Dance at Illinois is committed to creating a center for innovative choreographic research that engages dance in the compelling issues of our time. Our MFA program is designed to support immersive investigations into the choreographic process, explore critical and theoretical issues in contemporary dance, and create an environment that inspires original teaching methods and performance. Through one-on-one mentoring with our remarkable faculty, each student initiates an individualized course of study that emphasizes ongoing contributions to the dance field.
The MFA program provides an open and stimulating atmosphere to define and develop research interests in our five focus areas: choreography, teaching, theory, career sustainability, and physical practice. Our colleagues across the University of Illinois—a Tier One research institution ranked among the top 20 public universities—partner on projects to provide breadth and depth to each student's choreographic vision and scholarly development.
Dedicated researchers, performers, teachers, and choreographers, our faculty have recently explored the threshold between process and product, initiated interdisciplinary discussions with climate scientists, produced a book on the Alexander Technique, engaged new technology performances in Japan, and conducted interdisciplinary graduate seminars with dancers and engineers. Our students build from this foundation of work to devise their own approaches to studying dance.
Most students receive financial support, and our teaching assistantships offer substantial experience in pedagogy across a range of topics. The environmentally friendly Graduate Dance Center serves as our laboratory for choreographic investigation. Students can present work at the Graduate Dance Center, in our main-stage concerts at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, at site-specific performances, and for other special projects. In addition, we support many performance and collaborative opportunities with faculty and the community.
"I am consistently impressed by the level of talent and discourse coming out of Dance at Illinois and am honored to be an alumna. The department's people, resources, and intimacy are unparalleled and gave me the tools with which to build and maintain a career and life of creativity, embodiment, and community."
—Kate Corby (MFA 2007), Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison