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The Ruby is a catalyst for creativity and a home for making art at Duke.

Spring 2019 Courses at the Rubenstein Arts Center

Published By Duke Arts Staff
Published on: December 4, 2018

Over three dozen classes in film, video, dance, acting, and entrepreneurship are being offered in Ruby classrooms and studios.

Rubenstein Arts Center exterior.

The Rubenstein Arts Center was designed with the arts in mind. This beautiful facility features an abundance of natural light, performance lighting systems in several studios, sound-proofing, dance-ready sprung floors, a student lounge—just to name a few of the tools in the Ruby that support the creative process. Scroll on to browse the Spring 2019 course offerings, and consider joining a class in the arts center while you are at Duke!

Browse the Courses

Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Crosslisted in Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Crosslisted in African & African American Studies

Arts of the Moving Image

Introduction to Arts of the Moving Image

AMI 101 (full listing)
Alexander Cunningham

Examination of critical concepts in arts of the moving image from various perspectives. Spanning both traditional cinema and emergent fields. Emphasis on technology in relation to history and viewership. Exercises in film and digital production as well as theoretical writing.

Contemporary Documentary Films

AMI 205 (full listing)
Colleen Pesci

Integrated with the films and filmmakers of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The art form, style, and technology of contemporary documentary films. Issues of autonomy and power, politics, and public policies. Analysis of outstanding films from around the world. Presentations and discussions by filmmakers.

Moving Image Practice

AMI 301S.01 (full listing)
Jason Sudak

AMI 301S.02 (full listing)
James Haverkamp

Film and digital video production in conjunction with the history and theory of these technologies. Students may produce work in 8mm, 16mm film and digital video and learn the basics of non-linear digital editing on Final Cut Pro.

Acting for the Camera

AMI 310S (full listing)
Tayla Klein

Introduction to film and television acting.

Time, Space, and Film

AMI 352S (full listing)
Joshua Gibson

Exploration of temporal transformation, spatial articulation and subjectivity in the moving image. From special effects and avant-garde experiments to the long take and the fluid master. Readings and screenings inform hands-on practical exercises.


AMI 355S (full listing)
Stephen Milligan

In-depth investigation of cinematographic techniques and principles for motion picture production. Exercises in both film and high definition digital video. Emphasis on advanced lighting techniques, lensing, camera mobility, set operations and close analysis of master works of cinematography.

Editing for Film & Video

AMI 357S (full listing)
Shambhavi Kaul

Theory and practice of film and video editing techniques. Exploration of traditional film cutting as well as digital non-linear editing. Exercises in narrative, documentary and experimental approaches to structuring moving image materials.

Historical Documentary Production

AMI 429S (full listing)
Bruce Orenstein

Course examines how archival footage and photographs are used in historical documentaries about struggles for social equity in America. Iconic films will be reviewed to assess editors strategies for employing archival material in documentaries on the labor movement, civil rights movement, anti-Vietnam war movement, and early lesbian and gay rights movement. Students will then conduct research for film footage and photographs and learn practical steps needed to acquire rights to use the material. During the second half of the semester, students will be guided in the production and editing of their own short historical documentary.

Expanded Cinema

AMI 639S (full listing)
Shambhavi Kaul

This project-based course will explore moving image installation practices beyond the movie theater including alternative public spaces, devices, museums, white cubes and back boxes. The course will simultaneously examine relevant artworks in the context of their diverse histories and attendant theories, from early cinema devices, through works termed as Expanded Cinema around the 1970s, to current new media manifestations. Students will focus on developing moving image installation projects of their own, to be realized at various campus locations. Open to seniors and graduate students.

Global Art Cinema

AMI 643SL-001 (full listing)
Joshua Gibson

Advanced in-depth examination of alternative narrative and doc-fiction practices emerging from national cinemas around the world. Intended for advanced undergraduate and graduate students with prior production experience. Screenings and readings related to significant national cinema movements and practitioners will inform production exercises, writing assignments and a final moving image project.

Crosslisted in AMI


Kundalini Yoga

DANCE 151 (full listing)
Kevel Khalsa

Practice course to experience the components of Kundalini Yoga – breath work (pranayam), movement, postures (asanas, mudras), focus techniques (meditation, drishti), use of sound current (mantra), and relaxation techniques. For a more intensive study of Kundalini Yoga that includes practice, lecture, writing and discussion, see full credit course Dance 357L.

Advanced Dance Composition

DANCE 205S (full listing)
Andrea Woods Valdéz

Focuses on developing your creative voice in movement and choreography. Open to dancers of any style. Continuation of the basic movement, choreographic devices and forms explored in Dance 105S. Explores the use of props, sets, lighting and costuming, and the relationship of music to dance. Choreographing and directing ensembles. Improvisation, choreographic tools, inter-disciplinary projects, site specific work, and lots of individual attention to guide students through the creative process.

West African Rootholds in Dance

DANCE 335SL (full listing)
Ava Vinesett

Lecture and dance laboratory exploring three West African traditional dance forms and their relationship to religious and social life in Africa and the Diaspora. Continuity and transformation of physical texts as cultural heritage, examined historically and aesthetically. Guest lecturers, videos, research project. Two lab sections, one for students with prior training in African Dance, and one for students with no experience.

Kundalini Yoga And Sikh Dharma

DANCE 357L (full listing)
Kevel Khalsa

Introduction to Kundalini Yoga and meditation and yogic lifestyle as taught by Yogi Bhajan through practice, lecture, writing and discussion. Overview of the basic philosophy of Sikh Dharma and the development of Sikhism and Kundalini Yoga in the Western Hemisphere.

Gender in Dance and Theatre

DANCE 368 (full listing)
Purnima Shah

Ways in which gender and sexuality are conceptualized in selected performance cultures. Interprets these historically constituted social formations through an examination of the diverse cultural constructions of gender meanings, representations and ideologies as interpreted and expressed in dance and theatre. Symbolic meanings of gender in relation to forms of social life and theatrical experience. The Devadasi in India, the concept of the male embodied Onnagata, and the notion of the female embodied Otokoyaku in the dance-theatre of Japan.

Capstone: Senior Project

DANCE 489 (full listing)
Andrea Woods Valdéz

A research paper, choreographic project, or performance program with appropriate written documentation under dance faculty supervision. Open only to seniors earning a major in dance and with permission to seniors earning a minor in Dance.

Dance Technique and Repertory

Elementary Modern Dance

DANCE 110 (full listing)
Keval Khalsa

Technical and artistic training in the modern dance idiom through technique, improvisation and composition. First steps in developing skill, clarity and motivational intent as well as strength and flexibility. No previous dance experience necessary.

Advanced Beginning Ballet

DANCE 121 (full listing)
Tyler Walters

Barre work concentrating on body alignment and correct placement within the ballet vocabulary followed by center adagio and allegro sequences.

Intermediate Ballet

DANCE 122 (full listing)
Julie Walters

Barre work concentrating on body alignment and correct placement within the ballet vocabulary followed by center adagio and allegro sequences.

African Dance Tech I

DANCE 130 (full listing)
Ava Vinesett

Introduction to African dance styles and related rhythmic structures from selected countries such as Guinea, Senegal, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. Taught in the context of their social, occupational, and religious functions.

Hip Hop II

DANCE 143 (full listing)
Natalie Marrone

Hip-Hop, an inner-city culture that has created its own art, language, fashion, music and dance styles. This is the second level of Hip Hop dance and requires previous dance experience with the form. Using dance as a time-line the course explores the history, development and core elements of hip-hop dance culture.

Intermediate Modern

DANCE 210 (full listing)
Keval Khalsa

Increased complexity of movement sequences and greater emphasis on clarity of expression and quality of performance.

Adv. Intermediate ballet

DANCE 220 (full listing)
Julie Walters

Greater complexity of barre and center sequences with increased emphasis on correctness of style and quality of performance.

African Dance Tech II

DANCE 230 (full listing)
Ava Vinesett

Continuation of Dance 130. Dances from selected African ethnic groups providing increasingly complex movement sequences and rhythmic structures. Emphasis on greater technical proficiency, clarity of expression and quality of performance. Taught in the context of their social, occupational and religious functions.

Jazz II

DANCE 240 (full listing)
Nina Wheeler

Advanced Modern

DANCE 310 (full listing)
Andrea Woods Valdéz

Technical and artistic training in the modern dance idiom at an advanced level. Increased complexity of movement sequences and emphasis on clarity of expression, musicality, and quality of performance.

Advanced Ballet

DANCE 320 (full listing)
Tyler Walters

Progression of Dance 220 with increased emphasis on line, style, and performance-level quality and technique. Diverse batterie, pirouettes, and tours included in allegro combinations.

Pointe And Variations

DANCE 321 (full listing)
Julie Walters

Classical and contemporary pointe technique and variations. Refinement of the classical style and the exploration of contemporary studies en pointe in the ballet lexicon. Training in and analysis of the principles of classical and neoclassical variations and their historical and aesthetic context. Development of interpretative skills, enhancement of style and performance qualities through coaching and informal showings.

Modern Repertory

DANCE 412 (full listing)
Andrea Woods Valdéz

The study of choreography and performance through participation in the mounting of a dance work from inception through rehearsal to performance.

Intensive Ballet

DANCE 420 (full listing)
Julie Walters

Continuation of Dance 320. Daily training for the performing student at the advanced/professional level.

Ballet Repertory

DANCE 422 (full listing)
Tyler Walters

The study of choreography and performance through participation in the mounting of a dance work from inception through rehearsal to performance.

African Dance Repertory

DANCE 432 (full listing)
Ava Vinesett

The study of choreography and performance through participation in the mounting of a dance work from inception through rehearsal to performance.

Jazz Dance Repertory

DANCE 442 (full listing)
Nina Wheeler

Study of choreography and performance through participation in the mounting of a dance work in the jazz idiom from inception through rehearsal to performance.

Crosslisted in Dance

Documentary Studies


Information Science + Studies


Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Introduction to Performing Arts Management and Entrepreneurship

I&E 290.02 (full listing)
Eric Oberstein

This course, tailored for students who are considering careers in the arts, seeks to teach the foundations of performing arts management and equip students with knowledge of the business and entrepreneurial aspects of the arts and creative industries. It will engage a broad variety of guest speakers, including visiting artists brought to campus by Duke Performances, Duke alumni working in the performing arts, and members of the region’s burgeoning performing arts scene. Readings will be pulled from arts criticism, arts management case studies, memoirs and books on the performing arts, and journalism about the business of performing arts, including timely articles that will be added throughout the semester. Students will be required to attend a number of live performances. The course will include a final project, where student teams conduct assessments of local arts organizations and creative ventures.

Course topics include: Business Models in the Arts: For-Profit, Non-Profit, and Beyond; Programming and Curation; Marketing, Branding, and Building an Audience; Leadership in the Arts; Arts Budgeting and Finance; Fundraising and Income Streams; Arts Law, Contracts, and Intellectual Property; Careers in the Arts; and more.

Crosslisted in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

International Comparative Studies


Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies




MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts

Experiments in the Moving Image

MFAEDA 712 (full listing)
Lisa McCarty

Poetic and experimental image-making, utilizing techniques that trace a historical trajectory from celluloid to digital. Exploration of cinematographic principles and cameraless experiments. Readings and screenings focusing on avant-garde film and digital traditions supplement student productions.

MFAEDA Workshop and Critique

MFAEDA 721/723 (full listing)
Tom Rankin

A class that meets weekly for 3 hours to review, discuss and reflect on student work in-depth. Works critiqued will be both works-in-progress as well as finished projects. Guest scholars and visiting artists will join the class at times, bringing an ‘outside’ perspective to discussions. Students will also be assigned formal roles to lead weekly critiques.



Policy Journalism and Media Studies

Advanced Multimedia Studies

PJMS 369S (full listing)
Amy Unell and Carson Mataxis

Designed to be experiential, documentary and project-based, this advanced seminar encourages creativity, innovation and collaboration. The class will help students develop a deeper knowledge of, and appreciation for, the ever-changing roles of multimedia journalism and innovation across multiple platforms and disciplines. Students will work in teams to produce professional stories that will be featured on the class website at the end of the semester.



Theater Studies


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