John Jasperse

Undergraduate Discipline

Dance

Graduate Program

MFA Dance Program

Director, Dance Program

BA, Sarah Lawrence College. Founded John Jasperse Company, later renamed John Jasperse Projects, in 1989 and has since created 17 evening-length works through this nonprofit structure, as well as numerous commissions for other companies, including Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Batsheva Dance Company, and Lyon Opera Ballet. John Jasperse Projects have been presented in 24 US cities and 29 countries by presenters that include the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, Walker Art Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, American Dance Festival, La Biennale di Venezia, Dance Umbrella London, Montpellier Danse, and Tanz im August Berlin. Recipient of a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, two Bessie awards (2014, 2001), and multiple fellowships from US Artists, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Tides/Lambent Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts, in addition to numerous grants and awards for John Jasperse Projects. On the faculty and taught at many distinguished institutions nationally and internationally, including Hollins University MFA, University of California–Davis, Movement Research, PARTS (Brussels, Belgium), SEAD (Salzburg, Austria), Centre National de la Danse (Lyon, France), and Danscentrum (Stockholm, Sweden). Co-founder of CPR (Center for Performance Research) in Brooklyn, NY. SLC, 2016–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

Dance

First-Year Studies in Dance: The Practice of Embodied Creative Action

Open , FYS—Year

A common myth about art and artists is that they have visions and then set out to realize those visions. Anyone who has made creative work knows that the reality of the creative process is quite different. Making art, in general, and dance, in particular, often starts with curiosity and nagging questions rather than visions that await realization. Art, like scholarly research, doesn’t come with prewritten, how-to instructions. Rather, it is akin to a puzzle to be solved. Solving that puzzle in dance requires bringing everything you’ve got to the table—your thoughts, action, emotions, and concentration, along with rigorous analysis, courage, conviction, and some sweat. Like all students of dance at Sarah Lawrence, First-Year Studies in Dance students will enroll in multiple component classes in movement practice, creative practice, and analytic studies in dance that together will make up their program. A specially designed seminar for first-year dance students serves only as the core component of the First-Year Studies in Dance. Additionally, First-Year Studies in Dance students typically also enroll in Dance History, Beginning Improvisation, and a selection of movement practice classes. (Please refer to the online course catalogue for the component class descriptions.) Students will be dancing in the studio on a daily basis. The First-Year Studies in Dance Seminar provides students with an additional weekly forum to unite these studies in an introduction to the creative practice of a dance artist. We will expand analytical skills in both oral and written communication, explore an introduction to dance-making that will culminate in creating and performing our own short performance works, and explore how academic research is both a complement to and an integral part of creative practice. We will consider and cultivate critical perspectives on dance as an art form through class exercises, discussion, reading, writing, and oral presentations. We will build skills in each of those areas throughout the year. In sum, these components are designed to encourage individual investigation and the development of a practice of creative investigation in dance. This First-Year Studies course is open to anyone who is interested in exploring dance in all its facets, from students new to dance to students with significant prior experience in dance.

Faculty

Dance Making

Component—Year

Prerequisites: Dance Composition, Lighting Design and Stagecraft for Dance, and permission of the instructor.

In this class, graduates and upper-class undergraduates with a special interest and experience in dance composition will design and direct individual choreographic projects. Students and faculty will meet weekly to view works-in-progress and, in conferences taking place the following afternoon, discuss relevant artistic and practical problems. Music, costumes, lighting, and other elements will be discussed as integral and interdependent elements in the choreographic work. This will culminate in performances of the works toward the end of the semester in the Winter Performance and Spring Performance programs. Performances will take place in the Bessie Schönberg Dance Theatre or elsewhere on campus in the case of site-specific work.

Faculty

Graduate Courses

Dance 2017-2018

Graduate Seminar II

Graduate Seminar—Year

This seminar is a laboratory for developing and refining projects from the Dance Making class. It is designed to encourage students to work collaboratively in solving questions of physical, spatial, and temporal issues in their work, to explore connections between dance and other forms, and to make them aware of and conversant with the creative process that is always at work in the world.

Faculty

Dance Making

Component—Year

Prerequisites: Dance Composition, Lighting Design and Stagecraft for Dance, and permission of the instructor.

In this class, graduates and upper-class undergraduates with a special interest and experience in dance composition will design and direct individual choreographic projects. Students and faculty will meet weekly to view works-in-progress and, in conferences taking place the following afternoon, discuss relevant artistic and practical problems. Music, costumes, lighting, and other elements will be discussed as integral and interdependent elements in the choreographic work. This will culminate in performances of the works toward the end of the semester in the Winter Performance and Spring Performance programs. Performances will take place in the Bessie Schönberg Dance Theatre or elsewhere on campus in the case of site-specific work.

Faculty

Previous Courses

Composition

Component

This course will be taught by John Jasperse for the year, with an additional fall class taught Dan Hurlin.

Movement is the birthright of every human being. These components explore movement’s expressive and communicative possibilities by introducing different strategies for making dances. Problems posed run the gamut from conceptually-driven dance/theatre to structured movement improvisations. The approaches vary depending on the faculty. Learn to mold kinetic vocabularies of your own choice and incorporate sound, objects, visual elements, and text to contextualize and identify your vision. Students will be asked to create and perform studies, direct one another, and share and discuss ideas and solutions with peers. Students are not required to make finished products but to involve themselves in the joy of creation.

Faculty