NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Applications will open in fall 2015 for a new MFA degree in dance, the first of its kind at Rutgers University and the first dance MFA in New Jersey. The 26-month program is set to launch in January 2017.
Dance faculty member Jeff Friedman, a dance artist with a doctorate degree in dance studies, will serve as director of the MFA program. Friedman describes the degree as designed for professional dance artists who are at least five years out from undergraduate school who wish to teach and research at the collegiate level. Friedman says the Mason Gross School’s Dance Department plans to enroll 10 MFA students annually, from around the world.
Dance Department artistic director and chair Julia M. Ritter says the degree is meant for students interested in honing their artistic and scholarly visions to emerge from the program with an approach to dance that is global and interdisciplinary. Ideally, graduates will contribute to the dance field as artists and dance educators worldwide.
To that end, Friedman says: “Dance faculty teach, and they conduct research and contribute to scholarly discourse. To do so, one must commit to rigorous thinking. Ideally, the degree will be a transformative experience.” Friedman says the 62-credit degree requires a year-and-a-half of coursework and eight months of thesis work (the latter may be completed on or off campus). The degree will train students in multiple aspects of dance studies: history, philosophy, and aesthetics; teaching methods and theories; and interdisciplinary choreography and performance strategies with faculty and guest artists from around the world. Electives in other art forms, the humanities, and additional disciplines are drawn from Rutgers University’s vast offerings. In addition, a pair of seminars will focus on portfolio preparation, leadership and advocacy, and launching graduating students into higher education.
Ultimately, the experience should be a rich mix of thinking and doing: linking theorizing and practicing, through researching, teaching and creating movement-based interdisciplinary works in concert dance, screen dance, installation, or other formats.
“The MFA will further establish our Dance Department as a conservatory that focuses not only on high-caliber training in dance technique and choreography but also as an institute dedicated to the development of highly trained dance researchers and educators,” says Kara Golden, director of admissions at the Mason Gross School. “Given our proximity to New York City, the new MFA degree program is ideal for any dance artist who has already established a professional career and is looking to enhance their artistry while developing the skills and experience required to teach their craft.”
To enroll, applicants must submit a formal application and fee online through Rutgers University Graduate Admissions (admissions.rutgers.edu) by October 1, 2015, and the Mason Gross Supplemental application by December 1, 2015. Supporting material includes a personal statement, writing and video samples, a resume, and an audition.
For more information about the MFA in dance program, contact Mason Gross Admissions at 848-932-5269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Mason Gross School of the Arts
Founded in 1976, Mason Gross School of the Arts is the flagship public arts conservatory of New Jersey. Part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the school is home to the departments of Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts as well as the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions, Mason Gross Extension Division, Arts Online, and the Rutgers Center For Digital Filmmaking. Its faculty and alumni rosters include arts professionals recognized nationally and internationally, including Kristin Davis, Calista Flockhart, Avery Brooks, Nicholas Sciscione, William Pope.L, Alice Aycock, Sean Jones, and Cristina Pato. The school’s enrollment of 752 undergraduates and 281 graduate students across four departments, combined with a faculty of 219, ensures students the opportunity to work closely with accomplished artists within their fields.
About Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning. The Rutgers system educates more than 65,000 students and serves the people of New Jersey at universities, research centers, and clinical practices throughout the state. The flagship, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is one of the nation’s premier public research universities and is the only public institution in New Jersey represented in the prestigious Association of American Universities. Rutgers University is also a member of the Big Ten Conference and its academic counterpart, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation—a consortium of 15 world-class research universities.
Laurie Granieri, Director of Communications
Mason Gross School of the Arts
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
33 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
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