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The purpose of the MFA in Dance Theatre is to nurture the unique vision of the next generation of dance theatre artists.  Students will create original works that foster cross-fertilization between choreography and other artistic disciplines.  The focus of the program will encourage the development of concepts and processes, which expand the language and aesthetics of dance theatre.

The core principles of the Dance Theatre MFA are rooted in the aesthetics and methodologies of both American post modern dance and European dance theatre, whilst embracing the current surge of global cross fertilization and hybrid forms of dance, theatre, live art and new media practice. A select group of mature and emerging dance artists are invited to hone their skills, creative process and artistic voice within cross-disciplinary training, with a strong emphasis on collaboration between artists from different media and cultures. Our program seeks to redefine boundaries and stretch the choreographic and theatrical imagination into new spaces, whilst preparing students with the skills and strategies to continue into a broad range of professional contexts.


The Curriculum

The MFA program in Dance Theatre provides an intensive laboratory for candidates to pursue processes that will hone their particular artistic voice in dance theatre. The curriculum is designed to allow each graduate student to explore their own unique creative processes, to define their own particular aesthetic, and to discover and develop their own distinctive movement and performance language. Core courses consist of Choreography Seminars in the study and practice of aesthetic concepts, history, and methodology for choreographic creation of dance theatre; Dance Theatre Topics Seminars that provide in depth discussion and research on a full spectrum of topics from collaborative processes to professional practice; new media, costume, lighting, sound, and scenic design; and a rich offering of electives between disciplines which will allow each student to pursue individual areas of interest



Dance Theatre students will have the opportunity to create work throughout their time at UCSD in studio, workshop, cabaret, and site-specific productions. Third year students focus on final thesis projects of a significant dance theatre work, with options to create performances outside of the traditional theatre setting, such as site specific works, and dance films. Collaboration with MFA designers, directors, visual artists and writers on both small and large scale productions is highly encouraged, as well as with professional dancers from the vibrant San Diego Dance community.


Externship and Research Opportunities

Students are encouraged to work or research in the field when time permits, and they are assisted with professional opportunities, typically in the Spring or Summer of the second year. Dance Theatre candidates may have an opportunity to gain production experiences in a variety of theatres and venues in San Diego, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, London, at the La Jolla Playhouse, or a comparable professional residency experience.



The permanent dance faculty at UCSD is comprised of practicing choreographers and dance theatre artists with international reputations, whose artistic work has evolved within the historical context of both the European and American developments. In conjunction with the faculty designers, writers and directors we have a highly experienced, artistically rich and diverse team of mentors for graduate dance theatre students.  Visiting Guest artists will be offering special seminars and master classes. To see a list of our current faculty, with photos and bios, please visit our faculty page.


Of Interest:

TheatreForum - An international theatre journal since 1992
La Jolla Playhouse - UCSD is home to this Tony Award winning theatre
UC San Diego Home Page - UC San Diego's Main Web Site
9500 Gilman Drive MC0344
La Jolla, CA 92093
Tel: (858) 534-3791