Dance Department

The Reed dance program emphasizes dance as an art that both responds to and influences the shifting artistic and cultural landscape of society. The department encourages the integration of theory and practice; modes of investigation that involve not only reading, writing and speaking but seeing, making and moving. Working both in and out of the studio, Reed dancers learn and create movement vocabularies and find new perspectives by which to see, question, understand, and evaluate the expressive possibilities of the human body moving in space and time.

Our curriculum is wide ranging and includes courses engaging issues in Contemporary Technique, Choreography, Dance History, Improvisation, Dance Traditions of Southeast Asian Dance, Latin American Dance, Cultural Studies, Labanotation and Critical Theory, all of which are offered for academic credit. In addition, the department sponsors on-campus classes in ballet, hip-hop, and Argentine tango, which students may take for PE credit.

All courses are open to both majors and non-majors. Along with the established Dance-Theatre major, Reed dancers may pursue ad-hoc interdisciplinary majors. Reed graduates, both majors and non-majors, have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in dance, to teach, choreograph, or perform professionally. Recent honors given to Reed dance students have included the Watson Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Reed brings well-known performing artists to campus each year, and Reed dance students frequently attend off-campus performances and master classes in conjunction with their coursework. In recent years the Stephen Petronio Company, Tiffany Mills Company, the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, Anna Halprin, Victoria Marks, Troika Ranch, and Lucy Guerin Inc. have come to campus, and Reed dancers have attended recent performances by Garth Fagan Dance, the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Momix, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.