Application Prerequisites 

  1. Students who apply for the composition concentration in the second semester of their sophomore year should have a strong motivation for, and evidenced talent in, the art of choreography.
  2. Students must have completed two semesters of Improvisation/Composition I and the first semester of Composition II, each with a minimum grade of B+. A student who has a grade lower than a B+ or an Incomplete in Improvisation/Composition I or Composition II, or who is on professional probation, is not eligible for the composition concentration.
  3. Students must notify their composition teacher during the second semester of Composition II of their intention to apply for composition concentration.

Application Process 

  1. The student writes a letter explaining why he or she wishes to pursue the composition concentration, attaches his or her transcripts, and submits the letter and attached transcripts to the administrative assistant in the Conservatory of Dance main office by the end of the first week of the spring semester.
  2. The administrative assistant distributes these applications to the Composition Committee, which is composed of all members of the composition and improvisation faculty and the conservatory director.
  3. The committee evaluates the applications and sends recommendations to the board of study.
  4. Within two weeks of the application submission, the committee will inform students of its provisional decision.

Audition Process

  1. At the end of February, the Composition Committee views a preliminary showing by sophomores of a piece for three to five dancers, 3 to 5 minutes in length, with music advised by the composition teacher.
  2. A student who has been provisionally accepted for the composition concentration presents a second audition piece in May. The nature of this work is determined by the student and the composition teacher and/or Composition Committee and designed to challenge the student’s talents. The student and composition teacher determine the music. The committee and two additional board-of-study representatives view this audition piece.
  3. On the basis of this second showing, the provisional student will be accepted or denied for the composition concentration.

Composition Concentration Requirements

Students must meet all general degree requirements as well as conservatory requirements for graduation. Students accepted in the composition concentration must:

  1. remain with their original academic advisor.
  2. complete one summer composition workshop, and audit one semester of another composition teacher’s course in the conservatory; or audit two semesters of another composition teacher’s courses in the conservatory. All workshops must be approved by the Composition Committee.
  3. maintain a minimum GPA of B+ in all composition courses. (Students who do not maintain this minimum GPA will be dropped from the composition concentration.)
  4. complete a one-semester course in art history, and/or a one-semester course in aesthetics or another art history course, as advised by the composition teacher and Composition Committee.
  5. complete one year of level III or IV ballet or modern technique and 2 credits of repertory as a minimum requirement for graduation. In their senior year, students in the composition concentration might elect to take only one technique class a day on Mondays, Tuesday, and Thursdays.

Junior Year

Each student prepares a showing for the Composition Committee and two additional board-of-study representatives, consisting of:

  1. a work determined by the student and the composition teacher and/or Composition Committee and designed to challenge the student’s talents
  2. a junior composition project, following the Junior Composition Showing Guidelines

These two projects are shown during the Junior Project Showing, which usually takes place during the third week in March.

Senior Year

  • The student’s mentor for the senior project must be a member of the composition faculty.
  • The student choreographs three works that include the following:
    1. a dance with the same requirements as those outlined for the senior choreographic project
    2. a visual art or multimedia collaboration
    3. a project designed by the student in consultation with the composition teacher and/or Composition Committee
  • In consultation with her or his composition teacher and mentor, the student chooses to show two of these three works during a senior project weekend shared with other seniors. The combined total length of works shown is 20 minutes maximum.

Additional choreographic challenges that might be assigned to the student by the composition teacher and/or Composition Committee would be tailored to further enrich and deepen the student’s developing artistry.