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Undergraduate Dance Courses

Ballet (DPB 1000–4999)
Composition (DPC 1000–4999)
General Dance (DPD 1000–4999)
Modern (DPM 1000–4999)

Ballet

Ballet Vocabulary
DPB 1000
/ 1 credit / Spring
A lecture course focusing on the knowledge of ballet nomenclature.

Ballet Technique I
DPB 1010
(Fall) and 1020 (Spring) / 1.5 credits (per semester) / Every year
A year-long technique class that provides intermediate-level training for students in Level I ballet technique. Emphasis is placed on correct body alignment, awareness of musical phrasing and performance, knowledge of classical ballet vocabulary, and understanding of training principles. Placement audition required; placement by faculty.

Ballet Theory
DPB 1030
(Fall) and 1040 (Spring)
1 credit (per semester) / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Emphasis on the basic techniques of classical ballet.

Introduction to Ballet
DPB 1060 / 1.5 credits / Every semester
Classical ballet course designed especially for students in all disciplines.

Intermediate Ballet
DPB 1080 / 1.5 credits / Every semester
Intermediate-level course in classical ballet, designed especially for students in all disciplines.

Ballet Technique: Advanced Pointe I/Freshmen
DPB 1400
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Proper use of ballet technique while on pointe. Includes ballet barre warm-up and strengthening exercises at the barre and in the center, followed by classical phrases and/or variations.

Ballet Partnering I (Pas de Deux)
DPB 1600 (Fall) and 1610 (Spring) / .5 credit (per semester) / Every year
The art of classical ballet partnering is studied and practiced to increase each dancer’s knowledge of the skills required to perform pas de deux. Focuses on reinforcing the basics of classical partnering (adagio, pirouettes, lifts, and grand allegro) and partnerships. Segments of choreography of classical pas de deux from the repertoire are taught.

Men’s Class/Variation
DPB 1655
(Fall) and 1665 (Spring) / 1 credit (per semester) / Every year
A year-long class focusing on pirouettes, jumps, tour en l’air, petit allegro, grand allegro, virtuoso steps, and the musical quality of male variations in dance.

Special Ballet Technique: First Year
DPB 1800
(Fall) and 1820 (Spring) / 1 credit (per semester) / Every year
Classical ballet technique class for freshman dance majors.

Ballet Technique II
DPB 2010
(Fall) and 2020 (Spring) / 1.5 credits (per semester) / Every year
A year-long technique class that provides advanced-level training for students in Level II ballet technique. Emphasis is placed on correct body alignment, awareness of musical phrasing and performance, knowledge of classical ballet vocabulary, and understanding of training principles. Placement audition required; placement by faculty.

Ballet Technique III
DPB 3010
(Fall) and 3020 (Spring) / 1.5 credits (per semester) / Every year
A year-long technique class that provides advanced/professional level training for students in Level III ballet technique. Emphasis is placed on correct body alignment, awareness of musical phrasing and performance, knowledge of classical ballet vocabulary, and understanding of training principles. Placement audition required, placement by faculty.

Purchase Dance Company
DPB 3055
/ Variable credits / Every year
Students participate in the process of rehearsing a ballet work to be performed at the Performing Arts Center, on tour, or in the Dance Theatre Lab. In a practical application of technique, students are required to analyze movement vocabulary and adapt general principles to specific movement challenges. They also engage in various professional models of creating, rehearsing, and performing: learning material taught by the choreographer, altering or inflecting material as directed, and responding to creative assignments. Students practice receiving and/or participating in critical feedback and are guided in understanding the individual performer’s responsibility in achieving the success of the whole work. Also offered as DPM 3055.

Ballet Technique: Advanced Pointe I
DPB 3530
(Fall) and 3535 (Spring) / 1 credit (per semester) / Every year
A continuation of DPB 1400. Audition required.

Ballet Technique: Advanced Pointe II/Variation
DPB 3540
(Fall) and 3545 (Spring) / 1 credit (per semester) / Every year
A continuation of DPB 3530 and 3535. Audition required.
Prerequisite: DPB 3535

Special Ballet Technique
DPB 3800
(Fall) and 3820 (Spring) / 1 credit (per semester) / Every year
Classical ballet technique class.

Ballet Technique IV
DPB 4010
(Fall) and 4020 (Spring)
1.5 credits (per semester) / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A year-long technique class. Placement audition required, placement by faculty.

Ballet Partnering II
DPB 4600
(Fall) and 4610 (Spring) / .5 credit (per semester) / Every year
The art of classical ballet partnering at the professional level, in preparation for performance.

Contemporary Off-Pointe Partnering
DPB 4620
(Fall) and 4630 (Spring)
.5 credit (per semester) / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An off-pointe partnering class that uses classical ballet partnering to explore more contemporary work. Material is not gender-based.

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Composition

Improvisation/Composition I
DPC 1010
(Fall) and 1020 (Spring) / 1 credit (per semester) / Every year
A year-long course, required for freshman dance majors, taught through directed improvisation, lecture, and discussion. This course, which explores movement improvisational approaches and methodologies, is an entry into the creative trajectory that leads to composition and dance making. Open to students in other disciplines.

Pilates I
DPC 1300
(Fall) and 1350 (Spring) / .5 credit (per semester) / Every year
The authentic Pilates mat workout, a technique for core conditioning, for novice or entry-level students. This course is the basis for the Pilates method of body conditioning. The class sessions include work on the Pilates exercises and address the history, philosophy, and methodology of Joseph H. Pilates. Open to students in other disciplines.

Pilates II
DPC 1310
(Fall) and 1360 (Spring)
.5 credit (per semester) / Special topic (offered irregularly)
The authentic Pilates mat workout for students with prior Pilates experience. This course is the basis for the Pilates method of body conditioning. In each class session, students work out; examine the history of the Pilates method and its creator, Joseph H. Pilates; discuss the six principles of the method and the importance of the Powerhouse; and incorporate the five elements of the mind. Open to students in other disciplines.

Modern Composition II
DPC 2010
(Fall) and 2020 (Spring) / 2 credits (per semester) / Every year
A year-long course, required for all sophomore dance majors, that explores basic compositional structures and movement development techniques. Students are introduced and encouraged to investigate processes in dance making and the craft of choreography. They explore dance ideas through in-class improvisations and compositional tasks leading to the development of dance studies. These choreographic studies are presented in class at progressive stages of development. Feedback sessions, discussions, lectures, readings, critical analysis, and journaling enrich the students’ understanding of the creative process and the range of approaches explored, and develop their observation and critiquing skills.
Prerequisite: DPC 1010 and 1020

Advanced Improvisation
DPC 2200
(Fall) and 2210 (Spring)
1 credit (per semester) / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A continuation of DPC 1010 and 1020, this workshop focuses on increasing movement possibilities specific to each student. Concepts of body sequencing and thrust/counterthrust are combined with improvisatory techniques. Open to students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: DPC 1010 and 1020

Modern Composition III
DPC 3010
(Fall) and 3020 (Spring) / 2 credits (per semester) / Every year
A year-long course, required for all junior dance majors. Deepens the choreographic skill set and intuitive awareness in students, preparing them for their junior composition project. The junior composition project is required to proceed to the senior project. Open to students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: DPC 2010 and 2020

Modern Composition IV
DPC 4010
(Fall) and 4020 (Spring) / 1 credit (per semester) / Every year
A year-long course, required for all dance majors except those in the dance production concentration. Develops students’ unique artistic voice as they create group dances in varied styles in preparation for their senior composition project. Class discussions include an exploration of other art forms (film, video, opera, musical theatre) and their relationship to choreography.
Prerequisite: DPC 3010 and 3020

Participation in Senior Project
DPC 4890
/ 1 credit / Every semester
Dancers in senior project productions. Evaluations and selection of participants are made by seniors with approval of the faculty Senior Project Committee.

Senior Project I and II
DPC 4990 and 4991 / 3 credits (per semester) / Every year
Performance Concentrations:
A year-long graduation requirement for the dance performance and ballet concentrations. Students must perform one repertory piece that reflects technical and artistic work offered at Purchase and one composition piece that demonstrates their ability to work with dancers, movement, music, and theatrical staging. In addition, a proposal, artistic statement, résumé, professional photo, and paper summarizing the project are required. Consult the Senior Project Guidelines booklet for details.
Composition Concentration:
A year-long graduation requirement for the composition concentration. Students must create and present a maximum of 30 minutes of choreography that includes one solo, duet, or trio and two large group pieces. In addition, a proposal, artistic statement, résumé, professional photo, and paper summarizing the project are required. Consult the Senior Project Guidelines booklet for details.
Dance Production Concentration:
A year-long graduation requirement for the dance production concentration. Students must complete two projects: (1) produce a senior project concert involving publicity and programming, scheduling rehearsals, producing the performance, designing or executing costumes, and designing lights for the concert; and (2) stage manage a senior concert. Sequence of projects is the student’s choice. A paper summarizing the project is also required.

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General Dance

Dance Freshman Seminar
DPD 1030
/ 1 credit / Fall
Freshmen dance majors are given an orientation to the campus and its services, such as health, counseling, and the library, and to the professional dance world. Includes an introduction to the resources and performance spaces in New York City, one of the major dance capitals of the world.

Hip-Hop
DPD 1060
/ 1.5 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A study of the origins and training in the technique of hip-hop as a contemporary form of “street dance.”

Collaborative Video for Choreography
DPD 1075
/ 2 credits / Every semester
The first semester offers a foundation for video production with movement; the second semester expands on the basics to explore experimental applications. In this combined lab and lecture course, an emphasis is placed on project-based learning.

The Best of 20th- and 21st-Century Dance
DPD 1110
/ 3 credits / Every semester
An introduction to major choreographers of the 20th and 21st century with a focus on Western theatrical dance. Original source readings, videos, and discussions reveal dance as an art form imbued with personal aesthetics and influenced by broader sociopolitical contexts.  Subject matter includes modernism, postmodernism, and contemporary practice.

Special Topics in Dance: Visiting Scholar
DPD 1130
/ 1.5 credits / Every semester
An introduction to traditional and contemporary international dance, presented by a visiting scholar. Topics change annually.

Anatomy for Dancers
DPD 1250
/ 3 credits / Spring
A lecture course, required for freshman dance majors, in which students study the skeletal structure, muscles, tendons, and ligaments; movement range in joints; and injury care, cure, and prevention.

Costumes for Dancers
DPD 1350
and 3350 / 2 credits (per semester) / Every semester
Covers basic costume construction techniques and design principles, with a focus on understanding the challenges of designing costumes for dance.

Music I
DPD 1650
(Fall) and 1660 (Spring)
2 credits (per semester) / Every year
A year-long course covering the basic elements of music: melody, harmony, and the relationship of musical and dance rhythm. Basic notation skills. Functional emphasis on relating music to dance. Required for all freshman dance majors.

Topics in Music
DPD 1655
(Fall) and 1665 (Spring)
2 credits (per semester) / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A year-long eclectic exploration of music’s many dimensions as they relate to the professional dancer. Such concepts as line, symmetry, balance, form, tension and release, and force of gravity serve as a bridge between the two disciplines. Landmark musical works are studied, as well as the way various choreographers have approached them. DPD 1655 focuses more on fundamental musical skills (e.g., rhythm, score reading, harmony), while DPD 1665 pursues broader philosophical issues (e.g., the idea of narrative, antinarrative, texture, and historical style).

Dance Production I
DPD 1710
(Fall) and 1720 (Spring) / 2 credits (per semester) / Every year
A year-long course, required for all freshman dance majors. An introduction to basic dance production techniques, including lighting, sound/recording, stage management, and running crew. Involves classwork and crew assignments on dance productions. Open to students in other disciplines.

Acting
DPD 1850
/ 1 credit / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An introduction to the core elements of the actor’s craft with the goal of developing sensitivity, awareness, and spontaneity on stage. Awareness of the body, voice, mind, and soul is heightened through improvisations, exercises, monologues, nontextual and scene work, and in-class performances. This course builds on the dancers’ work of physical articulation and incorporates a deep attention to psychological intention, character, and emotion. No previous experience required; open to students in other disciplines.

Western Dance History I and II
DPD 2060
and 2070 / 2 credits (per semester) / I: Fall; II: Spring
A survey of Western theatrical dance. The roots of the ballet in Renaissance Italy and France through 20th-century developments in ballet and modern dance are studied as our cultural heritage. Required for all sophomore dance majors.

Music II
DPD 2650
(Fall) and 2660 (Spring) / 2 credits (per semester) / Every year
An in-depth exploration of historical style and the elements of music. Fall: Musical masterworks from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras, with an analysis of their compositional techniques, along with examples of choreographic works and approaches especially suited to the music cited. Spring: Musical masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries. The approaches covered include Impressionism, Expressionism, atonality, folk- and jazz-inflected works, Cubist and Dadaist movements, neoclassicism, midcentury experimentalism, indeterminacy, electronic, minimalism, and the influence of world music.
Prerequisite: DPD 1650 and 1660

Your Brain on Art: Explorations in Neuroaesthetics
DPD 3280
/ 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
In this exploration of neuroaesthetics, students examine the ways in which new advances in cognitive research have enriched people’s understanding and appreciation of art making. Art forms covered include dance, music, and visual arts.

20th- and 21st-Century Performance
DPD 3330
(Fall) and 3331 (Spring) / 2 credits (per semester) / Every year
A year-long overview of the development of Western theatrical dance from the early 20th century to the present day. The interdependent relationship between dance and society is revealed as students examine dance as a phenomenon that shapes and is shaped by history, culture, politics, religion, artistry, and aesthetics. Periods and topics covered include modernism, postmodernism, and contemporary practice. DPD 3330 focuses on American choreographers; DPD 3331 features a global perspective.
Prerequisite: DPD 2060 and 2070

Costumes for Dancers
DPD 3350
Refer to DPD 1350 and 3350 for description.

Music III
DPD 3650
/ 3 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Enables dancers to communicate effectively about music; review scores and recordings; select music for choreography; and increase the musical sensibility of their dancing. Fundamental elements of music across multiple cultures are tied together, and music from the 20th century to the present is explored in the context of important choreography. Student read/perform rhythms in single and mixed meters.
Prerequisite: DPD 2650 and 2660, or one year of music history

Junior Project
DPD 3880
/ 1 credit / Spring
An evaluation of juniors in all dance concentrations, designed to prepare students for their senior projects. Requirements include: completion of a junior credit audit and a written junior project proposal; preparation of one composition piece, to be presented to the faculty; a performance; and completion of a crew assignment. Required for all junior dance majors.

Independent Study
DPD 3997
/ Variable credits / Every semester
Independent studies designed to develop skills in lighting, stage management, rehearsal direction, etc. Open to students in other disciplines.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Senior Seminar
DPD 4885
/ 1 credit / Fall
A seminar for dancers in preparation for their transition into the professional field. Lectures include guest speakers who address relevant issues in career building.

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Modern

Jazz Dance
DPM 1002
/ 1.5 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Designed for all students interested in the technique and practice of jazz dance in the contemporary styles used in theatre today.

Modern Dance Technique I
DPM 1010
(Fall) and 1020 (Spring) / 1.5 credits (per semester) / Every year
A year-long technique course that provides intermediate-level training for students in Level I modern technique. Students improve and reinforce technical proficiency, artistic growth, and performance skills. They also build and retain a movement range and vocabulary that demonstrates an increase in strength, agility, flexibility, and endurance through classical and contemporary modern dance techniques. Placement audition required; placement by faculty.

Introduction to Modern Dance
DPM 1060
/ 1.5 credits / Every semester
For beginners and those with little dance experience, or those who have not had modern training for many years. Includes warm-up exercises, alignment focus, and movement patterns and combinations.

Intermediate Modern
DPM 1070
/ 1.5 credits / Every semester
Intermediate-level course in modern dance, designed especially for students in all disciplines.
Prerequisite: DPM 1060 or permission of instructor

Introduction to Improvisation
DPM 1090
/ 1.5 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
An introduction to improvisation in movement, exploring the creative process as it is alive within the moving body. Students should come with a desire to move, an open mind, and willingness to explore. Open to all levels of ability; no previous dance experience is necessary.

Contact Improvisation
DPM 1330
(Fall) and 1331 (Spring) / .5 credit (per semester) / Every year
Introduces dancers to the fundamentals of contact improvisation technique and explores contact improvisation as a dance and performance practice in duet, group, and solo form.

Dance Styles
DPM 1350
and 3350 / .5 credit (per semester) / Every semester
Focuses on training performers in various movement styles, including musical theatre, Gaga, West African, jazz, and text and movement.

Modern Partnering
DPM 1510
(Fall) and 1520 (Spring) / .5 credit (per semester) / Every year
Explores the movement ranges of modern partnering, trust, and the physical expertise required through choreographed combinations mastered weekly in class.

Somatic Practice for Dancers
DPM 1550
/ .5 credit / Every semester
Somatic practice for dancers, including Continuum, the Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Technique, yoga, and massage therapy.

Special Modern Technique: First Year
DPM 1800
(Fall) and 1820 (Spring) / 1 credit (per semester) / Every year
Class in modern/contemporary dance technique for freshman dance majors.

Modern Dance Technique II
DPM 2010
(Fall) and 2020 (Spring) / 1.5 credits (per semester) / Every year
A year-long technique course that provides advanced-level training for students in Level II modern technique. Students improve and reinforce technical proficiency, artistic growth, and performance skills. They also build and retain a movement range and vocabulary that demonstrates an increase in strength, agility, flexibility, and endurance through classical and contemporary modern dance techniques. Placement audition required; placement by faculty.

Modern Dance Technique III
DPM 3010
(Fall) and 3020 (Spring) / 1.5 credits (per semester) / Every year
A year-long technique course that provides intermediate/professional-level training for students in Level III modern technique. Students improve and reinforce technical proficiency, artistic growth, and performance skills. They also build and retain a movement range and vocabulary that demonstrates an increase in strength, agility, flexibility, and endurance through classical and contemporary modern dance techniques. Placement audition required; placement by faculty.

Modern Repertory
DPM 3050
(Fall) and 3060 (Spring) / .5 credit (per semester) / Every year
Students work under the direction of faculty and/or guest choreographers on repertory material designed for this course. Content includes artistic interpretation, style, musicality, and coaching relevant to the movement presented weekly and developed throughout the semester.

Purchase Dance Company
DPM 3055
Refer to DPB 3055 for description.

Dance Styles
DPM 3350
Refer to DPM 1350 and 3350 for description.

Special Modern Technique: Upper Level
DPM 3800
(Fall) and 3820 (Spring) / 1 credit (per semester) / Every year
Class in modern/contemporary dance technique.

Modern Dance Technique IV
DPM 4010
(Fall) and 4020 (Spring)
1.5 credits (per semester) / Special topic (offered irregularly)
A year-long technique course. Placement audition required; placement by faculty. Two semesters of Modern Dance Technique IV are required for BFA dance performance students.

Updated June 3, 2016

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