARTS, BE, EDSW, EMHSS, LC* | Semester Two 2024 | City Campus | 15 points | Prerequisite: 60 points passed

*Bachelor of Dance Studies students cannot take this General Education course.


Through practical dance classes and theoretical investigations into diverse cultural environments around the world, this course critically examines the interrelationship between dance and wider political and cultural movements.

You will physically engage in the study of various social dance forms. You'll discuss and write about the cultural environments that have contributed to, and been affected by, these dances.

Dances taught in this paper vary year to year depending on guest teacher availability, but may include dances such as:

  • Tango
  • Salsa
  • Dabke
  • Traditional Chinese dance
  • Kanak dance
  • Bharata Natyam

This course illustrates how dance can create and critique cultural and social traditions and conventions.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should:

  • Feel greater confidence when performing dance
  • Have a clear understanding of the stylistic conventions of the dances studied
  • Feel greater confidence when presenting critical arguments in public forums
  • Clearly understand the cultural environments that the dances emerge from
  • Be able to critically contextualise dance within society

Topics Covered


  • The globalisation of dance
  • Meanings of performance in dance
  • Dance and politics
  • Innovating with dance traditions: is dance fusion creating confusion?
  • Cultural ownership of dance: can someone "own" a dance?
  • Judging dance: do dance competitions destroy artistry?
  • Dance criticism: can anyone critique dance?
  • Dance teaching and learning dance in diverse cultural contexts
  • Dance, gender and culture

Practical classes

  • Introducing dance in diverse cultural contexts, such as New Caledonia, Palestine, China, India, Argentina, and Cuba
  • Learning movements/choreographies: from dances such as Tango, Salsa, Dabke, traditional Chinese dance, Kanak dance and Bharata Natyam
  • Improvising with dance traditions
  • Performing dances individually and in groups

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