Creating Dance: Modern Dance Intensive

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Fall 2018, Winter 2019, and Spring 2019 quarters

Taught by

modern dance, kinesiology


Intermediate technical proficiency in a formal fine art dance technique, such as modern (Nikolais/Louis, Cunningham, Graham, Ballet, Orissi, etc.), and comprehension of theories and philosophies of dance as fine art. Note: Vernacular forms such as hip hop, 5-Rhythms, hoop, fire, ecstatic, free-form, etc., do not qualify as formal techniques.

This program in the art of modern dance is designed for intermediate and advanced dance students in the performing arts. Coursework includes progressive study in the anatomical and kinesiological foundations of dance, rigorous daily practice in Nikolais/Louis-based technique, experimental theory/improvisation, dance composition, theatrical staging, and performance. Intensive studio work is augmented with texts, films, and lecture-demonstrations on philosophies, aesthetics, and sociocultural dimensions of dance and its relation to other arts. Each week emphasizes a clearly stated artistic premise explored technically, theoretically, and through student-centered problem-solving assignments in composition. Seminars include regular peer and faculty critique of work-in-progress, active reading and writing strategies, and oral presentations. The program culminates in a spring quarter dance concert.

Fall quarter focuses on the foundations of dance: somatic awareness, kinesiology, technique, theory, improvisation, and methods of conceptualizing, generating, developing, organizing, and refining movement into dance compositions suitable for presentation on the proscenium stage. Foundation work includes readings and seminars on the history of dance, including its philosophical, aesthetic, and axiological meaning and value, and its relation to other art forms. Winter quarter continues to develop rigorous practical techniques and theories with a focus on integrating form and content into dance statements and themes unique to each student and student cast. Spring quarter adds focus on performance, including the scoring of overlapping production schedules for choreography, musical accompaniment, dance lighting, costumes, sets, props, publicity, and budgets.

Learning objectives for this program are to: Acquire experiential knowledge of basic anatomy and dance kinesiology; Conceptualize artistic ideas with personal and sociocultural meaning and value; Generate artistic ideas and concepts into movement; Organizeand develop movement into dance compositions; Develop compositions for peer and faculty critique; Refineandcomplete compositions and artwork for presentation; Interpret intent and meaning in the work of others through observation and discussion; Analyze extant choreography and literature for seminar discussion; Synthesize knowledge and personal experience through making dance art; and Advocate the fine arts lucidly in writing and by participating in oral seminars and lecture-demonstrations on the sociocultural, historical, and literate contexts and significance of the fine arts.

Credit equivalencies of the program include: modern dance technique, dance theory and composition, somatic awareness and kinesiology, and performance for the proscenium stage.

Program Details

Fields of Study

art history dance somatic studies

Preparatory For

dance and the performing arts.


Fall Open Winter Signature Spring Closed

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online


$100 in fall and $150 in winter and spring for theater and museum entrance fees and supplies.