Interdisciplinary Programs emphasizing experimental and cross-cultural performance art
The Performing Arts are an integral part of a liberal arts education. Students explore aspects of history, culture, literature, the environment, and society through their study of theatre, dance, and music. Courses range from appreciation to full production, challenging students to move from foundation courses to skills courses, from theory to practice, from the academic study of performance to actual performance. The courses in the Performing Arts Program, especially skill-building and production courses, are experiential, demanding that students develop a high level of problem-solving skills.
Performing arts offer an important contribution to the larger community, and the Performing Arts Program hosts numerous student shows and class presentations. Village Life, in connection with the African Inspired Dance and Drumming course, meets weekly to celebrate the power of community through music and dance. The Dance Workshop and Theatre Production classes produce shows each year. Students can arrange independent studies and internships with various regional and national dance and theatre companies. Choreography in the Community, Children’s Theatre Workshops, and the Green River Project, an inspired dance performance in the canyons of the Green River, engage the local community.
Arts & Letters offers one competence track and three breadth tracks in Performing Arts:
Performing Arts Competence
Performing Arts Breadth
These interdisciplinary tracks have potential for community outreach, teaching, and service. Faculty encourage students to link performance with other areas of study. Students can choose an integrated Performing Arts curriculum combining theatre, dance, and music. A limited music curriculum devotes itself to the appreciation of music as a discipline and as an art form. The strongest areas of study are theatre and dance, which stress a balance of self-expression and attention to craft. Students develop skills in acting, directing, and design; study foundations of dramatic literature and theory; and have opportunities to perform in full-scale productions, and write their own plays, screenplays, and performance pieces.
Dance courses encourage interdisciplinary, experimental, and cross-cultural approaches to performance, emphasizing body awareness and cultivating a mind/ body/spirit connection. Students have several performance venues, including the annual Theatre Production and Dance Workshop: Conception to Production, formal performances, informal performances, and class showcases. Faculty encourage students to develop special interest areas. Special topics courses in performing arts appear in the curriculum regularly.
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