About the Program

DANCE AT HARVARD

MISSION - Dance Program

The Dance Program (OFA) offers co-curricular dance courses in a wide range of genres at all levels. 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. The Dance Program also 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.

MISSION – Theater, Dance & Media Concentration

Dance studies in the TDM interarts concentration are rooted in tradition, and committed to innovation. Credit 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, Dance Director Emerita, 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 dedicated dance space, the Harvard Dance Center, at 66 Garden Street, which houses two studios – the main studio converts to a theater where Dance events, annual Department performances, Emerging Student Choreographer Showings, and student-led dance company residencies are held. A third Dance studio is located at 74 Mt. Auburn Street.

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


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.