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Performing is a central aspect of the Swarthmore Dance Program experience. A wide variety of venues for performance exist (both formal and informal, on stages and in alternate sites, live as well as through computer animation and videography). Many styles are represented in all Program opportunities including: African, Ballet, Contact Improvisation, Flamenco, Kathak, Modern, Taiko, and Tap. Each year guest artist choreographers augment the offerings directed by regular faculty and students (who may be majors, minors, or simply students with an interest in making dances as part of their curricular work).
Six to seven repertory courses are offered each year in the styles listed above. Some of those courses are geared toward the beginning student while others are restricted to those with previous experience in a style. Each year five to seven curricular performances take place. In addition to rotating repertory experiences, the Program also has three continuing groups: The Dance and Drum Ensemble, Taiko Repertory, and Gamelan Semara Santi.
Through funding from the on-campus Cooper Foundation we also regularly sponsor visits by a wide variety of professional dance companies and individual artists, bringing between four and six per academic year. An effort is made to rotate genres represented so that over the course of four years students are able to develop literacy regarding individual cultural dance expressions as well as the relationships between them. Students are also encouraged to make proposals to the Cooper Foundation to sponsor groups of their interest.
The Program is fortunate to be housed in the Eugene and Teresa Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC), an outstanding facility, and have the support of a production staff that includes lighting, sound, and costume designers, as well as professional stage managers/crew heads. Students participating in the performance aspect of the Program can learn a great deal about the design and practical logistics of production and are welcome to do so, both through course work and as a consequence of their dancing. Students are also encouraged to develop practical production skills by working on various crews. More information about staff and programs is available on the Lang Performing Arts Center website.