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Performance Theory and Philosophical Asesthetics 1

ECTS Credits
Course code
Included in study programme
Master’s in dance

Brief course description

The course illuminates select topics and problems within performing practices, dance theory and contemporary philosophical thinking. The focus is on a critical investigation of the concepts and analyses that the art of dance draws from within the Western heritage of the humanities, aesthetics, cultural studies and social sciences. The course also addresses critical race theory, intersectionality, postcolonial studies, queer theory and other relevant perspectives that reflect the students’ specific interests.

Semester 1 (year 1) provides an introduction to:

  • key topics and problems within dance and the performing arts
  • analysis of works within modern dance and contemporary dance

Semester 2 (year 1):

  • introduction to historical and contemporary concepts within aesthetics and art criticism

The course provides an introduction to and experience with various approaches to writing that may include academic essays, project descriptions, reflections and the like.

The course’s learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, students shall

  • have knowledge of select historical and contemporary ideas and problems in Western traditions of performance and philosophy
  • have gained insight into the relationship between artistic practices and various theoretical approaches and be able to express this both orally and in writing
  • be able to contextualise the contemporary field of the performing arts and their own work in theoretical terms

Teaching and learning methods

The course’s working methods will consist of teacher-led instruction, supervision and independent work/independent study. Teacher-led instruction will primarily take place as lectures, seminars and textual analysis. The teacher determines the syllabus for each of the two academic years in accordance with an assessment of the cohort’s priorities and their academic progression.

The teaching negotiates with the group’s composition and other salient factors. Dialogue and discussion of key questions related to central topics and professions will be central.

In addition to teacher-led instruction, students are expected to read a selection of articles and books as preparation for lectures and as part of their written assignments. The students will be actively engaged in current theoretical research, and they will expand their knowledge of and familiarity with specialised literature and also go in depth into specific fields. The students submit two essays on topics or literature assigned by the teacher.

The course requirements are

  • mandatory attendance and active participation in the course
  • completed reading
  • submission of written assignments/works


All course requirements must be approved in order for a student to receive a final course assessment. Written assignments/works will be assessed by the teacher and be seen in relation to the course’s learning outcomes. The course is graded pass/fail.