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Home / College Catalog / 2016-18 / Academic Programs / School of the Arts / Dance

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Undergraduate Dance Courses: 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.

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.

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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Conservatory of Dance


Dance BFA Program

Concentrations &
Academic Requirements:

Dance Composition
Dance Production

Undergraduate Courses:
DPB 1000–4999
DPC 1000–4999
DPD 1000–4999
DPM 1000–4999
Arts Open Access*
*open to students in other disciplines

Related Information:

Performing Arts Center

Program Progress &
Professional Standards

(Academic Policies)