Letter from the Director
Thank you for your interest in the Dance Program at Bard College. As a performing arts program inside of a liberal arts college, we encourage all students of dance to take classes. We are also able to offer those students who decide to make dance a focus of study at Bard, a working environment that remains very personal and responsive to the specific talents and interests of each.
Dance students’ technical and creative development is addressed through a wide stylistic range of technique and composition classes–the Dance Program faculty represent a breadth of professional experience, expertise, and engagement with the dance world. In technique classes we use a contemporary lens to explore a diverse range of ballet and modern dance styles. Coursework in the program focuses on developing both capable choreographers and dancers as adept participants in the collaborative process that continues to shape the professional world.
Beginning in Fall 2009, the Bard Dance Program embarked on a partnership with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company to offer new classes in technique, creative structure, and critical analysis. In addition, special campus-wide performances, events, and workshops led by current or former Company members are underway. This innovative partnership gives Bard Dance students the unique opportunity to work closely with a world-renowned professional dance company during their undergraduate course of study.
Dancers who are interested in becoming majors spend their first three semesters taking courses in technique and composition. At the end of this period, both the students and the dance faculty will have come to understand whether or not dance is an appropriate major. Intending and current dance majors are required to register for two dance technique classes each week. Dance majors are required to explore their creative potential as choreographers and are given the opportunity to see their work produced in Theater Two, one of the two performance spaces in the R. B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. There are at least five productions each year open to the public. In addition to creating original choreography to present onstage, dance majors must also complete course work in and outside the dance program.
One of the most significant advantages we have at Bard College is one of geography: we are ninety miles north of New York City. Students are encouraged to exploit this circumstance to the fullest, and we often organize trips to attend performances at theaters both large and small. Our proximity to New York also allows us to draw on our professional peers to make guest appearances in the Program, whether for guest lectures, creative workshops, or semester-long courses of study.
We encourage you to come to campus and make a point of visiting the Dance Program. You are welcome to observe classes and even take a technique class while here. Please be sure to let us know when you are coming so that we can make appropriate arrangements for a tour, class participation, or at least a conversation.