New LINES, Dominican BFA in Dance

Dominican University of California and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet School will in fall 2006 offer a unique joint educational program: the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance.

The BFA in dance program will combine Dominican’s comprehensive liberal arts education with the technically rigorous and artistically expansive dance training of Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet School. Classes will be held in San Rafael and in downtown San Francisco.

The only other BFA in Dance program affiliated with a major ballet company comparable in stature to LINES Ballet is the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center/Fordham University program in New York City.

The LINES/Dominican program offers an opportunity for the pre-professional student of dance not to put on hold their college career, said Harlan Stelmach, chair of Dominican University of California’s Department of Humanities. “Students in the LINES/Dominican program will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for a professional career in today’s dance world, while also gaining the life-long benefits of a liberal arts education,” said Stelmach. “The BFA in Dance reflects a need expressed by dance students from across the country for a program with a strong emphasis on ballet technique and artistry with a contemporary approach.”

The LINES/Dominican BFA in Dance program will offer a curriculum that combines intensive ballet training with improvisation and composition studies, said Marina Hotchkiss, BFA program director. “In the professional dance world, companies are increasingly demanding that dancers possess a wide range of skills and knowledge beyond ballet technique. Today’s ballet dancers are being asked to improvise, to generate dance material and participate in the creative processes of dance making to a greater degree than ever before.”

The curriculum will include ballet, modern dance, ethnic dance, Gyrotonic ®/Gyrokinesis ®, dance history, improvisation, composition, acting, percussion, expository writing, speech and rhetoric, math, anatomy/kinesiology, social sciences, ethics, and a cultural heritage colloquium. A significant portion of each semester will be devoted to the study of the choreography of Alonzo King, taught by many of the dancers on whom the works were originally created. Choreographers - from within the Bay Area dance community and from abroad, will be invited to set works on the students and share their points of view. The culmination of the creative work of the program will be a Senior Project. Building on the knowledge and skills developed throughout the program, students will develop and complete a work of choreography to be presented to the community.

Dance and choreography courses will be held at the LINES Ballet’s San Francisco Dance Center (SFDC), the largest dance facility on the West Coast. General education and theory courses will be held at Dominican University. “Students will receive the best the Bay Area has to offer: the graceful old buildings and shady tree-lined paths of Dominican, nestled in the hills of San Rafael, as well as the dynamic urban setting of LINES Ballet, located near San Francisco’s Civic Center,” said Hotchkiss.

Dominican University of California enrolls more than 1,900 men and women in more than 30 graduate and undergraduate degree programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and professions. Since awarding its first bachelor’s degree in 1917, the University has built its reputation on the quality of its faculty and on excellence in teaching.

Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet was founded in 1982 for the creation and presentation of original ballet in partnership with exceptional contemporary musicians and artists. LINES Ballet has received national and international acclaim for the extraordinary skill of its dancers and for the tangible grace of Alonzo King’s choreography. An international touring company, LINES performs in Europe and America and will expand to Mexico, South America and Asia in the next two years. A five time Isadora Duncan Award recipient, Alonzo King was honored with the prestigious 2005 Bessie Award for Choreography, and Drew Jacoby, a company dancer in her fourth season, became the third LINES Ballet dancer to receive the Princess Grace Award. In 2007, the Company will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with an expanded season in San Francisco, a tour of Asia and gala events throughout the year.

LINES Ballet School was founded four years ago and has grown to be one of the most highly regarded dance instructional institutions in America, with a stellar faculty of internationally renowned professionals, including Alonzo King at its helm.

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