COURSE: “Interactivity, Play, Choreography & Neuroplasticity” – FALL 2017

Transdisciplinary Media Design Practicum
Interactivity, Play, Choreography & Neuroplasticity


“Dance, the art of human movement, on the surface appears nontechnologically inclined. It is the selfsufficient art.” – Judith A. Gray

IML 543 | FALL 2017 | Section 37471R
4 Units | FRIDAYS 3-6:20PM @ SCI 209

Prof. Marientina Gotsis, MFA | | office: SCI 201U
Office hours: Fridays 1-2pm and by appointment

A Themed Exploration.

This course will never be the same twice. Each time it is taught, we set one or more unique challenges inspired by something that we want to explore because it is urgent and timely, rare and unusual, or difficult and obscure. The class takes advantage of emerging interest in topics in neuroscience, public health and medicine that merit further exploration from a design perspective. Unexplored themes give the students an opportunity to learn about the process of generating research questions, as well as interventions in real-time through collaboration and experiential design. Each participating student and faculty will bring their expertise and an open mind to contribute what they know how to do and learn something new from others.

This year’s topic is “Interactivity, Play, Choreography and Neuroplasticity”. We will develop concepts toward the design of a playful intervention for children with developmental disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, etc.). Ideas will leverage a choreographic system based on William Forsythe’s Red Yellow Blue Green movement/vocal system, and students will also learn about Alexander, Feldenkreis, and pilates training, as well as William Forsythe’s Improvisation Technologies movement generating systems. Technological (digital games and virtual reality) and non-technological interventions will be explored that can be used in K12 settings. The class with collaborate with the Kaufman School of Dance and Prof. Thomas McManus and his students. Guests speakers will be invited on topics of technology, neuroscience, and child development.

Suggested Bibliography

Blom, L. A., & Chaplin, L. T. (1982). The intimate act of choreography. Pittsburg, PA: University of Pittsburg Press.

Century, M., Hustvedt, S., Pelli, D., Scott, J., Wiley, K. C. (KC), & Levy, E. K. (2013). Neuroscience and the Arts Today. PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, 35(3), 8–23.

Hagendoorn, I. (2011). Dance, aesthetics and the brain. Tilburg University. Retrieved from

Levin, K. (2016). Aesthetics of Hyperactivity: A Study of the Role of Expressive Movement in ADHD and Capoeira. American Journal of Dance Therapy, 38(1), 41–62.

Skoning, S. N. (2008). Movement and Dance in the Inclusive Classroom Movement and Dance in the Inclusive Classroom. TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus, 4(6), 3–9.

Koch, S. C., Mehl, L., Sobanski, E., Sieber, M., & Fuchs, T. (2015). Fixing the mirrors: A feasibility study of the effects of dance movement therapy on young adults with autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 19(3), 338–350.

Munsell, S. E., & Bryant Davis, K. E. (2015). Dance and Special Education. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 59(3), 129–133.

Zitomer, M. R. (2016). Creating Inclusive Elementary School Dance Education Environments. Department of Elementary Education University. Retrieved from

Behrends, A., Muller, S., & Dziobek, I. (2016). Dancing supports empathy: The potential interactional movement and dance for psychotherapy. European Psychotherapy, 8(1), 99–131.

Surujlal, J. (2013). Music and Dance as Learning Interventions for Children with Intellectual Disabilities. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 4(10), 68–75.

Karpati, F. J., Giacosa, C., Foster, N. E. V, Penhune, V. B., & Hyde, K. L. (2015). Dance and the brain: A review. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1337(1), 140–146.

Mcdonnell, E. (2013). The Impact of Movement on Literacy Development in the Kindergarten Classroom. University of Wisconsin. Retrieved from

Devereaux, C. (2017). Educator perceptions of dance/movement therapy in the special education classroom. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 12(1), 50–65.

Mcewen, C. A., & Mcewen, B. S. (2016). Social Structure, Adversity, Toxic Stress, and Intergenerational Poverty: An Early Childhood Model. Annual Review of Sociology, (April), 1–28.

Weerdmeester, J., Cima, M., Granic, I., Hashemian, Y., & Gotsis, M. (2016). A Feasibility Study on the Effectiveness of a Full-Body Videogame Intervention for Decreasing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms. Games for Health Journal, 5(4), 258–269.