Announcing: Week in the Life of an MFA

An invitation from the Director of Graduate Dance

I am excited to announce that applications are now open for fall 2021 admission to the MFA in Dance at the University at Buffalo - SUNY. The application deadline is December 15th for full financial consideration, and rolling thereafter. This year our auditions will be held virtually. We ask that applicants provide a virtual audition along with their application materials. Details can be found on the department admissions website.

While the pandemic prevents us from welcoming prospective students to campus this fall, we warmly welcome all interested applicants to join us for 
“A Week in the Life of an MFA,”
 a week-long series of classes beginning Monday, November 9th, 
culminating in a Q&A with faculty and current MFA students that will introduce applicants to the MFA curriculum and experience at UB.

Ariel Nereson, PhD
Associate Director of Graduate Studies
Director of Graduate Dance
Assistant Professor

Contact Information

Our three-year MFA is both a hub and an incubator of critical, collaborative artistic practice that develops skills of thinking and moving across sites of inquiry. Our boutique program is tailored to the student’s interdisciplinary interests, developing a rich, multimodal practice of investigation. UB MFA students articulate a secondary area of emphasis that focuses on an individualized topic devised by the student; current MFA’s are exploring secondary areas in contemplative practice, anthropology, critical race studies, film, feminist and gender studies, and performance studies. We are project and process-based, and to support this ethos, we have inaugurated a new performance laboratory, ChoreoLab, whose mission is to support diverse artists, their creative process, and their role within society and culture. MFA Dance students join a department cohort with MA and PhD Theatre Performance students, forming a dynamic community of collaborators. With close faculty mentorship and numerous opportunities to create and show work, MFA students at UB cultivate the knowledge and skills necessary to become the next generation of innovative dance makers, leaders, advocates, teaching-artists, and artist-scholars.

Recently our MFA students have: presented research at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), Dance Studies Association (DSA), and the Dance Science and Somatic Educators conferences; premiered work at the 40 North Dance Film Festival; participated in Urban Bush Women and Deborah Hay intensives; been elected to serve as the Graduate Representative to the NDEO Advisory Board; and presented choreography at the national ACDA conference in Washington, D.C., amongst many other professional accomplishments.

Our broad faculty expertise includes interdisciplinary art practices, dance making, contemporary physical practices, feminist/somatic pedagogy, visual theatre, critical race theory, dance dramaturgy, cognitive studies, ballet, and comparative jazz techniques. As well, our program is rich with guest artists and scholars. Last year’s guests included Entity Contemporary Dance, Urban Bush Women, dance filmmaker Tiffany Rhynard, scholar and drag artist Kareem Khubchandani, dramaturg Melanie George, and renowned theorist Susan Leigh Foster. UB is also home to the Humanities Institute and its Performance Research Workshop and to the new Arts Collaboratory, a campus-wide reimagining of our interdisciplinary arts community that encourages students to “Live Your Art.” Buffalo is a particularly affordable, diverse, and welcoming place to live, learn, and create and we are excited to welcome our next MFA Dance cohort to UB and to our community.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.

Wishing you good health and safety,

Ariel Nereson, PhD
Director of Graduate Dance and Assistant Professor of Dance Studies