Masters degrees in Dance Theatre provide advanced practical and scholarly training in the critique, analysis and production of theatre performance.
MA courses are typically for the field, and may either be taught or research-based depending on your interests. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Drama, Theatre or Dance Studies.
Developing individuality, versatility and creativity in performance are crucial skills for Dance Theatre performers. Through a combination of practical performance-making and investigation of theory including historiography, you will develop professionally as a well-rounded performer.
You will examine contemporary and popular theatre through topics such as political performance, cross-culturalism and dramaturgy, reflecting on these through applied practical techniques. This includes touch improvisation, body awareness, rehearsing repertory pieces as well as fitness classes and somatic techniques.
In sum, you will increase your dance skills, dance production knowledge and choreographic expertise.
Careers as a Dance Theatre performer range from traditional musical theatre to exotic performances such as physical theatre and live art. If performing isn’t your chosen career route, your expertise would also make you a suitable candidate for production management or teaching.
The MA Dance provides an insight into contemporary debates about and trends in dance/performance practice and will enhance your sophisticated understanding of dance/performance conventions.
You will have the opportunity to achieve a range of subject-specific outcomes, through acquiring an advanced knowledge of concepts, problems and traditions in dance and a capacity to apply that knowledge in a range of professional contexts. You will develop and apply advanced critical thinking skills and higher-level transferable skills essential for career enhancement.
You will study a range of subject specific modules including areas of somatic practice, cultural studies, professional practice, contextual studies and Advanced Research Methods through tutor-led, student-led, and self-directed study.
Reflective personal development practices are encouraged throughout the duration of the course, which will help you to monitor your progress.
Learning will take place through practical dance classes, workshops, practical classes, studio-based practice, screenings, lectures, discussions (both online and in class), seminars, and tutorials.
You will receive support for your learning from: your personal tutor, the Dance subject librarian, the Dance department technician, the Dance department administrator, departmental careers support (especially in relation to teaching, post-graduate study in a range of areas, and freelance dance work).
The course includes practical as well as academic study and builds on the international reputations and expertise of staff in dance practice, dance history, cultural studies and dance science.
There will be opportunities for interaction with postgraduate students in other performing arts subjects with practice-based work.
Our state-of-the-art performing arts and learning centre; The Performance Hub, opened in 2011 and is the home for all of our performance courses. The state-of–the-art facilities in the hub will give you experience of excellent dance studios and theatre/performance spaces, mac computer suites, professional level recording studios and lighting equipment. It boasts two bespoke dance studios, with sprung floors, mirrored wall and equipment for sound and lighting requirements.
This course will enhance graduates’ opportunities across a range of employment in the arts and related fields, rather than a specific career path, since dance is applicable in a wide variety of contexts in the arts at all levels of society. For example, school teachers will be qualified for posts in Further and Higher Education, in addition to gaining a qualification to enhance their prospects in their current institutional base; freelance artists will have additional skills and techniques to offer in the arena of arts projects in schools, theatre educational outreach work and community arts; practitioners will have a deeper understanding of their craft and a qualification recognized by FE and HE establishments.
At the end of this course you, the student, will be able to:
1. demonstrate a systematic understanding of the field of dance, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of their academic discipline
2. apply a comprehensive range of techniques relevant to your own research, scholarship and practice
3. apply knowledge in original ways, together with an understanding of how established techniques of research and practice are used to create and interpret knowledge in dance
4. evaluate critically current practice, research and advanced scholarship in dance
5. deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate your conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
6. demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
Whether you are an established choreographer intent on refining and hot-housing your practice, a dance artist looking to retrain or a recent graduate from a performance-related subject, this course will give you the opportunity to find new and innovative ways to produce exciting choreography.
A range of modules will enable you to create a bespoke programme of study through which you will explore your artistic interests and make several new pieces of choreography. You will engage with the latest academic research and insights and learn how to apply this to real-world situations, developing the skills to respond to a brief, curate inventive work for festivals and events, and to collaborate on or initiate interdisciplinary and experimental projects.
You will explore traditional and alternative settings for dance and performance, from the studio and theatre to galleries and museums. You will have the opportunity to work with community groups, using participatory, immersive and specialised collaborative approaches to develop new choreographic methods.
You will share ideas and experiences with fellow students from a range of backgrounds, collaborating, critiquing and engaging with each other's choreographic identity.
Leeds Dance Partnership
We are members of the Leeds Dance Partnership. The partnership has a vision for Leeds to become an international centre for dance. The other members are Northern Ballet, Yorkshire Dance, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Balbir Singh Dance Company, Gary Clarke Company, ProDanceLeeds, DAZL, RJC Dance, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds City College and West Yorkshire Playhouse. The School of Film, Music & Performing Arts is leading on research for the partnership, coordinated by Senior Lecturer in Dance, Rachel Krische. Find out more about the partnership on the Northern Ballet website.
You will be taught by a small, dedicated dance team of industry professionals who perform, create and write alongside teaching. They are engaged with leading choreographers, dance companies and festivals nationally and internationally, and their insights will feed into your learning. Professional curators, producers, choreographers and dramaturgs will be invited to share their experiences and inspire your learning.
You will have access to our dance studios at Headingley Campus and black box spaces at City Campus, as well as studios at Northern Ballet and Yorkshire Dance. All of these spaces are of a professional standard and will allow you to explore working in a range of settings and atmospheres. We will also encourage you to explore alternative spaces such as galleries, museums and the outdoors as venues for your work.
Your career opportunities will be varied and personal to your ambitions as a choreographer. You could go on to further develop your specialism and find your identity as a professional choreographer, work as an independent artist leading your own work or responding to commissions, or you could become the artistic director of a company. Your course will also prepare you to lead on community projects or take up roles such as festival programmer or festival producer. You could also work as a dance critic or movement director.
The MA Choreography and Professional Practices draws on expertise from a number of professionals within the dance industry and is delivered in close relationship with a national dance agency, South East Dance based close by, in Brighton.
The degree incorporates opportunities for engaging in Continuing Professional Development opportunities such as workshops, career planning, master classes and residencies alongside the development of your own choreographic skills.
The MA offers an introduction to research methods in the arts and to strategies for documenting live performance practice and promoting your work to wider audiences.
It provides opportunities to pursue live performance practices as a choreographer and to consider how your work is situated in relation to the wider field of professional contemporary dance practice.
It allows for you to develop your own artistic voice and to explore single discipline or interdisciplinary practice-based arts research projects involving choreography, performance, fine art, music, installation, and so forth – led by you and your interest in performance making.
The MA is designed to cater both for students who wish to develop their dance-making skills in order to further their careers as reflective practitioners, and as a foundation programme for those hoping to pursue practical and/or theoretical research at M.Phil or Ph.D level.
The flexibility of the programme means that you can exit after successful completion of modules to the value 120 credits with a postgraduate diploma at Level 7.
For the award of the MA you need to attain 180 credits at Level 7 including the Dissertation module.
The MA Dissertation project can involve practical performance and or written work determined by your needs as a performance researcher and maker.
At Chichester, we teach in small groups and pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we have created for our students. The Dance courses are delivered on our Bishop Otter Campus where the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) is the hub of your learning environment. It has two upper floors of library resources with dedicated areas for silent work or group study, while on the ground floor you will find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources. There are over 130 open access PC workstations, 45 Apple IMacs and ample printing and media facilities. A state-of-the-art wireless network offers fast internet as well as access to all our online resources. You will also have a dedicated subject librarian who will be available to help you access all the library resources you need for your course, both on the shelves and online.
Our Dance facilities include four superb dance studios, a fully equipped 250-seat theatre and a 110-seat studio theatre.
The MA in Choreography and Professional Practices will equip you for a range of careers in choreography, performing arts, dance development, arts administration, performance, teaching or dance research.
It will also prepare you for further study i.e. PhD or professionally-related qualifications.
The programme has an industry-facing identity facilitated through the relationship with South East Dance, the region’s dance development agency, and you will be able to draw on the skills and expertise arising from this partnership.
The programme includes opportunities for presenting your work at choreographic platform sharings, participating in artist networking opportunities, developing your marketing, fundraising and ‘pitching’ / presentation skills.
Guest lecturers will introduce you to issues affecting dance employment, and your learning is supported by individual tutorials and group meetings to discuss your progress.
The Dance department is a leading provider of excellence in dance education and draws on the expertise of the teaching team. The team is made up of international professional dancers, choreographers, researchers, writers and directors. Each member of the team is renowned for his or her theoretical and practical expertise. You’ll work with, and learn from, a wealth of professional specialist tutors whose backgrounds stem from highly respected performance companies.
As an MA student you will have access to the lively arts research culture at the University including: regular full programmes of research presentations given by staff, web-based learning, research students and visiting artists/researchers, performances by visiting artists/companies, theatre trips to performance events, arts research training events and national arts conferences.
Some of the optional modules enable you to work alongside students from other Masters programmes. Some of the course content will be delivered by staff from South East Dance both on campus and off campus at their base in Brighton and in off-site performance venues in Brighton, London and other regional venues.
Learning is assessed using various methods chosen as the most appropriate for demonstrating achievement of the learning outcomes for each module. All modules are assessed by means of programme work in the form of practical choreography presentations, essays, reports, presentations, learning journals, portfolios, online tasks and group working.
Students are expected to carry out an independent research project on a topic relevant to the field of choreography. For this module students are supported through seminar sessions and tutorials during the two semesters so that they can develop research skills which are essential for lifelong learning, career flexibility; and for professional practice as well as for personal and professional development. In addition, students have the option to become involved in a number of collaborative projects through which they can, as part of the degree, develop project management, time management and interpersonal team work skills.
The MA Somatic Practices by Independent Research focuses on the study of somatic practices and somatically informed movement practices in a contemporary and historical context.
It offers practitioners a means of validating and accrediting their prior experience and professional training and an opportunity to develop and deepen critical understanding of specific somatic practices and how to conduct somatically informed research.
The programme will enable you to analyse, critique and articulate your somatic and/or movement practice in relation to current industry practices, protocols and conventions and situate your work within the U.K, European and North American field of somatics.
It offers practitioners a means of validating and accrediting their prior experience and professional training and an opportunity to develop and deepen their critical understanding of specific somatic practices and how to conduct somatically informed research.
In particular, the programme provides you with opportunities for developing an understanding of individual practice in relation to current trends, practices and opportunities within the wider fields of somatic and somatically informed movement practices.
Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.
At the Bishop Otter campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support. We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas. We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.
The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment. It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.
The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:
This course is suitable for you if you are a practitioner with 3 or more years of professional practice and/or a diploma in a somatic practice such as Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy (IBMT), Body-Mind Centreing, Somatic Experiencing, Feldenkrais Technique, Alexander Technique, Tamalpa Practice, Yoga, Skinner Releasing Technique.
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This course consists of 2 modules. Prior to beginning the course you will have your prior professional learning accredited. This is done through an interview, the submission of a professional portfolio and an essay (for more details see ‘how to apply’ below).
Module 1: Somatically-informed Research Methodologies
Aims: This module aims to provide students with:
Module 2: Somatic Practices Dissertation
Aims: This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to:
Assessed through a portfolio of prior work/training, the completion of a Research Methodologies module (30 credits) and a Dissertation module (60 credits), the programme addresses the needs of mature learners and professional movement practitioners who seek to extend and develop their professional learning through Masters study.
The M.A Somatic Practices by Independent Research degree offers Higher Education study to professionals who may not wish to engage with a taught programme of study but seek to validate their professional training and practice through accreditation of prior standing and through the completion of a Research methodologies module and through the completion of a Dissertation project developed through independent study.
The programme will be of interest to those who have completed professional training existing outside Higher Education (examples of such trainings in the UK and internationally include: Body-Mind CenteringÒ, Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy, Feldenkrais, Alexander, Skinner Releasing Technique) who seek flexibility of study.
The research methodologies module can be delivered in concert with the current MA Reflective Practice module and/or as a stand-alone module with flexible delivery (online, weekends, summer). Dissertation supervision will draw on existing staff research expertise and are normally delivered through a combination of face-to face tutorials, Skype, and email correspondence.