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Dance Courses

Movement Training

Ballet Technique

Placement in specific ballet courses and sections is determined by the Division Director in consultation with the ballet faculty. Placement is based not only on skill level, but also on creating the best match between the expertise of individual faculty members and the specific needs of each student.

Flat Classes: Core Courses

Classical ballet technique informed by contemporary somatic approaches and knowledge. Students will focus on proper body alignment, placement, turn out or rotation of the legs from the hip sockets, positions of the body in relation to space and direction of movement, positions of the head and shoulders, and positions of the arms and poses of the body. Class will include exercises at the barre as well as the classical progression of center work. The following courses are offered:

DA 121/221/321/421: Ballet Technique: Men’s Class                                    
Gianni DiMarco
4.5 hours weekly; 2 credits 

DA 121: Ballet Technique                                                         
Lorraine Chapman, Dean Vollick
4.5 hours weekly; 2 credits

DA 123: Ballet Technique                                                         
Denise Pons, Marcus Schulkind, Donna Silva, Adriana Suárez, Leslie Woodies
3 hours weekly; 1.5 credits

DA 423: Advanced Ballet Technique                                        
Faculty
Selected topics in ballet technique, offered on a rotating basis.
3 hours weekly; 1.5 credits
Advanced Movement Elective
Junior or senior standing required

DA 282: Ballet Pedagogy                                                          
Donna Silva
An experiential course designed to give students the applied skills to teach classical ballet technique. Students learn how to develop and present all aspects of a fully realized and informed ballet class.
3 hours weekly; 2 credits
Sophomore standing required
Prerequisite: DA 281
DA 281 and DA 282 can be taken concurrently in the sophomore year.

Pointe Classes: Open Movement Electives

DA 225: Basic Pointe                                                                
Denise Pons
Designed to prepare dancers for DA 221, this course focuses on developing the strength and technique for sustained pointe work, through strengthening exercises for the ankles and feet at the barre. Emphasis will be placed on proper alignment of the feet en pointe as well as articulation of the feet through movement, including piqué, relevé, échappé, and sissone.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Corequisite: DA 123 or DA 423 (if DA 423 meets TR 9:00–10:30)

DA 325: Intermediate Pointe                                                    
Donna Silva, Adriana Suárez
This course expands on the basic pointe skills developed in DA 225. Students will learn the skills and technique to support jumps en pointe, pirouettes (en dehors, en dedans) from different positions (fifth, fourth, second) and with all positions of the body (arabesque, á la seconde, attitude), traveling turns (chaînés, déboulés) and fouetté. The course emphasizes freedom of movement of the head and arms in order to produce the effect of ease and absence of strain as well as artistry of the dance.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Prerequisite: DA 221
Corequisite: DA 123 or DA 423 (if DA 423 meets TR 9:00–10:30)

DA 425: Pointe and Variations                                                 
Leslie Woodies
This course offers students with a strong and confident pointe technique the opportunity to focus on applying that technique to the interpretation and performance of movement variations from the classical ballet canon as well as contemporary choreography.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Prerequisite: DA 321
Corequisite: DA 123 or DA 423 (if DA 423 meets TR 9:00–10:30)

Pointe Classes: Core Courses

DA 221: Ballet Technique: Intermediate Pointe                        
Denise Pons
Designed for students who have thorough knowledge of the classical ballet vocabulary and good command of ballet technique, this course develops the technical skills and strength for sustained, anatomically sound pointe work in conjunction with an exploration of artistry and interpretation. Pointe work will include strengthening exercises as well as articulation of the feet, jumps en pointe, turns, and traveling turns. Emphasis is placed on breath, musical phrasing, fluidity, energy pathways, and harmoniously carving the space with the body.              
4.5 hours weekly; 2 credits
Prerequisite: DA 225

DA 321: Ballet Technique: Intermediate/Advanced Pointe       
Donna Silva, Adriana Suárez, Leslie Woodies
Designed for students who have full knowledge of the classical ballet vocabulary and strong pointe technique, this course increases the level of challenge technically, musically, and artistically, encouraging dancers to further refine technique and to bring a strong focus to individual artistic interpretation and expression.
4.5 hours weekly; 2 credits
Prerequisite: DA 221

Modern Technique

Students are placed in modern core courses (DA 131, 231, 331, and 431) by their class cohort: all freshmen take DA 131, all sophomores take DA 231, etc.

DA 131: Modern Technique                                                     
Diane Arvanites, Olivier Besson, Tommy Neblett
Freshman Modern Technique is an immersion into the physicality, principles, and aesthetics of contemporary concert dance, with influences from Limón, Horton, and Cunningham techniques, as well as consistent practice of movement improvisation. The course will improve the student’s movement potential, body awareness, and musicality. Emphasis is placed on increasing strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, speed, phrasing, and proper alignment.
6 hours weekly; 3 credits

DA 171: Modern Partnering                                                     
Diane Arvanites
Students learn the basic elements of partnering, exploring various tools of partnering such as listening skills, moving through space simultaneously, non-contact partnering, spatial interweaving, levels of contact, opposition, and full lifting. Qualities of good partnership are addressed, including listening and communication skills, responsibility toward one’s partner, awareness, focus on task, enabling trust, risk taking, dissolving tendencies of fear, and timing.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit

DA 231: Modern Technique                                                     
Leslie Koval, Daniel McCusker, James Viera                
Sophomore Modern Technique, a continuation of DA 131, has three components, each taught through classes devoted to one component. These three elements are: 1) the modern technique of Lester Horton, 2) a Laban-influenced approach to contemporary movement training, and 3) a continued study of postmodern approaches to movement development and improvisation.
6 hours weekly; 3 credits
Sophomore standing required

DA 331: Modern Technique                                                     
Olivier Besson, Amy Spencer, Sandy Stone
Junior Modern Technique, a continuation of DA 231, has three components, each taught through classes devoted to one component. These three elements are: 1) the modern technique of Paul Taylor, 2) eclectic contemporary technique with an emphasis on physical articulation and specificity, complex phrasing and musicality, and continued development of the individually expressive voice, and 3) a continued study of movement improvisation.
4.5 hours weekly; 2 credits
Junior standing required

DA 431: Modern Technique                                                     
Olivier Besson, Richard Colton, Alissa Cardone
Senior Modern Technique, a continuation of DA 331, has three components, each taught through classes devoted to one component. These three elements are: 1) eclectic contemporary technique with an emphasis on physical articulation and specificity, complex phrasing and sophisticated awareness of dynamic and quality, and clearly developed individual artistic voice, 2) current approaches to movement efficiency and alignment developed through various “release techniques,” and 3) a continued study of movement improvisation.
4.5 hours weekly; 2 credits
Senior standing required

DA 433: Topics in Contemporary Dance                                  
Faculty
Selected topics in contemporary dance offered on a rotating basis.
3 hours weekly; 1.5 credits
Junior or senior standing required

DA 283: Modern Pedagogy                                                       
Tommy Neblett
An experiential course designed to give students the applied skills to teach contemporary dance technique. Students learn how to develop and present all aspects of a fully realized and informed modern dance class—warm-up exercises technical and rhythmical exercises, across the floor phrases and combinations.
3 hours weekly; 2 credits
Sophomore standing required
Prerequisite: DA 281
DA 281 and DA 282 can be taken concurrently in the sophomore year.

DA 287: Laban Movement Analysis 1                                       
Leslie Koval
Introduces Laban Movement Analysis(SM) (LMA[SM]) with primary focus on the concepts of Body and Effort, Motif writing, and Laban history and philosophy. Concepts are explored through movement tasks, improvisation, dance repertory, classroom discussion, and observation through both independent and cooperative work.
1.5 hours weekly; 1.5 credits
Sophomore standing required

DA 288: Laban Movement Analysis 2                                       
Leslie Koval
Continues to explore concepts of Laban Movement Analysis(SM) using skills acquired in LMA(SM) 1. Primary focus is on concepts of Space and Shape and personal applications of LMA(SM) concepts.
1.5 hours weekly; 1.5 credits
Sophomore standing required

DA 333 and 334: Laban Dance Education 1 and 2                                 
Leslie Koval
Study of Laban’s theories pertaining to education, performance, choreography, somatic techniques, and application in a variety of other areas. Opportunities for individual study, development of personal interests, and practical experience within a range of situations.
1.5 hours weekly; 1.5 credits
Prerequisite: DA 288

Partnering

DA 273: Ballet Partnering I                                                      
Denise Pons
An introduction to the basic concepts of classical ballet partnering. Both female and male dancers will learn technical partnering skills (lifts, turns, and Adagio partnering). Dancers will be challenged to develop the connection to each other that is essential as the primary means to communicate synchronized movement between partners.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Women must have already taken or be currently enrolled in either DA 321 or DA 325.
Corequisite: DA 123 or DA 423 (if DA 423 meets TR 9:00–10:30)

DA 373: Ballet Partnering II                                                    
Gianni DiMarco
Intermediate/advanced classical ballet partnering. Focus on partnering within choreographic phrases and variations.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Prerequisite: DA 273
Corequisite: DA 123 or DA 423 (if DA 423 meets TR 9:00–10:30)

DA 275: Contact Skills                                                             
Olivier Besson
An investigation of the partnering principles and skills that have developed as foundational movements for Contact Improvisation. In this class, dancers will explore the physical forces imposed on the body by gravity and by the physics of momentum, and how these forces can be harnessed to support partnering. Dancers will work with sensations and images to establish patterns of movement through direct action (roll, slide, spiral, rise, fall, counterbalance, support, lift, loft, and catch).
2 hours weekly; 1 credit

DA 465: Contact Improvisation                                                
Olivier Besson
Contact Improvisation began as a means to explore the physical forces imposed on the body by gravity and the physics of momentum. Dancers will develop the skills to improvise while in contact with one or more dancers, including the possibility of improvised partnering. This class is geared to dancers who want to further their understanding of Contact Improvisation through a sustained improvisation practice. Areas of exploration will include deepening the connection to the ground, releasing excess muscular tension, developing an internal sense of movement, following points of contact, expanding spatial awareness, and integrating leading and following skills in partnering.
3 hours weekly; 1.5 credits
Junior or senior standing required
Prerequisite: DA 275 

Elective Movement Courses

DA 241: Jazzdance Technique                                                  
James Viera
An in-depth study of jazz dance technique and exposure to the eclectic range of jazz dance from its African roots to the fusion styles of today. Students will learn a wide range of jazz styles in relationship to the musical forms that inspired them (such as jazz, swing, and blues). We will emphasize signature elements of jazz dancing such as syncopation, initiation of movement from multiple locations within the body, isolations of various body parts, and expressiveness.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit

DA 243: Beginner Tap Skills                                                    
Julia Boynton
2 hours weekly; 1 credit

DA 343: Intermediate/Advanced Tap Skills                              
Julia Boynton
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Prerequisite: DA 243

DA 245: African Dance                                                             
De Ama Battle
An introduction to African dance technique rooted in both traditional and contemporary forms. Students will learn numerous African dance styles that reflect the cultural lifestyles of people of the African Diaspora. Emphasis will be placed on developing increasing sensitivity to music through intensive work with accompanying musicians.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit

DA 247: Musical Theater                                                          
Leslie Woodies
An exploration of dance as the physical language of storytelling through the classic works of Bennett, Fosse, de Mille, and Robbins. Students are encouraged to find their individual voice by expanding the use of energy, rhythm, and physical punctuation.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit

DA 327: Ballet Repertory                                                         
Donna Silva, Adriana Suarez
Excerpts from well-known classical or contemporary repertory. Geared toward group work.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Corequisite (only if meets on TR): DA 123 or DA 423 (if DA 423 meets TR 9:00–10:30)

DA 337: Modern Repertory                                                      
Sandy Stone, James Viera
Excerpts from well-known modern dance repertory and original works by faculty members. Geared toward group work.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit

DA 467: Topics in Advanced Repertory                                    
Faculty
Selected topics in ballet, modern, and jazzdance repertory, offered on a rotating basis.
3 hours weekly; 1.5 credits
Junior or senior standing required
Prerequisite: DA 282 or 283

DA 441: Advanced Jazzdance Technique                                  
James Viera, Cathy Young
A continuation of DA 241 for advanced dancers.
3 hours weekly; 1.5 credits
Prerequisite: DA 241
Junior or senior standing required

The Academic Component

All credits earned in the Academic Component count toward General Studies requirement. 

DA 101: Introduction to Dance                                                 
Alissa Cardone, Cathy Young
A survey course designed to broaden students’ understanding and appreciation of dance as an art form. The course examines a wide range of Western dance forms including ballet, modern, jazz, and postmodern dance, as well as different ways dance is presented to the public, such as concert dance, commercial dance, and vernacular dance. Through the study of some of the major dance trends and choreographic figures in the U.S., the class will address the diverse creativity of individual and cultural expression through the art of dance.
3 hours weekly; 3 credits

DA 203: Dance History 1: From Romanticism to Modernism   
Mary Wolff
This course is designed to introduce the field of dance history through an examination of the major trends in dance performance that developed during the approximately 100 years from the mid 19th century to the mid 20th century. The class focuses primarily on the evolution of the 19th-century romantic and classical ballet, ballet’s movement toward modernism, and the emergence of modern dance as a distinctly 20th-century phenomenon.
3 hours weekly; 3 credits
Prerequisite: DA 101

DA 304: Dance History 2: Selected Topics in Dance Studies     
Mary Wolff
In this upper-division course, students investigate trends in dance performance that emerged in the wake of World War II, seeking their genesis, tracking their development, attempting to understand their relationship or non-relationship to extant and future styles of dance and their place in the larger artistic and cultural milieu.     
3 hours weekly; 3 credits
Prerequisite: DA 203

DA 255: Anatomy and Kinesiology                                           
Susan Kinney
In this course, students learn anatomical and biomechanical principles, as well as how those principles can be applied to movement and dance. Designed specifically for dancers, the course encourages students to explore the relationship between anatomical structure, kinesiology, biomechanics, and their own artistic expression.
3 hours weekly; 3 credits
Prerequisite: DA 101

DA 281: Introduction to Dance Pedagogy                                 
Maggy Gorrill
An exploration into the nature of teaching and learning, including recent findings in cognitive and motor learning research as applicable to dance education. A wide range of contemporary models for movement education will be examined, ethical issues will be discussed, and students will be asked to reflect upon their own training in order to begin developing a set of strong, conscious values to serve them in all facets of their professional lives. Required for all sophomore dance majors.
3 hours weekly; 3 credits
Prerequisite: DA 101

DA 401/402: Senior Seminar                                                           
Mary Wolff
Senior Seminar is designed to prepare the graduating senior for survival and success in the professional dance world. During the two-semester course, students have the opportunity to explore professional career choices within dance and dance-related fields; learn to create a range of electronic and/or paper marketing materials for themselves and for concert or event promotion; and gain familiarity with their rights and responsibilities in a number of important business areas including taxes, contracts, union membership, copyright and fair use issues, studio/company organization, and operation. This class also serves as the umbrella under which the senior project is designed and presented.
1.5 hours weekly; 1.5 credits
Senior standing required

DA 495: Digital Portfolio Development                                     
Leslie Woodies
This course covers the basics of personal marketing tools for the digital age.
1.5 hours weekly; 1 credit
Junior or senior standing required

The Creative Component

DA 161/261/361/461: Performance Repertory                                              
Faculty
Rehearsal process for either the creation of a new work or re-staging of an existing work, led by guest choreographers and re-stagers in collaboration with faculty rehearsal directors, and culminating in mainstage performances.
2–10 hours weekly; 1 credit for each casting (at the discretion of the Division Director)

DA 163/164: Dance Composition                                                     
Tommy Neblett
An introduction to classical modern dance compositional elements. Students will develop solo, duet, and small group studies through exploring choreographic elements including use of unison, counterpoint, and canon; theme and variation as developed through the creation and manipulation of movement phrases; and the relationship between movement and music.
1 hour weekly; 1 credit

DA 263/264: Dance Composition                                                     
Mary Wolff
Sophomore Dance Composition is designed for the student who has completed two semesters of Freshman Dance Composition or an equivalent course at another institution. During the two semesters students are encouraged to fine-tune their understanding of compositional elements and phrase-making, and to expand their choreographic movement range and point of view through work with selected styles and processes of composition. In-class and assigned work includes the creation of solo and group studies, oral and written critique, and a final piece each semester.
1 hour weekly; 1 credit
Sophomore standing required

DA 363/364: Dance Composition                                                     
Tommy Neblett
An in-depth exploration of the relationship between choreography and music, with a focus on the collaborative process between choreographer and composer. Each student in class will collaborate with a student composer to develop a new dance work with an original score.
2 hours weekly; 2 credits
Junior standing required

DA 463/464: Dance Composition
Mary Wolff
This is a two semester course for students who have completed Dance Composition 1-6  at the Boston Conservatory or equivalent courses at another institution. It is designed as a workshop for the highly motivated, talented student -- one who is interested in developing his/her choreographic voice through a process of independent work, presentation, and critique.
2 hours weekly; 2 credits
Senior standing required

DA 465: Contact Improvisation                                                
Olivier Besson
See Partnering section above for course description and information.

DA 466: Improvisation in Performance                                    
Olivier Besson
An immersion into improvisation as a performance practice. Students will practice making compositional choices in the moment, working as soloists, duet, small, and large groups. This course culminates with a studio performance.
3 hours weekly; 1.5 credits
Junior or senior standing required
Prerequisite: DA 275

The Body Knowing Component

General Courses

DA 151: Dancer’s Toolkit                                                         
Olivier Besson, Sandy Stone
A small group seminar designed to give freshman dance majors an introduction to holistic self-care practices as well as practical information in various areas that will support health and optimum well-being throughout a professional performance career. The course is experiential, with weekly classes taught by guest faculty in areas such as the Alexander Technique, injury prevention and rehabilitation, nutrition, etc.
1.5 hours weekly, half semester; 1 credit

DA 253 /254: Alexander Technique                                                  
Shannon Lee Jones
This course introduces students to the Alexander Technique principles as applied to the dancer. Students will learn tools to enhance the mind/body connection in relation to themselves and the environment through exercises and hands-on experience.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Sophomore standing required

Somatic Techniques

DA 111 and 311: Floor Barre
Denise Pons
Zena Rommett Floor-Barre Technique® is a gentle and highly effective method for correcting and refining body alignment, building muscular strength and length, strengthening joints, and increasing vitality and artistic expression. Working on the floor eliminates the pull of gravity on the body, enabling dancers to concentrate on proper placement during basic ballet-based exercises. This class is intended to prepare the student for morning movement classes and support the proper body alignment essential in ballet class.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
DA 311 requires junior or senior standing

DA 113 and DA 313: Gyrokinesis
Adriana Suárez
Gyrokinesis®, as developed by Juliu Horvath, embraces key principles also found in yoga, dance, gymnastics, and tai-chi. The system works the entire body through seven natural elements of spinal movement: forward, backward, left side, right side, left twist, right twist, and circular, as well as all other joint articulation. This work develops strength, flexibility, integration, and prepares the body for danced movement.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
DA 313 requires junior or senior standing

DA 215 and 315: Floor Barre                                                                 
Gianni DiMarco
Designed to encourage a focus on alignment and efficient use of the muscles and joints, this class offers students the opportunity to explore movement patterns common in ballet free from the effects of gravity. Students will develop greater strength, flexibility, mobility, and sensitivity that will support the work done in ballet technique class.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
DA 315 requires junior or senior standing

DA 217 and 317: Pilates                                                                         
Donna Silva
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
DA 317 requires junior or senior standing

DA 357: Yoga                                                                           
Cathy Young
This course introduces students to yoga as a holistic art of living that can lead to improved health of mind, body, and spirit. The course focuses on hatha yoga (psycho-physical yoga), which includes yogic breathing (pranayama), postures (asana), and relaxation, with a goal of deepening mind/body integration.
3 hours weekly; 1.5 credits
Junior or senior standing required
Also available to students in the Music and Theater Divisions

Cross-Conservatory Studies

DA 167: Production Practicum                                                 
Patsy Collins Bandes
An overview of the positions included in technical theater (stage manager, assistant stage manager, technical director, master electrician, crew, etc.), responsibilities for each position, and skills needed to work as a crew member. Students will gain an applied understanding of these skills by participating as crew members for mainstage productions throughout the semester.
Production assignment(s); 0.5 credits

DA 193: Voice
Desiree Maira
An exploration of vocal potential through discovery and performance. Areas of focus include breath, technique, tone production, physical coordination, vocal registration, diction, vocal health, and the integration of all these factors. Students are expected to develop a fundamental vocabulary for musical communication and are required to demonstrate ability to formulate and express concepts of vocal function. Emphasis will be placed on group and solo performance, ranging from sight-singing exercises to mock auditions.
1 hour weekly; 0.5 credits

DA 191: Introduction to Western Music                                   
Aaron Jensen
An introduction to the building blocks of Western music, as derived from the European-American tradition. This course will define melody, harmony, and rhythm; introduce terms, and music notation, with a focus on rhythmic notation. Instrumentation, compositional procedures, and forms will be covered, and students will be given historical context where relevant.
2 hours weekly; 2 credits

DA 195: Time and Rhythm 1                                                    
Keith Aleo
This course develops the student’s sense of time (the perceived space between events and/or elements) and inner pulse using body movement, speaking, and clapping, and relates this to the student’s art form (instrumentalist, dance, voice, etc.) through learned timing techniques and group exercises.
1.5 hours weekly; 1 credit
Also required for Music Division students

DA 369: Dance Theater                                                            
TBD
Students will explore various acting and performance strategies (tradition and non-traditional) as applied to dance, theater, and dance theater. An emphasis will be placed on use of the voice (breath, sound, spoken word, and song) through engagement of Roy Hart Theater–inspired exercises. Students will study a wide variety of dance theater works and engage in written analysis and discussion that explores common themes, technical approaches, and cultural and political relevancy.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Not offered in Academic Year 2013–2014

DA 391: Music Literature 1                                                      
Aaron Jensen
An overview of Western music literature, from the Middle Ages to the present, highlighting masterworks and composers. Special attention will be given to music form and compositional techniques. Students will be encouraged to contemplate and periodically discuss music’s relevance to and relationship with movement and choreography.
3 hours weekly; 3 credits
Prerequisite: DA 191

DA 392: Music Literature 2                                                      
Aaron Jensen
3 hours weekly; 3 credits
Prerequisite: DA 391                                                                                           

DA 493: Acting 1
John Kuntz
This course hones students’ acting skills, emphasizing the reactions and choices made in the character-development process. Students are encouraged to use the external world as inspiration for their acting choices, working from the outside in. Viewpoint exercises ask students to explore shapes, define spaces, and embody the physical in new ways, leveraging the unique physical knowledge of a dancer. Students prepare and present monologues for class discussion and critique.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Junior or senior standing required

DA 494: Acting 2
John Kuntz
A continuation of DA 493, this course moves from the individual to the collective, placing emphasis on scene studies and group work. Students study, prepare, and perform seminal works from the modern actor’s repertoire, including Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Kushner’s Angels in America.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Junior or senior standing required
Prerequisite: DA 493

DA 497: Audition Preparation                                                  
Leslie Woodies
Guidance on auditioning and working in the arts and entertainment business.
2 hours weekly; 1 credit
Junior or senior standing required

Other Courses

DA 100/200/300/400: Continuing Study                                                        
Faculty 

DA 390/490: Internship                                                                   
Cathy Young
The Dance Division encourages off-campus learning experiences in the form of internships or other credit-worthy work experiences during the junior and senior year. 
Variable hours and credit

DA 398/498: Independent Study                                                      
Faculty
Independent Study is encouraged for students who want to explore in greater depth areas of specific interest not represented in current course offerings. Independent studies in the Dance Division can be focused on applied research, academic research, or a combination of both.
Variable hours and credit

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