November 16, 2017

School of Dance: MFA in Dance

University of the Arts Philadelphia

Notes from 2017 MFA retreat. Photo: Kristel Baldoz.

The University of the Arts in Philadelphia sets in motion a new Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in Dance that extends the context of learning from the studio, theater and classroom to the international festival environment as a space for learning. Each summer the program departs from the traditional semester format by focusing instead on international residencies, workshops, and symposia that foster critical conversations about the meanings, purposes, and potentialities of dance and performance. The 2018 Summer Term will take place in two locations—France: Paris and Montpellier.

Immersed in the dynamic relationships created by the performances of artists from around the world, students will consider and develop practices, pedagogies and research models that value experimentation and continuously question the role of dance within and beyond the festival, exhibition and theater environments. Using the festival framework as a way to gather students, artists, and scholars with a wide range of practices, this program aims to foster new communities and networks of exchange for knowledge production and artistic practice within dance.

Both rigorous and intensive, our approach relies on situational pedagogies and the gathering of relational communities. The program moves against conventional thinking about academic learning environments utilizing the University of the Arts School of Dance’s longstanding relationships to and connections with world-recognized artists, scholars and cultural institutions. Challenged to examine the role of dance and dance making in the community at large, the Field Study component of the program is built on the assumption that new practices are still in the making, and that the students will work alongside faculty mentors & community partners to create new methodologies.

A Post-MFA Fellowship Program will provide support to graduates. The Fellowship Program is designed to expand potentialities through direct interplay of recent MFA graduates with communities and practitioners both local and international. The fellowships set in motion a network of possibilities for sharing resources, scholarship and practices for future engagement between both the fellows and the participating partner organizations.

Faculty, affiliated artists, and guest lecturers represent an intentionally diverse array of approaches to theorizing and practicing embodied knowledge in relation to citizenship and art-making. Summer I term to include: Ric Allsopp, Rizvana Bradley, Douglas Becker, Donna Faye Burchfield, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Faustin Linyekula, Neta Pulvermacher, Myriam Stoffen, Reggie Wilson

MFA cohorts
The MFA program in Dance has two cohorts that are designed with specific creative practitioners in mind: (1) The Year-Residency Cohort is designed for highly motivated emerging artists with a strong interest in expanding their knowledge and experience in an uninterrupted way in an international setting. Applicants should have 3–5 years of experience beyond undergraduate study. (2) The Low-Residency Cohort is designed for mid-career artists, teachers and dance professionals who want to question their own work and re-evaluate their career trajectories. Applicants should have a minimum of 8–10 years of professional experience.

Application information
All applicants are encouraged to apply early as the MFA in Dance will be filled on a space-available basis. We will begin reviewing completed applications on January 16. As international travel planning is required, completed applications received after February 1st and offered admissions may be subject to additional fees.

For more information about the program and how to apply, please visit our website or contact us at dance [​at​]

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