Nusha Martynuk, Professor of Dance, Program Director
Ann Cooper Albright, Professor of Dance
Roger Copeland, Professor of Theater and Dance
Holly Handman Lopez, Visiting Artist
Carter McAdams, Professor of Dance
Elesa Rosasco, Associate Professor of Dance
Adenike Sharpley, Artist-in-Residence, African American Studies/Dance
Deborah Vogel, Lecturer in Dance
The Oberlin Dance Program encourages students to create, perform, and think about movement in a manner that is consonant with their experience in the other fine and liberal arts. The curriculum offers various approaches to the study of movement, from creation and performance to physical techniques, critical inquiry and somatic studies.
Dance at Oberlin is characterized by its commitment to experimentation and to the creation of original work. Student, faculty and guest artist choreography is presented throughout the year in formal concerts, and in a regular series of studio events. Outstanding resources for artistic collaboration with student and faculty directors, designers, composers, musicians, and video artists are found in Theater, the Conservatory of Music, Cinema Studies, and the Art Department.
Students also have the opportunity to explore somatic studies; with its focus on alignment, movement integration and meditative practice it offers an excellent preparation for a lifetime of personal health and work in therapeutic fields.
The Dance Program provides critical study of the field’s rich history to encourage and support students’ curiosity and willingness to take risks and explore new ideas. Students are encouraged to recognize that movement has cultural meaning, and to find the variety of meanings inherent in different traditions and cultural contexts. The practice of research and writing about dance in its historical context is developed to widen an appreciation of dance as an artistic and cultural phenomenon: to include rather than exclude.
In the second semester of the junior year qualified students may be admitted to the Honors Program in Dance. The Honors project may be either, 1) an advanced level creative project in dance performance or choreography, or 2) a research topic in dance history, criticism, or theory resulting in a substantial written thesis. Advanced level creative projects also include a significant written component. At the completion of the senior Honors Project, the student is examined orally by a panel consisting of the Honors student’s faculty advisor and at least two other faculty members. Applications and further information concerning Honors work are available in the Theater and Dance Program office, Warner Center.
Winter Term provides an opportunity for students to engage in individual projects or a group project sponsored by the faculty. Guest artists are brought to campus each Winter Term to work with students for an intensive two or three-week period. In addition, students use this time to participate (at times with alumni of our program) in various off campus dance-related internships.
Off Campus Study
Before credit is awarded for off-campus study, students must obtain tentative prior approval from a member of the Dance faculty and the Associate Dean of Studies. After the study is completed, the student must supply evidence of satisfactory participation. A maximum of 16 hours of off-campus study may be applied to the major in Dance.
Trinity/LaMama Performing Arts Program in New York
An intensive, one-semester Oberlin College Affiliated Program emphasizing interdisciplinary work in theater and dance that includes internships, seminars, studio classes and attendance at 45+ performances and events. Full semester’s credit through Trinity College, Hartford, CT. The program is offered in the fall semester only. Students interested in this interdisciplinary immersion in the arts in New York City should contact Carter McAdams, Professor of Dance, for additional information.
GLCA Arts program in New York
This consists of a semester of work, ordinarily in the junior year, in the areas of technique, performance, production, and related studies. In the past, the GLCA Program has placed students with various theater companies, film and video studios, major dance studios, dance presenting organizations, dance critics, and stage designers. Students who successfully complete the GLCA Program earn credits upon payment of the transfer of credit fee. All arrangements for transferring credit must be made with a member of the Dance faculty and approval for an academic leave of absence must be granted by the Associate Dean of Studies before a student begins the GLCA Program.
Spring Semester at NYU’s Tisch School of Arts
An affiliated program designed to offer Oberlin students a concentrated semester of study in film production, film studies or musical theater. The program is offered in the spring semester only. Interested students should contact the Office of the Dean of Studies for application forms and detailed information about the program.
The Laban Centre in London, England
A year long affiliated program, administered through Butler University, offering a unique combination of study abroad in a vibrant artistic community along with rigorous dance training in technique, theory, and technical production. Students interested in this performance based intensive should contact Elesa Rosasco, Associate Professor of Dance, for additional information.