Must-Take Class: Dance in New York City
I finally crossed a class off of my Barnard bucket list: Dance in New York City. I first heard about this class in high school when I participated in Barnard’s Dance in the City Pre-College Program. Now that I’m a senior, I’ve completed most of the requirements for my major and for graduation, so I figured it was about time to treat myself to this legendary, uniquely Barnard class.
This semester, the class was taught by Marjorie Folkman, who is one of my absolute favorite professors (and people in general) - I’ve taken her ballet class for at least four semesters, so I was thrilled when I found out she’d be teaching the class. The syllabus changes each semester based on what performances will be happening in the city, but, basically, the entire class gets to attend a dance show almost every week.
In the classroom, we reflect on the performances we've seen, discuss dance criticism, analyze interviews with choreographers, watch videos of major artists running rehearsals, discuss the creative process, and, sometimes, even watch Beyonce music videos.
Overall, the syllabus’ large range of dance styles, venues, and artists has given me a much more comprehensive look at dance in the city. Many of the performances got me out of my comfort zone physically and artistically, and I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to see so many shows thanks to Barnard. Every time I tell people outside of the Barnard community that I go to dance shows almost every week for class, they can’t believe that such a class exists! It is truly an experience that does not and cannot happen at any other school, and once again proves how lucky we are to have such a fantastic dance department and so many resources throughout the city.
Here’s the list of shows we attended this semester:
Prismatic Park with Jodi Melnick Madison Square Park
André Zachary/ St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery
New York City Ballet/Lincoln Center
Fall for Dance/City Center
GREYZONE Triskelion Arts Brooklyn
Brooklyn Academy of Music Boulders and Bones
Eiko Otake at the MET Cloisters
Step Afrika! The Migration at New Victory Theater
New York Live Arts Barnard/Columbia Dances/Dress Rehearsal/ New York Live Arts
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at City Center
As always, feel free to reach out with comments and questions!
Deena Cohen ‘18