Andrea Olsen

Professor of Dance

 
 Spring Term 2016- Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Andrea Olsen has been a Professor of Dance at Middlebury College in Vermont over the past three decades and is author of a triad of books on the body: BodystoriesBody and Earth, and The Place of Dance. She currently teaches on the Monterey, CA campus bringing mindfulness practices into graduate courses on global communication.  Current projects include hosting a Whole Body Intelligence series of films and lectures with colleague Nukhet Kardam in Monterey and continuing the Body and Earth: Seven Web-Based Somatic Excursions film project with Scotty Hardwig at Middlebury.

http://andrea-olsen.com and http://body-earth.org.

Degrees, Specializations & Interests:
MFA University of Utah, Dance Choreography

Photo Credit - Alan Kimara Dixon

Media:

 

 

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

DANC0160 - Introduction to Dance      

Introduction to Dance
This entry-level dance course introduces movement techniques, improvisation/composition, performance, experiential anatomy, and history of 20th century American modern dance. Students develop flexibility, strength, coordination, rhythm, and vocabulary in the modern idiom. Concepts of time, space, energy, and choreographic form are presented through improvisation and become the basis for a final choreographic project. Readings, research, and reflective and critical writing about dance performance round out the experience. 2 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab ART PE

Fall 2013

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DANC0277 / ENVS0277 - Body & Earth      

Body and Earth
This course has been designed for students with an interest in the dialogue between the science of body and the science of place. Its goals are to enhance movement efficiency through experiential anatomy and to heighten participants' sensitivity to natural processes and forms in the Vermont bioregion. Weekly movement sessions, essays by nature writers, and writing assignments about place encourage synthesis of personal experience with factual information. Beyond the exams and formal writing assignments, members of the class will present a final research project and maintain an exploratory journal. 3 hrs. lect. 1 hr. lab. ART CW NOR PE

Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2015

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DANC0376 / ENVS0277 - Anatomy and Kinesiology      

Anatomy and Kinesiology
This course offers an in-depth experiential study of skeletal structure, and includes aspects of the muscular, organ, endocrine, nervous, and fluid systems of the human body. The goal is to enhance efficiency of movement and alignment through laboratory sessions, supported by assigned readings, exams, and written projects. (Not open to first-year students) 3 hrs. lect. ART PE

Fall 2012, Spring 2014, Fall 2015

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DANC0380 - Dance Company      

Dance Company of Middlebury
Dancers work with the artistic director and guest choreographers as part of a dance company, learning, interpreting, rehearsing, and performing dances created for performance and tour. Those receiving credit can expect four to six rehearsals weekly. Appropriate written work, concert and film viewing, and attendance in departmental technique classes are required. Auditions for company members are held in the fall semester for the year. One credit will be given for two terms of participation. Performances and tour are scheduled in January. (Limited to sophomores through seniors, by audition.) (DANC 0260; Approval required) 4 hrs. lect./4 hrs. lab ART PE

Fall 2012

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DANC0381 - Dance Company of Middlebury      

Dance Company of Middlebury
Dancers work with the artistic director and guest choreographers as part of a dance company, learning, interpreting, rehearsing, and performing repertory dances. Those receiving credit can expect daily rehearsals plus technique classes, campus performance, and tour. Appropriate written work is required. Auditions are held in the fall semester for the full year; one credit will be given for two semesters of participation. (Approval Required; limited to sophomores through seniors by audition) WTR

Winter 2013

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DANC0400 - Special Topics      

Special Topics in Dance: Independent Study
(Approval required)

Fall 2012

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DANC0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2015

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DANC0700 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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ENVS0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
In this course, students (non-seniors) carry out an independent research or creative project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty member with related expertise who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program, must involve a significant amount of independent research and analysis. The expectations and any associated final products will be defined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students may enroll in ENVS 0500 no more than twice for a given project. (Approval only)

Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2016

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ENVS0700 - Senior Independent Study      

Senior Independent Study
In this course, seniors complete an independent research or creative project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. During the term prior to enrolling in ENVS 0700, a student must discuss and agree upon a project topic with a faculty advisor who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program and submit a brief project proposal to the Director of Environmental Studies for Approval. The expectations and any associated final products will be defined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students may enroll in ENVS 0700 as a one-term independent study OR up to twice as part of a multi-term project, including as a lead-up to ENVS 0701 (ES Senior Thesis). (Senior standing; Approval only)

Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2016

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DPPG8542 - Communicating InAChangingWorld      

This class will explore effective modes of communication in both interpersonal and intercultural dialogue. In planning this class we have been motivated by our conviction that thoughtful exchange requires an environment where one is both trusting and trustworthy. Emphasizing embodied discussion, sessions will include movement, mindful interaction between participants, and writing integrated with close readings of theoretical materials. Exercises are intended to foster self- knowledge, critical reflection, and attentiveness to each other’s stories, in the belief that such reflective skills foster healthy communities through mutually respectful relationships between individuals, groups, and nations. In other words, the skills on which we will focus should apply directly to daily life as well as to multilingual/international work environments. By social change, we mean a conscious process to reduce poverty and oppression by changing unequal power relationships.



Essential to this class will be the integration of scholarly analysis with insights from movement and physiology and also with interviews, exploratory writing, and personal narratives. The instructors will all fully participate as well as help to facilitate these exercises. For the final sessions participants will present a project applying one or more of the skills, which have been introduced within some larger personal or professional context of special interest to them.

Spring 2016 - MIIS

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MPAG8542 - Communicatng for Social Change      

This two credit course explores effective modes of communication in interpersonal and intercultural dialogue. Thoughtful exchange requires an environment where one is both trusting and trustworthy. Emphasizing embodied discussion, sessions include movement and writing integrated with close readings of theoretical materials. Specific exercises foster self-knowledge and hone attentiveness to each other’s stories, in the belief that such reflective skills foster healthy communities and mutually respectful relationships [between groups and within nations]. Skills are directly applicable to daily life and multilingual/international work environments. Examples are drawn from Action Research whose major premise includes a commitment to non-violent social change in community development, in partnership with all stakeholders.

Spring 2015 - MIIS

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Publications:

Bodystories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy, with Caryn McHose www.upne.com

Bodystories book

Body and Earth: An Experiential Guide www.upne.com

body and earth book

Andrea's writing resonates a deep engagement with the earth and our potential for connection. Wondrously matter of fact, she negotiates an awareness built on sensing, movement and clear information. She gives us the tools to note those small epiphanies of science and existence, of the land and the heart, with detail, spirit and a humbling sense of place. Body and Earth is a practice, a reminder of the enormously simple act of conscious living. This is a book that will be rained on, danced with, left behind and found again, borrowed and used for life.

-Bebe Miller, Choreographer and Artistic Director of Bebe Miller Company, and Professor of Dance at The Ohio State University


The Place of Dance: A Somatic Guide to Dancing and Dance Making, with Caryn McHose www.wesleyan.edu/wespress/

<p>Andrea Olsen Place of Dance</p>
 
The Place of Dance is a gift to the world of dance and to the world at large. Anyone who has seen or been involved in a dance of any kind must read this book. It opens doors to the lovely visceral mystery of the art form. It will likely become a teacher’s guide as well. Andrea Olsen has created a literate reflective surface from which to envision the body in motion.

—David Dorfman, dance department chair, Connecticut College, and artistic director, David Dorfman Dance

 
Click to read article
Click to Read Article

 See more lectures and workshops at www.andrea-olsen.com

Program in Environmental Studies

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest
531 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753