Credit Courses in Dance

Harvard Dance Project student in movement on stage with dramatic lighting and time clock in the background.


Production Studio: Harvard Dance Project (TDM 90DR)
Teacher & Artistic Director: Jill Johnson, Director of Dance & Senior Lecturer, Theater, Dance & Media 
Meeting Time: T/Th 3-7:15pm* Location: Harvard Dance Center, Studio 1, 66 Garden St. 
DescriptionThe Harvard Dance Project cultivates invention and fosters the courage of artistry. This faculty-led performance company gives students the opportunity to be original cast members and collaborators in diverse dance works created by preeminent professional choreographers. The project focuses on performance research, collaboration, choreographic composition, and links choreographic thinking to other fields. It is a studio-based course which includes performances at major venues on campus. Harvard Dance Project choreographers, collaborators and repertory include: Jonathan Alsberry, Aszure Barton, Brian Brooks, Peter Chu, Chanel DaSilva, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Michelle Dorrance, William Forsythe, Martha Graham, Bill T Jones, Francesca Harper, Miki Orihara, Crystal Pite, Shamel Pitts, Silas Reiner, Dwight Rhoden, Christina Robson, Melinda Sullivan, Clifford Williams. Spring 2020: a world premiere evening-length dance installation at the Dance Center created by Jill Johnson in collaboration with HDP students and interdisciplinary partners.

Students in TDM or interested in developing a performance practice encouraged to enroll. Enrollment determined by audition during shopping week. Fulfills a TDM requirement.

Seeking dancers, actors, poets, musicians, writers, and visual artists! 


DATES: Tues, 1/28, 3pm, and Thurs, 1/30
TIMES: 3-5:30pm
LOCATION: Harvard Dance Center, Studio 1

*Dinner hours at Currier Dining Services (across the street) run from 5-8pm

Practical Tools for Presence: Countertechnique and Dramaturgical Thinking (TDM 142)
Teacher: Joy Davis, Visiting Lecturer, Theater, Dance & Media 
Meeting Time: T 12-2:45pm Location: Harvard Dance Center, Studio 1, 66 Garden St. 
DescriptionThis course is a multidimensional approach to cultivating dynamic performance presence through the theory and practice of Countertechnique, developed by choreographer Anouk Van Dijk. Students will gain practical tools for agile attention while dancing, creating, performing, and problem solving. The course offers the physical practice of Countertechnique and supporting theoretical framework, the Toolbox, in relationship to fostering dramaturgical thinking for the creative process. Praxis components include studying basic anatomy; moving the body through learned exercises, improvisation, and performance; and utilizing the Countertechnique Tools to incorporate information into action. Alongside practicing Countertechnique, work with  Katherine Profeta’s Dramaturgy in Motion, At Work On Dance And Movement Performance explores the multivalent approach to the dramaturg’s position in contemporary dramaturgy.

Weekly Countertechnique class will follow with discussions, improvisation labs, readings, viewings, and/or outings, which will supplement the movement practice and foster final research and performance projects.

No dance experience required.  Students in TDM or interested in developing a movement practice encouraged to enroll.

SHOP THIS COURSE AND LEARN MORE: Tues, 1/28, 12pm, at Harvard Dance Center

Performing Culture: Exploring Identity and Power Through Hip Hop Dance (TDM 149UB)
Teacher: Aysha Upchurch, Visiting Lecturer, Theater, Dance & Media 
Meeting Time: W 12-2:45pm 
Location: Harvard Dance Center, Studio 1, 66 Garden St. 
DescriptionHip Hop is music, dance, commentary, revolution, a way of being, and culture. The roots of Hip Hop are steeped in the traditions of the African Diaspora, so what of these roots remain as Hip Hop dance simultaneously allows itself to push across borders with other genres and is pulled into spaces for commercial and popular appeal? What does it mean to perform Hip Hop dance as an expression of culture that one may or may not be a part of? How is Hip Hop dance an embodied social critique on power? How does Hip Hop dance embrace diverse identities while also asserting and preserving its own?

In this new course, students will have an opportunity to engage these questions as they study and explore Hip Hop dance technique and history. Through a mix of learning activities that allow for skill development, dialogue, and engagement with artists/practitioners, students will investigate what it means to participate in or perform Hip Hop dance with an intentional eye on how it defines and intersects with various cultures, empowers identities, and interrogates power dynamic. Students will track their own progress with skills through a Movement Diary, while conditioning and flexing critical analysis muscles through group discussions, film assignments, and choreography projects. The course promises to be a boat load of “conscious fun.”This course is a 70-30 split on time moving versus time in discussion.

No dance experience required. Open to students who took TDM149U. Students in TDM or interested in developing a movement practice encouraged to enroll.

SHOP THIS COURSE AND LEARN MORE: Wed, 1/29, 12pm, at Harvard Dance Center


Contemporary Repertory: Dance Authorship in the 21st Century  (TDM 145B)
Deconstructing a Novel for Choreographic Thinking (TDM 147)
Fundaments of Improvisation & Composition, Dance (TDM 140R)
Gaga People: Movement Language (TDM 143)
Gaga Dancers: Movement Language (TDM 143B)
Hip Hop Dance: Exploring the Groove and the Movement Beneath and Beyond the Beat (TDM 149U)
Poetry in Flux - Dance Afoot (COMPLIT 119)
Repertoire for Advanced Dancers (TDM 145A)
Motion for Performers (TDM 148) 
Movement Lab (TDM 141)
Contemporary Dance Technique: Countertechnique (TDM 142)
Master Work: The Choreographic Process of William Forsythe (Music 103r)
Modern Motion: 100 Years of American Dance (Freshperson Seminar 31x)

These courses are offered on a semester-to-semester basis, depending on the academic year. 


To register, enter the Student Planning Portal.

These courses are cross-listed in Theater, Dance & Media and may be applied to the concentration. For a complete listing of courses offered through Theater, Dance & Media and for information on the concentration, please visit

Image: Katherine Hairston '22 in Bill T. Jones' "Story/Time" (excerpt), Spring 2019. Photo credit: Liza