Graduate Program

The MFA in Dance: Interdisciplinary Research provides a laboratory for established artists, makers, and practitioners to reimagine and enact dance through a range of collaborative and self-directed research from the speculative to the practical.

The program's intimacy and flexibility allow each student to deepen and expand their personal areas of interest through individualized focused mentorship, interdisciplinary collaboration, and the production of bold, new creative work. The curriculum includes opportunities to study in other Tisch departments, such as Performance Studies, Art & Public Policy, and Interactive Telecommunications Program, and to teach within an advanced research institution in one of the most artistically diverse cities in the world.

The 2-year, 60-credit program will accept 4 students.  Full tuition remission is provided.

Watch


 

2019 Choreographers, Composers & Designers Concert.

2019 Choreographers, Composers & Designers Concert.

Graduate Program Curriculum Schedule

Fall I

16 credits

Graduate Dance Seminar: Insights and Approaches I

4 credits

In considering the needs of our MFA students, the faculty has recognized the value of a course in which incoming students will be introduced to various approaches to the dance world, thereby also gaining an acquaintance with each faculty and with their cohort. Insights and Approaches is constructed in a modular format, allowing professors to rotate through the semester. The course is divided into two parts (Insights and Approaches I and II). In the Fall semester (Insights and Approaches I), each fourweek module will follow the instructor's focus. Most will take place in the dance studio, as experiential work exploring ways of engaging with movement and/or related arts. If a subject is more presentational or requires a seminar format, the module will convene in a classroom setting. Assignments will require creative expression evaluated through critique, and/or written work assessed for clarity and relevance to the assigned task. Spring semester (Insights and Approaches II) will continue in this format for 7 weeks. At that point, second-year students will exit the course, allowing them more time to bring their final projects to fruition. At the same time, the first-year students will begin the 7- week course, Pedagogy, in preparation for their teaching during the Tisch Dance Summer Residency Festival. 

Writing Contemporary Practice

4 credits

This course will strengthen articulation, clarity, and overall writing skills. Assignments will address various applications of writing for dance, through themed writing assignments, exploration of academic and creative writing styles, and immersion into relevant scholarship and research methodologies. The course will also assist students in development of a personal trajectory in their culminating projects. Students will emerge from the class with writing skills that give them a sharper artistic perspective, and a clearer sense of their own direction in the dance world. 

Worldmaking

4 credits

Through improvisational modes, algorithmic scores, and game-based ideas this composition course will generate relational strategies for building provisional worlds. World-building involves imagining, transmitting, testing, constructing, inhabiting and performing. Students will collaborate to search, gather and sort a new lexicon with cross-pollinating ideas. The process will be documented using analog tools, memory, written descriptions, drawings and cameras. The sensorial experiences, modalities and structures that emerge will be translated into living archives that account for the ephemerality inherent in dance.

Elective(s)

4 credits

Students may choose from the offerings listed to pursue deeper study in a range of interdisciplinary subjects:

  • Science of Movement (2)
  • Research Topics in Dance Science (2)
  • Impact on Choreography of New Music (4)
  • Real-time Movement and Sound Composition (2)
  • Dance Music Laboratory (2)
  • The Art of Collaboration (2)
  • Artistic Dialogue Across Borders (4)
  • Dance technical practice (2-8) 
  • Filming the Moving Body (1)
  • Video Art (2-3)
  • Digital Performance (1)
  • Adventures in Motion Pictures: Dance on Camera (4)
  • Anatomy I & II (3 each)
  • Production for Dancers (1)
  • Graduate Herstory of Dance (4)
  • Choreography & Pornography (4)*
  • Dance and Its Images (4)*
  • Studies in Dance: Movement Theory (4)*
  • Seminar in Dance Theory: Dance and the Political (4)*
  • Anatomy of Difference (4)** 

*offered by the Department of Performance Studies

**offered by the Department of Art and Public Policy

Spring I

12 credits

Graduate Dance Seminar: Insights and Approaches II

2 credits, Prerequisite: Graduate Dance Seminar: Insights and Approaches I

In considering the needs of our MFA students, the faculty has recognized the value of a course in which incoming students will be introduced to various approaches to the dance world, thereby also gaining an acquaintance with each faculty and with their cohort. Insights and Approaches is constructed in a modular format, allowing professors to rotate through the semester. The course is divided into two parts (Insights and Approaches I and II). In the Fall semester (Insights and Approaches I), each fourweek module will follow the instructor's focus. Most will take place in the dance studio, as experiential work exploring ways of engaging with movement and/or related arts. If a subject is more presentational or requires a seminar format, the module will convene in a classroom setting. Assignments will require creative expression evaluated through critique, and/or written work assessed for clarity and relevance to the assigned task. Spring semester (Insights and Approaches II) will continue in this format for 7 weeks. At that point, second-year students will exit the course, allowing them more time to bring their final projects to fruition. At the same time, the first-year students will begin the 7- week course, Pedagogy, in preparation for their teaching during the Tisch Dance Summer Residency Festival. 

Pedagogy

2 credits

Pedagogical Inquiry offers instructional methodologies for teaching in multiple settings: high school, higher education, and community colleges. This course views pedagogy as an evolving and adaptable practice that goes beyond technical elements of dance. The primary focus encompasses both the theoretical and practical aspects of dance education. Members will be asked to think about dance and teaching as a source enfolded into their practice of composition and performance. Investigation and discussion of pedagogical material that highlights the relationship between dance pedagogy, theory and expanding the form beyond the classroom. On Wednesday mornings, we will thoroughly discuss the required readings. On Friday mornings, we will spend time in the studio investigating the practical application of teaching: The Doing. The Making. The Practice. The Music. Students will practice these methodologies by teaching class to BFA students with close mentorship by our full-time faculty.

Current Topics in Dance Studies

4 credits

This course places an equal emphasis on dance scholarship and dance performance. We shall situate theory, herstory and embodied practice as integrally connected and of equal import. Thus, our study of iconic Artist-Scholars is central to the course which culminates in two presentations for the NYU community; an academic conference style presentation and a performance presentation. Current topics to be addressed include reenactment, choreographic legacy, immersive and site - specific works, works with audience participation, dance with text, dance made exclusively for online platforms, visual art as dance, and the future of dance studies as a discreet discipline within the humanities. 

Elective(s)

4 credits

Students may choose from the offerings listed to pursue deeper study in a range of interdisciplinary subjects:

  • Science of Movement (2)
  • Research Topics in Dance Science (2)
  • Impact on Choreography of New Music (4)
  • Real-time Movement and Sound Composition (2)
  • Dance Music Laboratory (2)
  • The Art of Collaboration (2)
  • Artistic Dialogue Across Borders (4)
  • Dance technical practice (2-8) 
  • Filming the Moving Body (1)
  • Video Art (2-3)
  • Digital Performance (1)
  • Adventures in Motion Pictures: Dance on Camera (4)
  • Anatomy I & II (3 each)
  • Production for Dancers (1)
  • Graduate Herstory of Dance (4)
  • Choreography & Pornography (4)*
  • Dance and Its Images (4)*
  • Studies in Dance: Movement Theory (4)*
  • Seminar in Dance Theory: Dance and the Political (4)*
  • Anatomy of Difference (4)** 

*offered by the Department of Performance Studies

**offered by the Department of Art and Public Policy

Summer I

2 credits

Independent Study

2 credits, Prerequisite: Pedagogy

Focused, individualized mentorship is the heart of this MFA program. Along with core courses, students will work with a faculty mentor through Independent Study from second-year fall through the culminating project in the second year spring. 

Independent Study in Summer I will include teaching 1 week in BFA Summer Program.

Fall II

16 credits

Business of Art

4 credits

This course is designed to develop the business skill sets necessary for a successful and sustainable career in the arts. Designed for individuals across artistic disciplines, and for students of business, the course utilizes proven corporate Strategic Planning methods adapted for the arts. The course provides the tools to develop and articulate clear strategies for achieving short and long- term goals, increasing productivity, effectively managing time and attaining financial literacy and solvency. 

Elective(s)

4 credits

Students may choose from the offerings listed to pursue deeper study in a range of interdisciplinary subjects:

  • Science of Movement (2)
  • Research Topics in Dance Science (2)
  • Impact on Choreography of New Music (4)
  • Real-time Movement and Sound Composition (2)
  • Dance Music Laboratory (2)
  • The Art of Collaboration (2)
  • Artistic Dialogue Across Borders (4)
  • Dance technical practice (2-8) 
  • Filming the Moving Body (1)
  • Video Art (2-3)
  • Digital Performance (1)
  • Adventures in Motion Pictures: Dance on Camera (4)
  • Anatomy I & II (3 each)
  • Production for Dancers (1)
  • Graduate Herstory of Dance (4)
  • Choreography & Pornography (4)*
  • Dance and Its Images (4)*
  • Studies in Dance: Movement Theory (4)*
  • Seminar in Dance Theory: Dance and the Political (4)*
  • Anatomy of Difference (4)** 

*offered by the Department of Performance Studies

**offered by the Department of Art and Public Policy

Independent Study

8 credits

Focused, individualized mentorship is the heart of this MFA program. Along with core courses, students will work with a faculty mentor through Independent Study from second-year fall through the culminating project in the second year spring.

Spring II

14 credits

Graduate Dance Seminar: Insights and Approaches II

2 credits, Prerequisite: Graduate Dance Seminar: Insights and Approaches I

In considering the needs of our MFA students, the faculty has recognized the value of a course in which incoming students will be introduced to various approaches to the dance world, thereby also gaining an acquaintance with each faculty and with their cohort. Insights and Approaches is constructed in a modular format, allowing professors to rotate through the semester. The course is divided into two parts (Insights and Approaches I and II). In the Fall semester (Insights and Approaches I), each fourweek module will follow the instructor¶s focus. Most will take place in the dance studio, as experiential work exploring ways of engaging with movement and/or related arts. If a subject is more presentational or requires a seminar format, the module will convene in a classroom setting. Assignments will require creative expression evaluated through critique, and/or written work assessed for clarity and relevance to the assigned task. Spring semester (Insights and Approaches II) will continue in this format for 7 weeks. At that point, second-year students will exit the course, allowing them more time to bring their final projects to fruition. At the same time, the first-year students will begin the 7- week course, Pedagogy, in preparation for their teaching during the Tisch Dance Summer Residency Festival. 

Elective(s)

4 credits

Students may choose from the offerings listed to pursue deeper study in a range of interdisciplinary subjects:

  • Science of Movement (2)
  • Research Topics in Dance Science (2)
  • Impact on Choreography of New Music (4)
  • Real-time Movement and Sound Composition (2)
  • Dance Music Laboratory (2)
  • The Art of Collaboration (2)
  • Artistic Dialogue Across Borders (4)
  • Dance technical practice (2-8) 
  • Filming the Moving Body (1)
  • Video Art (2-3)
  • Digital Performance (1)
  • Adventures in Motion Pictures: Dance on Camera (4)
  • Anatomy I & II (3 each)
  • Production for Dancers (1)
  • Graduate Herstory of Dance (4)
  • Choreography & Pornography (4)*
  • Dance and Its Images (4)*
  • Studies in Dance: Movement Theory (4)*
  • Seminar in Dance Theory: Dance and the Political (4)*
  • Anatomy of Difference (4)** 

*offered by the Department of Performance Studies

**offered by the Department of Art and Public Policy

Independent Study

8 credits

Focused, individualized mentorship is the heart of this MFA program. Along with core courses, students will work with a faculty mentor through Independent Study from second-year fall through the culminating project in the second year spring. 

 

Community Engagement Component

The community engagement component is a monitored but self-guided exchange with an outside community organization or production company that takes place in the Fall of the 2nd year. This experience is meant to activate dance within other contexts outside of the Tisch academic setting. The goal is to create deeper artistic, intellectual, communal, civic and social impact for the culminating project and its dissemination in the professional world while offering service to the local community. Through exposure to cultural production in the workforce, clear strategies for identifying and expanding one's audience/community, along with post-graduation job placement can be generated.

Potential sites for the relevant application of dance research within this component include social justice organizations, non-profit art institutions, digital technology labs, wellness and movement therapy programs, environmental organizations, design houses/ateliers, research institutes, etc.

After finishing their engagement components students will convene a public panel of formal presentations sharing the experiences and outcomes of their work within the community.

Culminating Final Project

The Culminating Final Project is a creative endeavor supported by a body of work generated within two years of investigative and mentored research. The project can take into account a broader range of political, cultural and historical context. This is an opportunity to create a significant contribution and potentially advance the field by implementing the research process through one of many possible presentational formats:
 

  1. An evening length performance (30-45 minutes):
    a.  Self-produced within the department or a venue in the NYC area, for example Dancespace Project, PSNY, MoMa PS1, Gibney and Movement Research
    b.  Site-specific dance within the appropriate time range 
  2. Scholarly paper/article:  Adhering to the requirements and standards a recognized industry publication
  3. Film/Multimedia Project (of comparable scale): choose to work in a variety of media based formats that include dance-film, video art, virtual gallery, vr, xr, ar, and interactive installation projects that are all housed within an online or online formats including a website, social media platforms, aps for devices and blogs.
  4. Curatorial Project: organizing panel or conference
  5. Scientific study/experiment
  6. Pedagogical Contribution- Online learning module, presentation of technique or embodied practice