Academics

BLS 341: Eye Appeal: Spectacle on Stage and in Life

From ancient times to the present, “spectacle” (the visual aspects of human performance — architecture, scenery, costumes, makeup, lighting, special effects, and staging) has been used to expressively embody and evoke meaning in rituals, ceremonies and artistic performances. This course will examine the use of spectacle as an expressive mode of communication in human performance from antiquity to the present. Students will study the elements of spectacle that have been employed throughout history in the performing arts (theatre, dance, music) and in life-performances such as rituals, ceremonies and rites. Students will explore the iconography of the performing arts and consider how this visual evidence has been interpreted by scholars. By the end of the course students should have an appreciation for the power and impact of spectacle on stage and in life.

Textbooks

  • Hartnoll, Phyllis. The Theatre: A Concise History. Thames & Hudson, 1998. ISBN 0500203121