Credit Courses in Dance

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

FALL 2019

Gaga People: Movement Language (TDM 143)
Teacher: Mario Zambrano, Lecturer on Theater, Dance & Media
Meeting Time: M/W 10:30-11:45am, Location: Harvard Dance Center, Studio 1, 66 Garden St. 
Description: Gaga, the movement language created by Ohad Naharin, former artistic director and choreographer of Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, is a continuous, sensation-based movement class. Students are encouraged to interpret and experience the somatic practice of listening to the body while activating a total sensorial attention. Gaga offers a creative framework for students to engage with physicality and imagination, bridging the activity between body and mind while increasing physical potential. There are no mirrors in Gaga, and there are no observers. The class moves in continuum without breaks for a minimum of an hour. GAGA People is intended for and welcomes students who have not had any previous dance training.
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Deconstructing a Novel for Choreographic Thinking (TDM 147)
Teacher: Mario Alberto Zambrano, Lecturer on Theater, Dance & Media
Meeting Time: Th, 3-5:45pm Location: Farkas Studio 303
Description: This course will assess the structure and thematic elements of a novel as a means to recognize choreographic opportunities and interpretation in prose. Through discussion/analysis of how craft elements such as point of view, tone, voice, characterization, setting, and conflict are implemented in the composition of the novel, we'll consider structures and modalities of how novels are created, and how these structures/elements can be used for choreographic composition in creative processes. Architecture will be used as a reference point from which to orient course research, and passages of the work will inform students composition. By sourcing language— metaphor, style, rhythm—from the novels studied, written and movement exercises will be derived from the content of these works, either structurally, linguistically, or thematically. Novels studied will include: Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard by Kiran Desai, Homecoming by Yaa Gyassi, Bluets by Maggie Nelson, Veronica by Mary Gaitskill, The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoko Ogawa, and Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli.
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Hip Hop Dance: Exploring the Groove and the Movement Beneath and Beyond the Beat (TDM 149U) - New course! 
Teacher: Aysha Upchurch, Lecturer on Education, GSE, and Visiting Lecturer on TDM 
Meeting Time: 9:45-11:45am
Location: Farkas Studio 303
Description: Having sprawled so far from its geographical roots, Hip Hop music and dance can be seen, taught, and learned in almost every corner of the globe. Indeed this kind of reach hints at a certain inclusivity or open invitation to all -- there seems to be no body that has not seen or even participated in some moment with Hip Hop dance. True to the essence of Hip Hop culture, the dance form continues to define and stretch itself -- sampling and remixing how and where it moves.  Yet with all of this expansion, it is important to honor its roots and history -- there is a method to the madness, a rhyme and a reason behind the swag. Read more


Production Studio: Harvard Dance Project (TDM 90DR)
Teacher & Artistic Director: Jill Johnson, Director of Dance & Senior Lecturer
Meeting Time: T/Th 3-7:15pm*, with some additional Wednesday rehearsals 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 two or more 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 at least 12 performances at major venues on campus. Course Notes: Enrollment determined by audition during the first week of class. Dance experience required. 
*Dinner hours at Currier Dining Services (across the street) run from 5-8pm

More Spring 2020 courses TBA. 


Contemporary Repertory: Dance Authorship in the 21st Century  (TDM 145B)
Fundaments of Improvisation & Composition, Dance (TDM 140R)
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