The MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN DANCE
Master of Fine Arts in Choreography and Performance Prerequisites and Requirements
The following courses must be completed before the master’s degree is granted:
- One course in zoology, biology or human anatomy (human biology or scientific foundations of dance)
- One course in theatrical design; lighting, stage, costume or dance production, or acceptable documented equivalent experience. This prerequisite may be satisfied at Smith by the student completing two crew assignments in addition to the first year stage managing requirement.
- Three courses from the following, at least one of which must be in dance: music, dance or theater history, performance studies, cultural dance studies or research, theater or dance criticism, aesthetics
- Two courses in choreography or equivalent experience
- Student must be at advanced level in one form of dance technique including improvisational and non-western forms.
Required Graduate Courses
- 4 First year technique courses (intermediate to advanced), 2 each semester / 8 credits
- 4 Second year technique courses (intermediate to advanced), 2 each semester / 8 credits
A student may request to replace one technique class with an undergraduate theory class in a field that is vital to her creative or scholarly interests. One such substitution is allowed each year. A request for this substitution must be made the semester before the class is offered (or the first two weeks of a first year’s first semester). The request should be emailed to the graduate adviser copying in the full-time faculty. This course may not be used to fulfill a prerequisite requirement.
Students may also substitute a 2-credit repertory course for one of the technique courses as long as they are also enrolled in two technique courses. J-term repertory projects count toward this substitution only if the workload is equivalent to 40 contact hours or more.
Students must take at least one technique course per year from a Smith dance faculty member and they may take one (but not more than one) technique class per semester from a fellow MFA student.
Students are required to travel at least once to another FCDD campus for a technique class during their first year and are encouraged to travel both semesters if possible.
- DAN 505 First Year Performance
/ 2 credits
First year students must perform in at least one dance that is choreographed by a Five College faculty member or Master of Fine Arts student.
- DAN 507 Production and Management / 2 credits
First year students must complete a major production and management project assigned by the Faculty (usually stage managing a dance concert).
- DAN 515 Creative Process and Choreography I / 3 credits
- First year accrue independent study credit for their grad event choreography through this course in the semester when their grad event piece is not produced in a choreography course (DAN 521 or DAN 553).
- DAN 500 Graduate Seminar: Topics in Dance Theory / 3 credits
Seminar in Music and Sound
Contemporary Trends in Dance
The Pedagogy of Dance Technique
Dance, Video and the Camera
- DAN 521 Choreography as a Creative Process / 5 credits
- DAN 553 Choreography by Design / 5 credits
- DAN 540 History and Literature of Dance: Research Methods / 4 credits
- DAN 560 Scientific Principles in the Teaching of Dance / 4 credits
- DAN 570 Second Year Summer Research / 2 credits
- DAN 590 Second Year Thesis: Process and Design / 4 credits
- DAN 591 Second Year Thesis: Production
and Analysis / 4 credits
A concert presentation of dances is required for the degree. There should be approximately but no more than 20 minutes of choreography, with accompanying light and costume designs. Two papers in support of the thesis are also required. The degree candidate will be responsible for the organization of all production aspects of the performance.
At the end of both semesters of the first year, each student will meet with the Smith dance faculty to discuss course work, choreography, technique, and preliminary plans for the MFA presentation. Faculty concerns dealing with artistic or academic progress will be discussed at this time. Students are notified if they have successfully completed all of the first year graduate requirements.