Bard envisions the liberal arts institution as the hub of a network, rather than a single, self-contained campus. Numerous institutes for special study are available on and off campus, connecting Bard students to the greater community.
The Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College embodies the fundamental belief that education and civil society are inextricably linked. In an age of information overload, it is more important than ever that citizens be educated and trained to think critically and be actively engaged with issues affecting public life.
Introduction to Dance: The Articulate BodyDance 103The course offers an intense experience of dance in the broadest and most contemporary sense. Students move vigorously in each class in order to develop their skills as articulate movers, cultivating athleticism, kinesthetic sophistication, and range. Equal emphasis is placed on developing skills in improvisation and composition.
Introduction to Modern DanceDance 104Intended for the beginner; no experience is necessary.
Advanced Beginner DanceDance 105-106Courses in modern dance and ballet for students with some experience. Fundamental issues of anatomical alignment are emphasized through the development of basic vocabulary.
Dance Composition I, II, IIIDance 117-118; 217-218; 317-318Three levels of composition courses are required of all dance majors. The 100-level classes introduce the fundamentals of movement, including timing, energy, space, balance, and phrasing. Viewing other students’ work and learning to articulate constructive criticism serve to hone the dancer’s aesthetic eye. Classes at the 200 level address questions of phrase development, form, and relationship to sound/music. At the 300 level, composition classes address production elements in dance performance, including lighting, costumes, and sound.
Introduction to Contact ImprovisationDance 120Contact improvisation is a duet dance form based on immediate response to sensation, weight, touch, and communication. This course explores states of presence, perception, awareness, and responsiveness to one’s self and environment. The class cultivates these states as a broader context for a study of physical strategies related to gravity, momentum, flight, falling, and rolling.
The Body on Stage: Movement for the PerformerDance 130 / Theater 130This course is intended for the performing artist who has not studied dance. Students learn a basic warm-up, including exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles; rudimentary anatomy; injury-prevention techniques; postural awareness; and improvisational and creative techniques that performers can use to deepen character.
Dabkeh: Introduction to Palestinian “Stomp”Dance 135Dabkeh, a popular dance form that emerged in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey, comes from the Arabic for “stomping the ground.” It has historically been, and continues to be, danced at community celebrations, but in the past several decades it has also become more stylized for performances on stage and in dance competitions. Students learn traditional versions of dabkeh, danced in a line or a circle, as well as more contemporary choreographies.
Alexander TechniqueDance 142An introduction to the principles and applications of the Alexander Technique (AT), a method of psychophysical re-education developed byF. Matthias Alexander in the early 20th century. AT pays close attention to functional anatomical organization and to how thought, on the sensory and neuromuscular level, plays a crucial role in an individual’s “use” of his/herself. Sought out by musicians, performing artists, and others who seek clarity and efficiency in motion and expression, AT promotes ease in any physical practice.
Intermediate/Advanced StudiosDance 211-212, 311-312 Designed for students wishing to experience an intense, three-dimensional study of modern dance. Technique class is structured as a laboratory where physical possibilities are explored with a mixture of rigor and freedom, specificity and abandon. It is also a place of critical thinking; the material studied challenges the class to rearticulate/reimagine the dancer’s relationships to codified movement systems.
Intermediate/Advanced Modern DanceDance 215-216 Readings, written assignments, and attendance at performances outside of regular class hours are essential aspects of the course, which is taught by Bard and Trisha Brown Dance Company faculty. Prerequisite: sophomore status with the intention to moderate; two semesters of intermediate-level modern course.
Contact Improvisation IIDance 222Students in the class draw from a working knowledge of the fundamentals of contact improvisation in order to deepen their practice and explore challenging lifts and more nuanced dancing.
FlamencoDance 243-244, 343-344, 443-444Technique classes in flamenco, a dance and music that has been influenced by many different cultures, including Indian, Judaic, Cuban, Argentinean, and African.
Dance RepertoryDance 315-316Students learn a piece from the repertory of the Trisha Brown Dance Company, to be performed at the spring faculty dance concert. Students must be available for all rehearsals, including evening rehearsals the week before the performance weekend. Enrollment is by audition.
Junior/Senior Seminar in DanceDance 350This course provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to begin a professional practice. Students prepare a portfolio of their work, delve into development, explore the range of jobs that allow for a continuing creative practice, and learn how to interact with professionals in all aspects of the performing arts. Rotating guest teachers address issues relevant to artists entering the field and discuss their own roles within the professional dance/theater world.
Anatomy for the DancerDance 355A study of the primary bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles relevant to dancing; the physiology of breathing; and the body as a complex physical system. Students learn how to prevent injury and develop a full range of expression with safety and pleasure.
Dance History: History: Modernity and PostmodernityDance 360What is postmodern dance, how does it relate to modern dance, and how does it extend to current dance practices? The course first looks at the group of artists who took Robert Dunn’s composition class in 1962 in New York City and were considered the first generation of postmodern dance artists. The scope of inquiry expands to modernism and postmodernism’s philosophical developments, modern and postmodern characteristics of other art forms, and significant political and cultural developments influencing the modern/postmodern distinction.