December 10, 2018

MFA in Dance with residencies in Paris and Montpellier, France

University of the Arts Philadelphia

Jhelan Gordon-Salaam (MFA), Research as Action. Photo: Jon Baldwin (MFA). 

The University of the Arts in Philadelphia has launched 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.

Immersed in 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 and choreographic center frameworks as ways 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.

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.

Faculty, mentors, 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. Our faculty and mentors include: Ric Allsopp, Lauren Bakst, Douglas Becker, Rizvana Bradley, Ran Brown, Donna Faye Burchfield, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Jeanine Durning, Meredith Glisson, Emmanuelle Huynh, Niall Jones, Jaamil Owale Kosoko, David Langstaff, Doug Letheren, Faustin Linyekula, Paul Matteson, Jimena Paz, Jillian Peña, Neta Pulvermacher, Reggie Wilson, Andrea Woods Valdes, Arkadi Zaides, and Jesse Zaritt.

The MFA summer term will begin on June 16 and will run for roughly 6 weeks, with the program locating itself in Paris and Montpellier. Reimagining the pedagogy of international study, the summer term weaves together residencies, workshops and symposia in order to collectively rethink the nature, dynamics, and potentialities of dance and performance in contemporary globalized society. We will begin the summer term with a four day Study Cycle Symposium curated by Rizvana Bradley, which will feature dynamic conversations between international artists, choreographers, curators, movement practitioners, and students. Dr. Bradley’s 2018 Study Cycle Symposium, Dancing Politics, Moving Performance: Conversations at the Edges of Choreography, featured participants such as: nora chipaumire, Laura Cull, Maria Hassabi, Jenn Joy, Paul Maheke, Erin Manning, Emily Roysdon, and Reggie Wilson.

The MFA program in Dance has three 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. (3) A Flex Track, tailored to meet the specific needs of emerging practitioners on a case-by-case basis, and extending the duration of study from 15 to 22 months.

All applicants are encouraged to apply early as the MFA in Dance will be filled on a space-available basis. The deadline for application is January 14. As international travel planning is required, completed applications received after February 1 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 dlangstaff [​at​]

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