Juliana F. May

Undergraduate Discipline

Dance

Graduate Program

MFA Dance Program

BA, Oberlin College. MFA, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A Guggenheim and NYFA Fellow, for the past 15 years she has taught dance and choreography at numerous institutions in K-12 and university settings, including at Trevor Day School, Barnard College, The New School, and, most recently, at The American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina. She has created nine works since 2002, including seven evening-length pieces with commissions and encore performances from Dance Theatre Workshop, New York Live Arts, The Chocolate Factory Theatre, Barnard College, The New School, Joyce SoHo, and The American Realness Festival. She has been awarded grants and residencies through The Map Fund, The Jerome foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Gibney DIP. SLC, 2017–

Undergraduate Courses 2019-2020

Dance

Composition

Component—Year

Taught by Juliana May in the fall, Beth Gill in the spring.

Movement and creativity are the birthrights of every human being. This component will explore expressive and communicative movement possibilities by introducing different strategies for making dances. Problems posed run the gamut from conceptually-driven dance/theatre to structured movement improvisations. Learn to access and mold kinetic vocabularies, collaboratively or individually, and incorporate music, sound, gesture, text, and objects in pursuit of a 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, rather, to involve themselves in the challenges and joys of rigorous play.

Faculty

Dance Making

Component—Year

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

In this class, graduates and upperclass 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

Teaching Conference

Component—Year

Students may enter this yearlong course in the second semester with permission of the instructor.

In this practice-based course, students will develop skills to bring their artistry into a teaching setting. We will work systematically and imaginatively to develop teaching practices in the dance/movement forms that move us most deeply. To begin, we will read and discuss selected excerpts of foundational texts in dance/movement education. For the remainder of the fall semester, students will develop pedagogical approaches centered on individual interests. Each student will identify and deepen the knowledge of dancing that they wish to teach. In the studio, we will employ movement, observation, discussion, and class exercises. Additionally, each student will engage in independent research—surveying literature in the field of dance pedagogy, as well as potential sources beyond the field according to individual interests, and writing and presenting work to the class in the form of a practicum. Emphasis is placed on process, with the dual objectives of building metaskills (conceptualizing) and practical ones (actualizing) in constructing durable curricular structures. For the spring, focus of the class shifts to teaching generative forms, including improvisation and composition, with each student developing a formalized teaching plan. Each member of the class will serve as both teacher and student, with a weekly discussion of class activities and selected class readings drawn from a range of sources and perspectives. Supplemental independent research will support, inform, and enrich creation of the teaching plan. In both semesters, individual pedagogical research and development will be summarized and submitted in a final report, with an annotated bibliography serving as documentation of the development process as well as the basis for future promotional material.

Faculty

Graduate Courses

Dance 2019-2020

Composition

Component—Year

Taught by Juliana May in the fall, Beth Gill in the spring.

Movement and creativity are the birthrights of every human being. This component will explore expressive and communicative movement possibilities by introducing different strategies for making dances. Problems posed run the gamut from conceptually-driven dance/theatre to structured movement improvisations. Learn to access and mold kinetic vocabularies, collaboratively or individually, and incorporate music, sound, gesture, text, and objects in pursuit of a 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, rather, to involve themselves in the challenges and joys of rigorous play.

Faculty

Dance Making

Component—Year

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

In this class, graduates and upperclass 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

Teaching Conference

Component—Year

Students may enter this yearlong course in the second semester with permission of the instructor.

In this practice-based course, students will develop skills to bring their artistry into a teaching setting. We will work systematically and imaginatively to develop teaching practices in the dance/movement forms that move us most deeply. To begin, we will read and discuss selected excerpts of foundational texts in dance/movement education. For the remainder of the fall semester, students will develop pedagogical approaches centered on individual interests. Each student will identify and deepen the knowledge of dancing that they wish to teach. In the studio, we will employ movement, observation, discussion, and class exercises. Additionally, each student will engage in independent research—surveying literature in the field of dance pedagogy, as well as potential sources beyond the field according to individual interests, and writing and presenting work to the class in the form of a practicum. Emphasis is placed on process, with the dual objectives of building metaskills (conceptualizing) and practical ones (actualizing) in constructing durable curricular structures. For the spring, focus of the class shifts to teaching generative forms, including improvisation and composition, with each student developing a formalized teaching plan. Each member of the class will serve as both teacher and student, with a weekly discussion of class activities and selected class readings drawn from a range of sources and perspectives. Supplemental independent research will support, inform, and enrich creation of the teaching plan. In both semesters, individual pedagogical research and development will be summarized and submitted in a final report, with an annotated bibliography serving as documentation of the development process as well as the basis for future promotional material.

Faculty

Previous Courses

The Choreographic Idiom: Instinct and Action in the Creative Process

Component—Year

This class will Interrogate the role of narrative, personal testimonial, and formal risk-taking in an effort to upend previous compositional habits and mine an interior space for dance making. Through a free associative languaging practice, elevated and action-based text work, and open improvisational scoring, this is a rare opportunity to explore the micro-interactions/inspirations and agitations of your work. Part of each day will be spent discussing each student’s current relationship to his/her creative process, as well as working inside a live “choreographic fishbowl” and watching each other work and giving direct feedback. This compression of a social and choreographic space allows the group to prioritize vulnerability and the unconscious as vital and critical points of initiation into the creative process.

Faculty