The Forums Forums Announcements Upcoming Deadline for the University of the Arts MFA in Dance

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    The MFA program in Dance aims to rethink inherited practices and consider differently the very idea of study. The program extends the context of learning from the studio and classroom to cities and communities as spaces for learning.

    Both expansive and intensive, our approach relies on situational pedagogies and the gathering of relational communities. The program moves against conventional thinking about academic learning environments, utilizing the University of the Arts School of Dance’s long standing relationships to and connections with world-recognized artists, scholars and cultural institutions. Each summer, the program departs from a traditional educational format by proposing instead the manifestation of temporary schools that create and enliven experimental pedagogies.

    Through international residencies, workshops and symposia, the UArts MFA students generate digital research catalogues, artist’s books, and portfolios. Each term, the sharing of projects, processes and practices take the form of “research as action.”

    Immersed in the dynamic relationships created by mentorships, thinking partners, study groups and residencies, students consider and develop practices, pedagogies and research models that value experimentation and continuously question the role of dance and dancing within today’s society. With the challenge to examine the role of dance and dance-making in the communities at large, the lab and study group components of the program are built on the need for critical practices and collective thought that challenge and destabilize disciplinary thinking.

    The MFA summer term will begin on June 14, 2021 and will run for 7 weeks, taking place in various cities, including Paris and Montpellier, France. Fall and spring terms for Philadelphia Residency students are traditionally located at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Low-Residency students complete their studies offsite during the fall and spring terms through mentor-based coursework and study groups.

The artistic and curricular team is led by Ric Allsopp, Donna Faye Burchfield, and Thomas F. DeFrantz. Collaborating artists and scholars include Lauren Bakst, Chang Yuchen, Nora Chipaumire, Douglas Becker, DD Dorvillier, Lauren Downing, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Iréne Hultman, HeJin Jang, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Niall Jones, Claudia La Rocco, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Jimena Paz, Jillian Peña, Pol Pi, Ben Pranger, VK Preston, Esther M. Siddiquie, Gee Wesley, Arkadi Zaides, and Jesse Zaritt. Each year, curricular research topics fuel the selection of faculty, mentors, advisors and resident artists/scholars, who form an ongoing community of exchange for all Dance graduate students.

    The MFA program in Dance has three curricular structures that are designed with specific dance practitioners in mind:

    The Philadelphia Residency structure is designed for young artists with strong interests in expanding their practice and research in an experimental and uninterrupted way. Applicants should have 3–5 years of experience beyond undergraduate study.
    The Low-Residency structure is designed for mid-career artists, teachers and dance professionals who seek different perspectives within their practices and career trajectories. Applicants should have a minimum of 8–10 years of professional experience.
    The Flex- Structure extends the duration of study from 15 to 22 months on a case by case basis to accommodate students in need of more flexibility.
    The deadline for application is January 15. We require a Statement of Intent, Resume, 3 Letters of Recommendation, and a Portfolio, to be followed up by a phone interview. For more information about the program and how to apply, please visit our website at or contact us at

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