ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The Independent Program (IP) is a full-time program for students of all levels interested in pursuing intensive study in the Martha Graham Technique.  A minimum of one full semester is required, students may renew their enrollment for up to four semesters. International students click here for information regarding the F-1 visa process and key deadlines.

Students enter the Independent Program at the beginning of either the Fall (September) or Spring (January) semester and are placed in the appropriate technique level during orientation week.  Midterm and final evaluations take place in each semester. Graham Technique level assignment serves as the guideline for placement in other technique classes.

Tanguy Crémoux
In addition to Graham Technique, all IP students are required to enroll in the following classes:
  • Core Power: A cross training class designed to build strength and cardiovascular endurance. Meets two times per week from 8:15-9:00am.
  • Body Conditioning: A flexibility and mobility course dedicated to stretching, recovery, and overall well-being. Meets two times per week from 8:15-9:00am.
  • Performance Workshop: Designed to prepare students for performance Martha Graham and, occasional other modern dance repertory. Students learn 1-2 works or excerpts in preparation for presentation during the Fall and Spring Showcases.. Meets two times per week from 9:10-10:40am.
  • Ballet: Training focuses on individual student abilities, and is structured to enhance and support the study of the Graham Technique. Meets two times per week from 9:10-10:40am.
  • Contemporary: Classes build upon Graham Technique and encourage dancers to explore the connections between this classic approach and post-modern styles. Meets once per week from 9:10-10:40am.
  • Graham World: Dancers experience the innovative exercises that Graham developed in her early years and study the continuing change in the language she created. Graham films and phrases from repertory support study.. Meets once per week from 9:10-10:40am.

NOTE: Graham Technique level assignment serves as the guideline for placement in other technique classes.

Students may elect the following academic courses:
  • Acting Seminar: Spring Semester – Year 1. Prepares dancers to act in any given situation on stage using their bodies and voices. The course introduces Stanislavsky’s technique for script analysis, “The Personal Work of an Actor on Himself,” and progresses to using emotions and imagination to create different situations on stage. Dance use “imaginary objects” to expand their focus while working on their crafts on stage. Meets on a special three-week seminar schedule in mid-spring.
  • Anatomy: Spring Semester – Year 1. The foundation of the course is an exploration of the basic anatomy (structure) and kinesiology (movement) of the dancer-athlete.  Students learn the basic structure of musculoskeletal tissues (bone, muscle, cartilage, etc.), their functions and interdependence, and their various roles in power, strength, movement, and stability.  The class then explores the major joints of the body; their movements and the muscles that cross them to design stretches for each muscle as well as exercises to strengthen them. Classes use lecture, palpation, movement, and a live model to access auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning methods.  Meets Wednesdays from 12:30-2:00pm.
  • Dance History: Fall Semester – Year 2. Focuses on the major themes in the life and work of Martha Graham using video and film, critical writings and reviews, and oral histories.  Analysis is based upon close reading of movement and choreographic themes in the context of social and cultural developments. Meets Wednesdays from 2:00-3:30pm.
  • Music I: Fall Semester – Year 2. Introduces dancers to the principles of rhythmic  accompaniment and notation with an emphasis on the applications in Martha Graham Technique classes.  Students learn the fundamentals of music theory, rhythm, accents, syncopation, and notation. Meets Wednesdays from 12:30-2:00pm.
  • Music II: Spring Semester – Year 2. An in-depth look at the musical trends in 20th-century music through the lens of Martha Graham’s work with various composers.  Students consider the socio-cultural context of different Graham masterworks while expanding the personal and professional backgrounds of the composers with whom she famously partnered.  Meets Wednesdays from 2:00-3:30pm.

Transfer credits may be accepted for Music I, Anatomy, and Acting upon review of a college/university or comparable post-secondary professional studio school transcript, which students submit as part of the registration procedure in August, prior to the start of the Year 1 Fall Semester.