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Performance Theory and Philosophical Aesthetics I

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

Brief course description

The course illuminates a selection of topics and problems in creative and performing work and recent philosophical thinking. The course will use a critical perspective to focus on relevant concepts and analytical approaches to art based on the Western heritage of the humanities (including aesthetics and cultural studies) and social science. Particular attention will be paid to approaches such as intersectionality, critical race theory, postcolonial studies, queer theory and other relevant perspectives that reflect the students’ specific interests.

The course provides an introduction to various approaches to writing, including academic essays, logging and fieldwork notes, project descriptions and reports, and blurbs (i.e. short texts that are used to market projects).

Semester 1 (year 1) focuses on

  • key topics and problems within dance and the performing arts

The course provides a more profound knowledge of the performing arts, above all within dance. The selected topics are examined in their historical, aesthetic, political and methodological contexts.

  • analysis of works from modern and contemporary dance

The course provides a tangible basis for elaborating on and discussing topics and problems within the performing arts and dance.

Semester 2 (year 1) focuses on

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

The course provides a wide-ranging, intellectual history–based approach to various critical perspectives.

The course’s learning outcomes

The course’s learning outcomes are described as follows:


Upon completing the course, students shall

  • have knowledge of select historical and contemporary ideas and problems in Western traditions within the performing arts and philosophy


Upon completing the course, students shall

  • be able to use and express both orally and in writing their insight into the relationship between artistic practice and various theoretical approaches

General competence

Upon completing the course, students shall

  • be able to contextualise the contemporary field of the performing arts and situate their own artistic work within that context

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 performance analysis.

The students will have to read a selection of articles and books as preparation for the seminars and lectures and for their work on the written assignments. During the course, the students shall submit two essays on a given topic and literature (as assigned by the teacher). The students will be given guidance on how to work on literature and writing assignments.

The teaching is adapted to the group’s composition and other salient factors. Dialogue and discussion of key problems related to important topics and professions will be central.

The course requirements are

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


All course requirements must be approved in order for a student to receive a final course assessment. Written assignments will be assessed by the teacher on the basis of the course’s learning outcomes.

The course is graded pass/fail.