Student Profile: Joanie Keppler
Dance Major: Ashley Currey
[Note: BFA information can be found by scrolling down below the BA information on the Undergraduate Catalog page]
The focus of the BA (Bachelor of Arts) Dance degree is dance education. The course work educates and trains highly skilled and creative teachers to work in a number of educational settings. A versatile curriculum targets best practices in contemporary dance education with course work in dance technique, history, aesthetics, pedagogy, and somatics.
The focus of the BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) Dance degree is performance and choreography. The course work prepares dancers to work in a variety of professional venues. A versatile curriculum targets course work in a broad range of dance techniques and styles including: ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and world dance forms.
The UB dance program is a nurturing and challenging artistic community that equally emphasizes the value of education fueled with intensive and creatively stimulating professional experiences. The BA and BFA dance degrees include an in-depth broad ranged curriculum with equal emphasis and respect between ballet, modern, jazz and tap. Creative tracks and concentration within the degree programs allow students various options in preparing for professional dance careers. Fields of study are available in performance; choreography; preparation for teaching; somatic or recreational settings; and history. Unique to the program are offerings in comparative jazz styles and techniques. Additional offerings include: dance history, dance kinesiology, teaching methods, music theatre dance, social dance, male dancer, partnering, Laban Movement Analysis, mind-body integration, internships in dance, creative movement and choreography. This eclectic course of study combined with strong interdisciplinary general education requirements cultivates resourceful and informed young artists that successfully cross over into concert dance, commercial dance, graduate school, private studio teaching and dance arts education.
The dance faculty's eclectic professional backgrounds steeped in traditional dance forms reflect this unique program and the dance pulse of the 21st century. Active professional teacher/artists along with established residencies and guest artists enhance the UB educational process providing valuable networking opportunities for graduating students. Past residencies have included: Taylor II, Urban Bush Women, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Limon, Bill T. Jones, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company and Doug Varone and Dancers. World Dance residencies have included: Eager Artists, South Africa, Jagdish Gangani, India, In Sohn Young, Korea, and master dance classes with David Parsons, Philadanco, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Suzanne Farrell, UB Alumni, and tap greats Robert Reed and the late Honi Coles. Each year the UB Center for the Arts, the home of the Department of Theatre & Dance offers a world renowned dance series which includes the listed residencies and other notables as Garth Fagan Dance, The Joffrey Ensemble, Ballet Hispanico, Martha Graham Ensemble, Le Ballet National du Senegal, River Dance, Tap Dogs, Savion Glover, and others.
The state of the art facilities, hosts a production calendar that provides cutting edge opportunities for students to showcase performance and choreography. Two resident credited dance companies: Zodiaque Dance Company presents a main stage production each semester and its companion company, Zodiaque Studio Dance Ensemble presents each spring semester. Both companies are also involved in special university and community projects from extravaganza styled industrial performances to private and public out-reach performances. Eligible juniors and seniors present inventive risk-taking choreography in Emerging Choreographers Showcase, mentored by the diverse caring faculty. Added to all this is Dancers Workshop, a student performance venue that showcases the emerging artistic and powerful voices of all dance students.