Dance is an interdisciplinary art form that involves elements of theatre, music, design and the visual arts in a variety of cultural contexts. Instruction is available to students who wish to study dance as one of the liberal arts, as well as to those who aspire to professional careers in dance performance or related fields. The Dance Program challenges students to develop concentration skills, observational and analytical abilities and capacities for working with broad aesthetic concepts and fine details while developing their creative instincts. Solid foundations in modern, ballet, composition and repertory are designed to build strong technique and a sense of artistic expression, while exposure to non-Western dance forms encourages students to better understand other cultures through their performance traditions.
Pomona College serves as theatre program for the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges. The curriculum includes the study of performance, theatre history and dramatic literature, design and technology. Theatre students become proficient in devising creative solutions to complex problems. They also develop sensitivity to the interpersonal relationships inherent in the collaborative process. Thus, they are prepared for a wide variety of careers in organizations and enterprises that value these qualities.
While encouraging broad development, the department also prepares its students for further study on either the graduate or professional level. Many department graduates have become successful members of the professional performance community as actors, dancers, designers and technicians, producers, directors, writers, dramaturgs, teachers and administrators. Students may major or minor in theatre.
The department presents at least four major productions and a dance concert each year in the modern Seaver Theatre Complex. Student performers and production personnel are drawn from majors and non-majors alike from all the Claremont Colleges. The Department also co-sponsors a dynamic season of student generated productions.
The Philbrick Fund, a bequest of distinguished theatre historian Norman Philbrick ‘35, supports the department’s Distinguished Visiting Artist/Lecturer Series. Past artist/lectures have included theatre scholar Martin Esslin, designers William and Jean Eckart, director/ play¬wright George C. Wolfe ‘76, actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith, actor Karl Malden, director-writer Eugenio Barba, The Shanghai Beijing and Shanghai Kun Chinese Opera companies, The Martha Graham Dance Company, performance artist Rachel Rosenthal and residencies by actors from the London stage, and director/playwright Luis Valdez.
For information about the Theater major, minor and courses offered, please refer to the Pomona College catalog.