About the Program

MISSION - Dance Program

Rooted in tradition, committed to innovating, the OFA Dance Program supports studies in dance composition, improvisation, performance, choreographic design and history of dance with an emphasis on collaboration and trans-disciplinary inquiry. Part of the concentration in Theater, Dance & Media, the Dance Program also offers a secondary field of concentration in drama with a focus on dance; for-credit courses; and co-curricular dance courses at all levels, plus opportunities to perform repertory, commissioned work, and installations. The Dance Program provides mentorship and support for student-led dance companies, a vibrant community of Harvard dancers who represent over twenty dance traditions from across the globe. The Program regularly hosts guest artists and choreographers who teach master classes and hold residencies throughout the academic year, fostering exceptional opportunities for students to work with luminaries and innovators in the field and in disciplines linked to dance.

2015-2016 Dance Program Synopsis

MISSION – Theater, Dance & Media Concentration

Dance studies in the TDM interarts concentration are rooted in tradition, and committed to innovation. Courses support studies in dance composition, improvisation, performance, choreographic design and history of dance with an emphasis on collaboration and trans-disciplinary inquiry.  Opportunities to perform wide-ranging repertory, commissioned work, and installations are a focal component of coursework, and digital technology is leveraged to devise new methods for making and capturing the form. Guest artist faculty teach master classes, courses, hold residencies and create original work each academic year, fostering exceptional opportunities for students to work with luminaries and innovators who engage diverse and dynamic perspectives in the field and in disciplines linked to dance.  

HISTORY 

Dance has existed in various forms at Harvard University and Radcliffe College, from social dances to master classes, since the late 1890s. In 1964 Radcliffe appointed Claire Mallardi to develop dance into a full-scale program. The Dance Program has been a dynamic part of the Office for the Arts(OFA) since 1973, and became a part of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1999. Elizabeth Bergmann, former Chair of the University of Michigan’s Dance Department, served as Director of the Dance Program from 2000 until 2011, while also a Lecturer in the Committee on Dramatic Arts. Under her leadership and signaling a burgeoning presence of dance on campus, the Dance Program moved to a state-of-the-art dedicated dance space, the Harvard Dance Center at 60 Garden Street, which houses a main studio (that converts to a theater) and an additional teaching studio. A third Program studio is located at 74 Mt. Auburn Street.

Jill Johnson, Dance Director and Senior Lecturer in Music and Theater, Dance & Music, aims to honor the legacy of the Dance Program with an evolving vision for dance studies at Harvard.

NEW CONCENTRATION IN THEATER, DANCE & MEDIA!

On April 7, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted unanimously to establish a new concentration in Theater, Dance & Media (TDM). The new concentration launched October 1, 2015, and is open to any Harvard College student. 

Detailed information about course offerings, advising, and requirements are available on the TDM website: tdm.fas.harvard.edu

The Harvard Dance Center is an LGBT Safe Space
The Harvard Dance Center is a BGLTQ + Safe Space
: A safe place for bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, and all students; a space where any student can be fully self-expressed, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, age, or physical or mental ability; a place where the rules guard each person's self-respect and dignity and strongly encourage everyone to respect others.