Academic Programs

Division of the Arts

Dance

Overview

The Bard Dance Program sees the pursuit of artistry and intellect as a single endeavor and the study of the body as a cognitive act, demanding both physical practice and exploration of the broader academic contexts in which the art form exists. The program fosters the discovery of a dance vocabulary that is meaningful to the dancer/choreographer and essential to his or her creative ambitions. This discovery leads students to cultivate original choices that are informed by a full exploration of their surroundings and to find expression in new and dynamic ways. Through intensive technique and composition courses, onstage performance, and production experience, dance students are prepared to understand and practice the art of choreography and performance.

In 2009, the Dance Program began a partnership with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. In 2011, the Company merged with Dance Theater Workshop to become New York Live Arts. Bill T. Jones leads the organization as its executive artistic director and the Company continues as New York Live Arts’ company in residence. Artists from the Company and from the New York Live Arts presenting season lead course work and events.

Areas of Study

The Dance Program offers technique courses in ballet, modern dance, and world dance–flamenco, as well as courses in composition, dance history, dance science, performance and production, and dance repertory.

Requirements

Prior to Moderation, students must take a minimum of four credits in technique and three credits in dance composition. All moderating students must submit choreography for consideration in one of the year’s two Moderation dance concerts. Each moderating student must present performance work for acceptance into the major. Once accepted, students may choose to concentrate in creative work, performance, or both. Once a student moderates, requirements for the major include two courses in technique per semester (including three ballet and one world dance and culture course); three levels of dance composition (if concentrating in performance, two levels); Dance 250, Anatomy for the Dancer; Dance 360, Archaeology of Dance; a music course; two courses in practicing arts disciplines outside of dance; an additional history course outside of the Dance Program; and a writing and/or criticism course (e.g., Philosophy and the Arts). Additionally, attendance at Dance Workshop is required of all majors. Held each semester, the workshop helps students prepare for any one of four annual productions. For the Senior Project, students prepare choreography, performance, or other material of appropriate scope for public presentation. All Senior Projects include a 20- to 30-page paper that synthesizes interests in areas outside of dance where appropriate and relates these processes to the development of the specific work presented.

Recent Senior Projects in Dance

  • “Abstract American Ballet: George Balanchine and Other Artists Following the Great Depression” and “Merce Cunningham, Snow” (choreography)
  • “Artistic Evolution in Argentine Tango: Tensions between Tradicional and Nuevo
  • “Fair Pointe,” an exploration of the theory and practice of dancing en pointe
  • “The Role of Salome: An Exploration of Sexuality in Dance”

Facilities

The Dance Program is located in the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, where facilities include two studios and a fully equipped, 200-seat theater.

Courses

The Dance Program offers 100-level studio classes for first-year students and other beginning dancers; 200-level classes, which are open to all students at the intermediate level of technique; and 300-level classes, open to all students with the experience appropriate for an advanced-level course. All dance studio classes have live musical accompaniment. Tutorials arise out of a student’s interest in delving deeply into a subject that is not generally covered in the curriculum. Topics have included dance pedagogy, partnering technique, pointe work, and specific elements of dance history and dance science.

Program Website:

http://dance.bard.edu

Faculty:

Jean Churchill
Leah Cox
Peggy Florin
Bill T. Jones
Peter K. Kyle
Amii LeGendre
Maria Quinlan Simpson
Janet Wong

Staff:

Robert Bangiola
Amii LeGendre
Jennifer Lown
Matthew Waldron