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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

Movers and Shakers: An Exploration of Cloth and Dance Through Personal Practice

Instructor(s): Debra Fernandez, Professor of Dance

Do you have what it takes to be a mover and shaker? Join us as we explore the distinct but intersecting expressions of cloth and dance in our own lives and in the lives of some of the most influential artists, political activists, religious factions and everyday people who make a difference. Through films, performances, and readings we will study African-American slave quilts, the ecstatic dances of the Shakers and Sufis, and contemporary dance – Bill T. Jones and Merce Cunningham and others. We will investigate Gandhi, his spinning wheel and homespun cotton as well as Chile’s arpilleras made for The Disappeared during Pinochet’s regime. In each study, be it individuals resisting oppression or the group itself using cloth and dance as the standard bearers, each example traces the paths of dancers, artists, and community leaders who express and embody change. Through guided hands-on projects, dance and movement studies, such as folk dances, yoga and quilting, we will make connections with our readings, viewings, and writings.

Course Offered