DANC 402. Modern Dance Technique IV and Workshop. 3 Hours.
Continuous courses; 1 lecture and 6 studio hours. 3-3 credits. These courses may be repeated for a maximum of 18 credits on the recommendation of the department chair. Prerequisites: dance major and DANC 302, or departmental approval; completion of DANC 401 to enroll in DANC 402. Preprofessional study and training in modern dance technique. Movement studies demanding a superior level of clarity, strength and flexibility. Movement patterns demanding a high level of coordination, deep kinesthetic awareness and aesthetic sensitivity. Exploration of a wide range of performance qualities. Course includes weekly group exploration of techniques related to all areas of dance.
Dance and Choreography, Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) with a concentration in performance/Richmond Ballet
VCU’s Department of Dance and Choreography offers a four-year degree concentration within the B.F.A. specifically designed for Richmond Ballet trainees. This unique program bridges trainee experience with the Richmond Ballet professional company and rigorous pre-professional training with a focus in modern/contemporary dance. During the first two years, students receive VCU credit for their work at the Richmond Ballet while taking general education courses, dance history and improvisation at VCU. Students then complete the degree with two years at VCU, taking courses in modern/contemporary dance, ballet, composition, dance science, teaching methods and more. There are many opportunities to perform throughout the four years. This B.F.A. program is designed for disciplined students who are interested in attaining versatility in both ballet and modern/contemporary dance while exploring creative, historical and global perspectives of the field. A very small number of students in this degree program are offered the opportunity to join Richmond Ballet II after their first two years. Students are encouraged to discuss professional and academic plans with their advisers should this occur. Learning outcomes Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following: Students must demonstrate proficiency in improvisation, composition, choreography and related art forms that encourage creativity and an individual point of view. Students must demonstrate proficiency in modern dance and a diverse range of other dance techniques. The objective is to maximize students’ potential to become versatile dancers of technical excellence. Students must demonstrate a global and historical perspective of dance as an art form with an emphasis on contemporary approaches to dance making and performance. Students must demonstrate writing and critical-thinking skills. Students must demonstrate comprehensive and theoretical understanding of the field.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography requires a total of 120 credits, with 90 of those credits as the major core curriculum. Alongside courses outside of the department, dance-focused academics and creative process-oriented classes (i.e. composition and choreography), dance majors are typically required to take two technique classes daily throughout the majority of their studies. The continuous study of modern dance and ballet is a strong component of the curriculum. In addition to modern dance and ballet, elective courses in jazz, tap, hip hop, improvisation, ballroom and other special topics courses are offered, rounding out a curriculum that also involves studies in kinesiology and anatomy, dance history, music, etc. Within the core there are opportunities for repertory experience and for independent study. The dance major program is rigorous. Students’ technique placement within the required major courses is determined through departmental assessment and placement processes. Formal evaluation procedures include a placement class for entering students, juried examinations at the end of the first semester of the freshman and sophomore years and every semester of the junior and senior years. In the second semester of the freshman and sophomore years the jury is folded into a comprehensive career evaluation called the Freshmen Review and the Sophomore Readmittance Exam, respectively. These career evaluations are to assess each student’s progress in relationship to the standards of the program and progress toward degree completion. Students in the major program may be notified of probationary status after the Freshmen Review. All majors must pass the Sophomore Readmittance Exam in order to continue in the major. This exam stands on its own as a separate evaluation from course grades. The VCU dance program provides abundant opportunities for students to interact with faculty and guest artists in academic, professional, creative and performance contexts. Within the School of the Arts, dance students have frequent opportunities to work collaboratively with other students in the arts. Possibilities include the visual arts, participation in multimedia events and productions outside the dance department. Any dance major can perform in numerous formal concerts, informal showings and lecture-demonstrations produced by the department. Opportunities also are available for training in teaching, but students interested in earning state certification should consult their advisers. Learning outcomes Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following: Students should achieve proficiency in improvisation, composition, choreography and related art forms that encourage creativity and an individual point of view. Students should become proficient in modern dance technique and performance and a diverse range of other dance techniques in order to maximize their potential to become versatile dancers of technical excellence. Students should demonstrate a global and historical perspective of dance as an art form, with an emphasis on diverse contemporary approaches to dance making, research and performance. Students should demonstrate writing and critical-thinking skills. Students should demonstrate comprehensive and theoretical understanding of the field of dance.