The undergraduate program combines academic study and practical movement training with an emphasis on connecting to the world of digital image. The unique program creates an empowering opportunity for students to explore experimental movement alongside theoretical study, expanding creativity beyond established boundaries.
Students are exposed to a broad range of techniques that explore the relationship between film and movement.
The program includes many hours of training and practice, which provide an opportunity to experiment with movement. Students develop necessary performance abilities: presentation skills, timing, and group co-operation. The space in which film arts meet the dance world is explored through the mediums of body, stage, sound, screen and voice.
The primary focus of study is to expand the range of movement abilities through various dance techniques and building core body strength. Students develop movement and performance skills, with an emphasis on execution, strength building, flexibility and balance. Choreography is developed from personal material as well as in group work. Students are also taught how to direct their internal energy in the most efficient way possible.
The secondary focus expands the concept of movement beyond the stage and into the world of film. Traditionally, the power of dance performance is experienced on stage in the present moment. Transference into the film medium challenges the boundaries of movement and choreography to exist without the presence of a live dancer. Fusion of these two disciplines births a new art form, which is expressed in the dancer's ability to let go of the stage and bring dance into every place. The art form reveals a new kind of movement education through continual interaction with the immediate environment. It facilitates a deeper connection to the earth through therapeutic movement and influences community development.
First Year: Studies combine an introduction to film theory and foundational dance technique. Students participate in the creative process and experiment with choreography. Emphasis is placed on developing a personal concept of movement from a place of self-awareness. The syllabus also includes courses in movement philosophy and the history of choreography.
Second Year: Students explore movement both on stage and in film. Course work focuses on building choreographic complexity as well as experimenting with independent artistic creation. Students explore documenting and capturing live dance performance through the artistic mediums of notation and film. Other foci include body rhythm, stage timing, editing choreography, dance repertoire in film and circus performance skills.
Third Year: Students explore transferring dance choreography from technique to performance, studio to stage and develop skills to combine both worlds, experimenting with a variety of techniques. Emphasis is placed on an introspective relationship with the outside world. Course work concentrates on building choreography in front of the camera, developing spatial awareness and choosing performance locations.
Fourth Year: Dance students continue to refine their technique, as well as prepare their final project. Each project is overseen by a faculty mentor and weekly meetings are held with the head of the department for supervision and support.
Throughout the course of study, there are master classes and meetings with artists and choreographers from around the world. Students' work is also shown at festivals outside of the college.