MFA in Dance

Overview

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in dance at the University of Alabama will develop students’ creative, performance, and scholarly work and prepare them for multiple professional destinations as dance artists, administrators, scholars, and teachers.

The dance (MFA) degree program will support the development of diverse skills in classical and contemporary dance techniques, dance pedagogy, historical perspectives, and critical theory, as well as technical and artistic integration of dance-specific technologies. The UA Dance program has a strong commitment to connecting students to professionals in the field by bringing in diverse guest artists each year to teach master classes, set new or
established works and give presentations.

Performance and Creative Opportunities

The Dance Program produces numerous concerts annually, providing ample opportunities for graduate students to perform, collaborate, and create new works. On-campus opportunities include Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre (ARDT), Dance Alabama (DA), Dance Collection (DC), Dance Alabama Film Festival (DAFF), musical theatre and theatre productions.

The program additionally supports community performances, and applications to present work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Alabama Dance Festival, and the American College Dance Association annual conferences. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to other national and international adjudicated festivals and conferences.

Curriculum

Over the course of three years, students will complete a total of 60 credit hours in a range of studio related and dance studies courses. Students will also complete and present a substantial MFA project demonstrating a synthesis of craft, artistic vision, and conceptual rigor, as well as professional competence in the selected research area.

The culmination of graduate study is the MFA Final Project. The Final Project is based on creative work: a choreographic/creative project usually presented in a concert, followed by a paper and an oral defense of the project and paper.

Creative work can take any number of forms from proscenium performance, to site-specific or interdisciplinary work, etc. By the third semester of the degree program, a written proposal for the creative project must be presented to the graduate dance faculty. The proposal will include information on the purpose of the project, how it will contribute to personal artistic/educational growth, a timeline for activities, resources to be used, and a preliminary literature review on the topic.

The faculty will evaluate the feasibility and innovation of the proposal as well as how the project will further the field of dance. Faculty can either approve the project as proposed or suggest revisions. Students will receive considered advice from faculty, but the responsibility of articulating an idea and completing the proposed work in a fashion acceptable to the faculty rests with the student.

Find details about the curriculum on our MFA Dance Curriculum page.