Creative Opportunities

Dancers walk and dance an outdoor runway, holding objects like umbrellas

Are you interested in performing? Choreographing? Creating music or projection? Designing costumes, set or lights? Making site specific or community engaged work? There are many opportunities every semester to contribute creatively to the AU Dance Community!

CHOREOLAB - Choreographic Laboratory

Dancers perform with glowing sunset of light behind them at the Greenberg Theatre

Fall semester features the annual CHOREOLAB, an annual workshop for emerging student choreographers who are mentored by Faculty Creative Advisors. Join us at the Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre November 19-20, 2021.

Auditions for dancers will be held in September, in the Katzen Dance Studio. To audition to perform — please register online, and bring your schedule of availability to the audition.

Students do not need to be a Dance Major or Minor to participate in CHOREOLAB or Capstone. Students cast in CHOREOLAB must register for Choreographic Laboratory, either at 0-credits - DNCE-050, or 1-credit - DNCE-350. *Note DNCE-350 counts towards the completion of a Dance Major or Minor.

Contact us at danceprogram@american.edu.

CHOREOLAB is an opportunity for students to bring their ideas to the stage. Interested students should review the CHOREOLAB FAQ below as they consider applying to choreograph. To apply as a choreographer, please contact us at danceprogram@american.edu

Applications are due in August.
Choreographers do not need to be a dancer major or minor, but must be a returning student at AU. Applications are reviewed for by Dance Faculty, and invitations to participate go out early September.

CHOREOLAB is an annual workshop for emerging student choreographers. Students are asked to approach their choreography in the workshop as though in a laboratory: to experiment with methods of dance making, to take risks, to upend their assumptions, and to recognize the process of making as equally valuable to the results or products that come out of that process. Throughout the CHOREOLAB workshop, student choreographers are coached by AU Dance Program faculty and meet regularly with one another to exchange feedback. At the end of the workshop, the choreographers present their works-in-progress in a main-stage concert in the Greenberg Theatre.

FAQ

What is CHOREOLAB?

CHOREOLAB is an annual workshop for emerging student choreographers. Students are asked to approach their choreography in the workshop as though in a laboratory: to experiment with methods of dance making, to take risks, to upend their assumptions, and to recognize the process of making as equally valuable to the results or products that come out of that process. Throughout the CHOREOLAB workshop, student choreographers are coached by AU Dance Program faculty and meet regularly with one another to exchange feedback. At the end of the workshop, the choreographers present their works-in-progress in a main-stage concert in the Greenberg Theatre.

Who is eligible to choreograph?

All American University dance students who have sophomore, junior, or senior standing may apply to present a piece in CHOREOLAB.

Do I need prior choreographic experience?

No. New choreographers are encouraged to apply. Prior dance experience is necessary.

Which dance styles are allowed?

You may choreograph in any genre of dance. Regardless of style, the focus during CHOREOLAB will be on creating a solidly crafted piece.

Can I perform in my own dance?

No. This isn’t the focus of the CHOREOLAB workshop and creating a strong dance can be very challenging when you’re in the piece. CHOREOLAB is an opportunity to develop your skills as a choreographer, rehearsal director, and teacher.

Can I get credit?

Yes! CHOREOLAB is the culminating performance of DNCE-050/350 Chorographic Laboratory. All choreographers and dancers must register for either DNCE-050 (0 credits) or DNCE-350 (1 credit).

How will I get feedback and help in making my piece?

In the weekly Choreographic Laboratory you’ll show what you’re working on and practice giving and receiving feedback with the other choreographers and dancers. You’ll also have a faculty creative advisor with whom you’ll work very closely throughout the CHOREOLAB process. Some Choreographic Laboratory weeks will be dedicated to coaching only.

What’s the role of the creative advisor?

Creative advisors are AU dance faculty. Their job is to work with you one-on-one to facilitate your creative inquiry, deep curiosity, and rigorous investigation during your choreographic process. Your individual advisor will mentor you throughout the CHOREOLAB experience. You’re in charge of your own project, so your job will be to bring your questions to your advisor.

Will there be costumes and lights?

CHOREOLAB is an informal performance. There will be a “general wash” of lights on the stage. Costumes are not required, but you may provide them if you feel they’re necessary. Your primary focus should be on your choreography.

What happens after CHOREOLAB?

Choreographers are encouraged to continue developing their pieces, using the feedback they receive from the audience, faculty, and their peer choreographers. Projects developed in CHOREOLAB may be considered for future presentation at AU.

DANCEWORKS — AU Dance Company

Dancers watch another dancer reach toward the sky, while sitting among a sea of paper and a large paper sculpture

Spring semester features the American University Dance Company (AU/DC) in DANCEWORKS, at the Greenberg Theatre.

This annual main stage concert presents fresh and seasoned perspectives on concert dance, choreographed by AU Faculty, visiting Guest Artists, and curated AU students. Join us at Greenberg Theatre April 8-9, 2022.

Auditions for AU/DC and AU/DC2 are December 9 from 5:30–8:30 p.m. Please bring your schedule of availability to the audition. Registration will open November 1, 2020.

Email dance program for more info at danceprogram@american.edu.

Students do not need to be a Dance Major or Minor to participate in AU/DC. Students cast in AU/DC must register for American University Dance Company, either at 0-credits - DNCE-055, or 1-credit - DNCE-355. *Note DNCE-310 counts towards the completion of a Dance Major or Minor.

Choreographers work intensely with AU/DC and AU/DC2 through week-long choreographic residencies, as well as extended semester-long creative processes. The Artistic Director also curates student work out of Fall main-stage performances, allowing for students to continue their processes and receive full production support through presentation in DANCEWORKS.

The AU Dance Program hosts Guest Artists from around the country, who are professionals in the field, who either re-stage an existing dance, or make a newly commissioned work for AU/DC. The Dance Program invites artists within a rotation of dance forms, so that students have an opportunity to be cast in concert dance that includes Afro-Contemporary, African, Ballet, Contemporary, Improvisation, Jazz, and Urban dance forms. Guest Artists also regularly teach Master Classes to the AU community, as well as present in "Movement Speaks: Conversations about dance." The "Movement Speaks" lecture series is open to the public, and is a look into the choreographic laboratory. Through an lecture/demonstration, audiences get an inside view into the creative process. Recent artists include Tatiana Desardouin, Rosy Simas, Meredith Rainey, Orange Grove Dance, Charles O. Anderson, Geoff Chang or Bboy Toyz R Us, Cynthia Gutierrez, Gesel Mason, the Dance Exchange, Christopher K. Morgan and Zoe Scofield of zoe | juniper.

Movement Speaks Lecture Series, Workshops

Dancers smile and dance together in a masker class

Through the year, the AU Dance Program hosts panels, lectures, and workshops with dance professials. Lectures and panels range in content, with past topicsincluding Dance Careers After Graduation, Black Women in House Culture, Contemporary Intersections of African Dance, Site Specifc Work, and Dance Film, Artist Talks, Women in Arts Leadership and more. The Workshops encompass different dance forms, approaches, technique, and creative process. Previous workshops have been taught by Charles O. Anderson, Geoff Chang - Bboy Toyz R Us, Cynthia Gutierrez, the Dance Exchange, Esperonto Bean, Meredith Rainey, Gesel Mason, Tatiana Desardouin, Christopher K. Morgan, Irina Wunder, Alice Wylie, Zoe Scofield of zoe | juniper.

Upcoming Workshops

Fall workshop announcement coming soon.

AU Dances

Dances strike their final pose while the audience cheers at AU Dances

AU Dances is a shared informal performance where all Dance Faculty and students come together to demonstrate and celebrate the progress of each class. Embodied Knowledge classes (African, Ballet, Contemporary, Dance Improvisation, Jazz, Musical Theatre Styles, Tap, Urban Dance styles) perform a small dance/piece comprised of material developed over the course of the semester.

American College Dance Association Conference

Researchers gather together for a phot at the 2020 ACDA conference

The American College Dance Association hosts a regional conference every spring across the United States. These conferences serve as a way for dance students to engage with the larger dance community, taking master classes from a range of faculty, seeing work from multiple universities, networking with other collegiate dance students, and expanding their understanding of dance aesthetics and perspectives from across the country. 

The AU Dance Program responds to the shifting demands of the student body, rotating conference attendance between in-region (Mid-Atlantic North) and out-of-region, and other spring break travel opportunities.

Typically, AU presents multiple projects at the conference, including two works for conference adjudication, one work for informal performance, and several research presentations. Depending on the conference coordinators, there may also be opportunities to share dance films, improvisations, and site specific work.

ACDA attendance is based on project casting, as well as Faculty curation of student work. Student will have the opportunity to express their interest in attending the conference at auditions, as well as at the beginning of the spring semester. AU covers conference registration and fees, while students cover the cost of travel and accommodations to the conference.

Student Clubs

AU in Motion

There are multiple student dance clubs on campus at AU! Clubs are student-led, and range in style and type. Some clubs focus on learning new skills where others perform each semester. Information about student groups is available from the AU Student Activities office at 202-885-3390. A few to connect with include: