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The Development of the Artist

Professional Development

A dance artist’s growth is a product of the simultaneous development of three interdependent factors: technique, composition, and artistic voice.

The first factor is the acquisition of technique, which allows the student to use and explore the tool s/he is working with: the body and its range of movement. A strong technical foundation allows a wide range of expression for choreographers and dancers and is the best defense against injury. Technique develops the dance artist’s primary tool.

The second factor is the acquisition and investigation of the tools of composition. This involves an understanding of the basic elements of dance (space, time, energy, and movement) and the means to manipulate them through established methods and the generation of new methods. Familiarity with music/sound, theatricality, and stagecraft/design are also goals of the choreographer. This is the development of the choreographer’s toolbox.

The third factor is the development of the dance artist him/herself. This entails connecting to one's whole self; becoming aware of one’s mental, psychological, and physical assumptions and biases; developing the curiosity and willingness to feel, expand, and change; and exploring and articulating one's creative vision within a dynamic social context. This is the development of the dance artist’s creative range and capacity for meaningful expression.

It is the Dance Program's aim to provide this threefold development of the student dance artist within the context of a broad-based liberal arts education.