Assistant Professor of Dance
Christal Brown (choreographer, educator, performer, writer and activist) is a native of Kinston, North Carolina, and received her BFA in dance and minor in business from the University of NC at Greensboro. Upon graduation, Brown went on to tour nationally with Chuck Davis' African-American Dance Ensemble and internationally with Andrea E. Woods/Souloworks. Immediately following those experiences, Brown performed with and managed Gesel Mason Performance Projects while apprenticing with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Maryland. Upon relocating to New York Brown, apprenticed with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company before finding a home with Urban Bush Women, where she spent three seasons as a principal performer, community specialist and apprentice program coordinator.
Aside from performing, Brown is the Founding Artistic Director of INSPIRIT, a performance ensemble and educational conglomerate dedicated to bringing female choreographers together to collaborate and show new work, expanding the views of women of all ages, and being a constant source of inspiration to its audience as well as members. Founded in 2000, INSPIRIT has been honored to show work at Aaron Davis Hall, St. Mark's Church, Joyce Soho, The Lincoln Theater of Washington, D.C., and various other venues across the country.
Combining her athleticism, creativity, love for people, and knack for teaching, Brown continues to teach and create works that redefine the art of dance and the structure of the field.
DVD available in the college bookstore:
Christal Brown’s “Liquid Strength”
A technique laboratory focused on moving, intention, and analyzation
Combining the focus and intention of a meditative practice with a series of exercises designed to train the body in articulate expression as well as athletic execution, Brown's class focuses on developing the total artist. Exercises focus on alignment, torso and spinal flexibility, clarity of focus, upper body strength, lower body strength, and abdominal control. Working to transform philosophical notions of being into movement explorations, students discover intersections between technique and performance, yielding transference.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
ARDV 0116 - The Creative Process ▲
The Creative Process
In this course, students will have the opportunity to dig deeply into their own creativity and explore the processes by which ideas emerge and are given shape in the arts. The experiential nature of this course integrates cognition and action, mind and body. Students will engage a range of modes of discovering, knowing, and communicating, which are designed to push them beyond their present state of awareness and level of confidence in their creative power. Practical work will be closely accompanied by readings and journaling, culminating with the creation and performance of a short project. (First- and second-year students only; Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1364) 3 hrs. lect.
Spring 2013, Fall 2014
DANC 0160 - Intro 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
Fall 2010, Spring 2013
DANC 0163 - From Africa to the Americas
From Africa to the Americas: Moving from Our Core
This course is an introduction to dance emphasizing the influence of traditions from the African Diaspora on contemporary modern dance. Technique sessions incorporate styles from West Africa and Central and South America with performance work. Discussion of readings on the history and current practice of movement forms originating in Africa, as well as on the work of artists developing fusion styles, supports written and creative work. Compositional studies explore the intersection between technique, history/theory, and performance. (No previous dance experience required.) 2 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab
Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2014
DANC 0260 - Advanced Beginning Dance I
Advanced Beginning Dance I
This is the first course in the studio sequence for students entering Middlebury with significant previous dance experience. It is also the course sequence for those continuing on from DANC 0160 or DANC 0161 and provides grounding in the craft of modern dance needed to proceed to more advanced levels. Modern dance movement techniques are strengthened to support an emerging individual vocabulary and facility with composition. Students regularly create and revise movement studies that focus on the basic elements of choreography and the relationship of music and dance. Readings, journals, and formal critiques of video and live performance contribute to the exploration of dance aesthetics and develop critical expertise. (DANC 0160 or by approval) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab
Fall 2012, Fall 2013
DANC 0261 - Advanced Beginning Dance II
Advanced Beginning Dance II
A continuation of DANC 0260. (DANC 0260) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab
Fall 2012, Fall 2013
DANC 0360 - Intermediate/Advanced Dance I
Intermediate/Advanced Dance I
This course involves concentrated intermediate-advanced level work in contemporary dance technique and choreography culminating in production. Theoretical issues of importance to the dancer/choreographer are addressed through readings, writings and practice. (DANC 0261 or by waiver; this course may be taken in any sequence with DANC 0361, DANC 0460, DANC 0461) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab
DANC 0361 / FMMC 0361 - Movement and Media
Movement and Media
In this course we will take an interdisciplinary look at the dynamic relationship between the body and digital media. Students will develop skills in basic film editing, real-time software manipulation, open-source media research, project design, and collaboration. We will address design history and theories of modern media through readings and multimedia sources. Process and research papers and work-in-progress showings will document ongoing collaborations that will culminate in an informal showing at the end of the semester. This course is open to students of all artistic backgrounds who are interested in significantly expanding their creative vocabularies and boundaries to include dance. (Approval required: obtain application from Dance website and submit prior to start of registration; DANC 0261 required for dance students). 3 hrs. lect., 3 hrs. lab.
DANC 0380 - 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
Fall 2010, Fall 2013
DANC 0381 - 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).
Winter 2011, Winter 2014
DANC 0400 - Special Topics
Special Topics in Dance: Independent Study
DANC 0460 - Intermediate/Advanced DanceIII ▲
Intermediate/Advanced Dance III: The Place of Dance
In this course we will investigate three aspects of place in relation to dance: where we source movement, the relevance of dance in culture, and the effects of place on the moving dancing body. Material covered will include body systems dance technique at the intermediate/advanced level, improvisation and composition toward choreography and site specific work, readings and reflective writing, and performance viewing. The course culminates in formal and informal showings of performance work. The emergence of a personal philosophy and dance aesthetic will be engaged and formally articulated in writing. (DANC 0261; this course may be taken in any sequence with DANC 0360, DANC 0361, DANC 0461) 4.5 hrs. lect./2 hrs. lab.
DANC 0500 - Independent Project ▲ ▹
Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
DANC 0700 - Independent Project ▲ ▹
Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
DANC 1009 - Community Dialogue/Arts
Community Dialogue Through the Arts
In this course students will learn both the theory and the practice of community dialogue through the arts. We will study the roles of community organizers, activists, artists, community members, performers, and scholars in the field of community engagement, such as The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Urban Bush Women, Crossroads Theatre, and Jan Cohen-Cruz of Imagining America. Students will collaborate to design, plan, implement, and document a community engagement project aimed at making tangible change that continues after the course is completed. Readings will be drawn from Radical Street Performance, Visions of Culture, and Imagining America Publications. This course counts as an elective towards the Dance major.