Graduate Classical Chinese Dance Courses

Graduate Level Courses

CCD501R Graduate Classical Chinese Dance (4 credits)

This graduate-level course aims to refine students' artistic expression and execution of classical Chinese dance. It focuses on distinctions in movement articulation with emphasis on shen-dai-shou (the body leads the hands, 身帶手), kua-dai-tui (the hips lead the legs, 胯帶腿), and the integration of the outer form with the inner spirit. Students practice complex sequences of movements with attention to expressive clarity and amplified expression. Upon completion of the course, students will have a better command of the technical and stylistic variations in classical Chinese dance. Students in the MFA program are expected to complete CCD501R four times for a total of 16 credits.

CCD502 Integration of Dance and Music (1 credit)

This course gives MFA students an opportunity to further develop their musicality and explore the connection between dance and music. Through guest lectures and discussions with composers and conductors, students are exposed to the creative process of music composition so as to better understand what goes into designing a musical piece for dance, and specifically for classical Chinese dance and Chinese folk and ethnic dance. In this workshop-based course, students also have the opportunity to choreograph their own dances pieces in response to different styles of music.

CCD503 Acting For Stage (1 credit)

This graduate-level acting course focuses on refining acting skills with respect to clarity of expression for a variety of performance settings. It gives students the opportunity to practice and refine their performing skills by revisiting fundamental acting concepts and engaging in a wide range of improvisational exercises. Through this course, students will primarily study the portrayal of characters and situations with reference to Chinese culture and history.

CCD504 Bazi Techniques (1 credit)

This graduate-level studio course focuses on fundamental bazi elements and poses through exercises and short movement combinations so that students are able to grasp the classical Chinese dance stylistic requirements for bazi technique. Bazi technique is often employed in classical Chinese dance choreography to portray combat, and has ancient martial origins.

CCD505 Sword Dance Techniques (1 credit)

This graduate-level studio course focuses on fundamental elements and poses of sword dance through exercises and short movement combinations so that students are able to grasp the classical Chinese dance stylistic requirements for sword dance. Sword dance is an advanced branch of classical Chinese dance shen yun (bearing) with an ancient martial origins.

CCD511 Advanced Pedagogy I (2 credits)

Since teaching itself is an art that requires considerable planning and collaboration, students in this course work extensively with their peers to develop appropriate course materials, provide corrective remedies for movements, and experiment with various teaching methodologies. They also observe different pedagogical contexts, such as for teaching children and for grade-level pupils. Through discussion and putting their ideas into practice, students can become confident and discerning dance teachers able to conduct classes that are both purposeful and engaging.

CCD512 Graduate Choreography I (2 credits)

This course introduces the expressive dancer to new ways of thinking and creating. In their first year of the graduate dance program, students expand their artistic potential and explore how to make their choreographic work more compelling. By tailoring thematic movement sequences to specific personas and considering other theatrical factors, students will learn to view their work as a whole, and most importantly, from the audience’s standpoint. This course also instills in students an appreciation for the reiterative creative process.

CCD521R Chinese Dance Repertory I (2 credits)

This advanced course focuses on detailed technical studies of narration within a dance context, precision in the depiction of characters, and efficient and organized methods for rehearsals of a dance group. This is a very interactive course, allowing students to experiment and express the creativity they developed in previous repertoire courses. May culminate in performance. Students in the MFA program are expected to complete CCD521R twice for a total of 4 credits.

CCD541 Chinese Dance Throughout the Ages (3 credits)

This course explores the philosophical, cultural, and aesthetic underpinnings of classical Chinese dance and Chinese folk and ethnic dance. Topics include: the origins and aesthetic basis of Chinese dance, the influence of traditional Chinese ideologies on dance, the systematization and methodology of Chinese dance, the cross-pollination between classical Chinese dance and ethnic and folk dances, and the implications of the revival of traditional Chinese dance in the context of globalization in the 21st century.

CCD542 Topics in Chinese Dance Ethnography (2 credits)

This seminar course is designed to address various topics regarding selected Chinese dance forms. Students will study and analyze social, cultural, and political influences on ethnic dance forms in the past and present. Through a series of workshops, guest instructors will introduce students to various dance styles, providing them with direct exposure through active participation. Workshops include movement analysis and discussion of cultural connotations that build the underlying dance aesthetic. Topics will be determined based on guest speaker availability.

CCD543 Seminar: Dance in Cultural Context (2 credits)

This seminar approaches the study of dance as a means to better understand different cultures through the historical, cultural, and social contexts of a dance piece. It helps students bridge the gap between Eastern and Western dance traditions and better understand the role of Chinese dance in the global arts community. One focus of the course is to enable students to articulate differences in dance traditions, including dance concepts and terms, in both English and Chinese. Students also practice communicating their experience of dance—from systematic explanations of dance fundamentals to the description of the emotions, aesthetics, and cultural implications—to help others better appreciate classical Chinese dance.

CCD552 Graduate Independent Study or Project (1–6 credits)

This course allows graduate students to explore topics of individual or professional interest that do not fall within the standard curriculum. Each independent study course is flexible and personalized—designed by each student with his/her guiding instructor—so that students can get the most out of their specific studies and achieve their intended goals.

CCD555 Graduate Practicum (4 credits)

The practicum allows graduate students to build their professional experience with leading companies and institutions. Students gain first-hand experience related to their career goals and build professional relationships invaluable to their future careers. Students may choose to have a practicum emphasis in performance, choreography, pedagogy, production, artistic management, or any other specialization directly related to their graduate studies. All students receive one-on-one guidance and mentoring from assigned instructors or preceptors. All practicums are designed to help students build a strong work ethic and enhance their professional knowledge. Students who wish to acquire more practical experience may repeat this course.

CCD571 Holistic Health for Artists (2 credits)

This course aims to introduce the concept of holistic health from both Western and Eastern perspectives with emphasis on concepts that support the learning and performing of classical Chinese dance. Students will finish the course with basic knowledge of health as a holistic integration of body, mind, and spirit. This course will include lectures, group discussions, and mentored research projects.

CCD601 Graduate Classical Chinese Dance Studio Practice (4 credits)

This graduate course in classical Chinese dance challenges students to achieve complete assimilation of spirit and form while performing composite routines that require both expressive versatility and technical competency. The course allows students to hone their artistry and technique through self-tailored routines and stylistic solos. Apart from fundamental training, students will also receive mentorship and engage in movement exploration for particular dance pieces. They will be prompted to reflect upon their achievements and develop their own artistic forte, as part of becoming a well-rounded and distinguished dancer.

CCD611 Advanced Pedagogy II (2 credits)

This course focuses on application, analysis, and creation. Through opportunities to teach full-length classes, students will be able to analyze and evaluate their peers while developing their own philosophies and teaching ideals. The course trains students to examine the contextual complexities of dance education and to develop course materials with respect to higher education. By the end of this course, students will hand in a portfolio that recounts their pedagogical findings and designs for a systematic course in classical Chinese dance. Prerequisite: CCD511 or by instructor consent.

CCD612 Graduate Choreography II (2 credits)

This course is the culmination of students' previous studies in choreography and is designed to help students conceive new ideas while invoking within them a sense of traditional aesthetics. Students will delve deeper into the realm of artistic creation by critiquing works on various levels—from historical narrative works to contemporary artistic interpretations, and from the effective development of choreographic elements to what makes a dance piece poignant and powerful. Prerequisite: CCD512 or by instructor consent.

CCD613 Perspectives on Dance Aesthetics (2 credits)

This is a seminar course. Through a series of lecture topics, graduates will be given opportunities to develop their aesthetic tastes and refine their preferences. Students will be exposed to a range of repertoire; afterwards, they will analyze them within the context of aesthetic principles, including Chinese artistic values. Ultimately, this course aims to motivate students to appreciate aesthetic ideals that have inspired artists for millennia and to provide new wisdom to fuel their artistic goals.

CCD621 Chinese Dance Repertory II (4 credits)

This course allows students to hone their expressive abilities through rigorous rehearsal and performance. Students will be under the direction of experienced choreographers and professionals. The course explores ways in which the dancer deepens his or her connection with the audience on an emotional as well as a spiritual level. This course culminates in a final recital showcasing a variety of student-selected works accompanied by a live orchestra. Prerequisite: CCD521R or by instructor consent.

CCD631 Dance Kinesiology (2 credits)

An investigation into the field of dance science, this course introduces students to the human skeletal system; joint biomechanics; muscle origin, insertion, and action; and the concept of tensegrity in biomechanics. It explores the principles of physical structure, function, and dynamic alignment as they relate to dance performance enhancement and injury prevention. The course also touches on healthy living concepts such as nutrition and holistic mind-body connections. Course activities include lectures, class discussion, skill and technique demonstrations, and relevant audiovisual content.

CCD661 Graduate Internship (1–7 credits)

Through internships, graduate students can think more deeply about their own career development and connect their academic learning with hands-on professional experience. Students can apply to dance companies, schools and institutions, media groups, and other hosts to find internships that fit their individual specialties and interests. Internships may or may not be paid, depending on the host institution. Other than completing assigned duties and demonstrating professional competencies, graduate students will need to reflect on their personal strengths, where they need to improve, and what actions they should take to achieve their goals. While internships are not required for graduation, they are strongly encouraged.

CCD671 Psychology in Dance Education (2 credits)

This course introduces the essentials of psychological principles, theories, and concepts as they apply to the educational environment related to classical Chinese dance. Through various activities, students will explore how to structure effective pedagogical approaches in order to meet the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor needs of learners and to forge a positive learning atmosphere in dance education.

CCD750 Master’s Project (6 credits)

The master’s project is a year-long endeavor that allows students to do research and contribute knowledge to the field of dance. Students work with their assigned thesis advisor to determine their topic and method of investigation. They consult with their advisor frequently and have the opportunity to collaborate with students from other programs. By the end of the year students should have completed their project, which will be presented through a concert, demonstration, and/or written documentation. The goal of the master’s project is to validate the student’s ability to investigate and bring to light new perspectives and understandings within the field of classical Chinese dance. Students should complete CCD750 for a total of 6 credits.

DAN502 Techniques of Other Dance Systems I (2 credits)

The course is designed to broaden students' range of skills in a dance system other than classical Chinese dance. The dance system may differ from year to year.

DAN602 Techniques of Other Dance Systems II (2 credits)

As a continuation of DAN502, this course builds upon the skills students practiced in the previous course. For the ballet rotation, the course introduces intermediate-level techniques and routines that require more control, coordination, and technical proficiency. Students will also be introduced to classic repertoire. Prerequisite: DAN502 within the same dance system, or by instructor consent.

LAS522 Seminar in Performing Arts Management (3 credits)

This course prepares students to play leadership roles in the field of performing arts management. Students will learn the key concepts and terminology in the field, basic structural components of performing arts institutions, and essential managerial knowledge for running a range of performing arts companies. Throughout the course, students will simulate real-world situations to practice goal prioritization. The course also emphasizes entrepreneurial thinking in today’s fast-changing world. The course features a slate of guest speakers with different expertise, including accounting, business law, public relations, and fundraising.

LAS551 Research Methodology in the Arts (2 credits)

This graduate-level course help students develop the skills necessary to develop successful master-level compositions. The course will give students an idea of the step-by-step process of thesis writing: from question and conceptualization to research, to organization, to dissertation an presentation. Work in class consists mostly of short writing assignments, peer evaluations, and readings. Through lecture and discussion, students will analyze and examine literature in an effort to improve their own writing. At the end of the term, students will conceive a preliminary proposal for their master thesis project.

MFA in Classical Chinese Dance  ›  Graduate Classical Chinese Dance Courses