Students in Assistant Professor of Dance Jason Ohlberg’s “DA 335: Dance and Society II” course participated in a close-looking exercise with dance photographs from the Tang collection.
After a few minutes of looking at all photographs, each student selected an image that resonated with them. They then spent 5–10 minutes looking at and examining the image, followed by 5 minutes of writing their observations. Students repeated this process three times and then came together as a class to discuss the exercise and their findings. This temporal exercise teaches students that detailed information takes time to perceive, that perception is a skill that can be developed through structured activity, and that images can serve as primary documents, providing researchers with clues and valuable information about their subjects.