Introduction of Schools and Departments
 

School of Dances

Nanjing University of the Arts School of Dances was formerly known as the Dance Division established in 1970 by the Vocational School of Nanjing University of the Arts. It recovered discipline construction in January 2000 and began to enroll full-time undergraduates and junior college students around China. In March 2004, it became the independent Department of Dances. With 3 years of development since then, it was renamed the School of Dances on June 8, 2007.

The establishment of the School of Dances has not only filled the blank of the dance discipline in higher education in Jiangsu Province, but also made dance education for undergraduates more systematic and comprehensive. To cultivate dance talents with good moral and artistic qualities, the School of Dances strengthens the training of basic skills of its students, makes active use of the resources of Nanjing University of the Arts as an integrated art university, and tries hard to establish a set of scientific and rigorous courses. On the other hand, it actively introduces professional teaching talents from around China. 75% of the course teachers on the school’s regular payroll were graduated from different majors of Beijing Dance Academy, including Ballet, Chinese Classical Dance, Folk Dance, Choreography and Dance Studies. Each of them has got a B.A. or M.A. degree. Currently, several teachers in the School of Dances have obtained intermediate and senior professional titles with a wealth of teaching and staging experience. School leaders have been engaged in dance performance and education for years. Liu Tongchun, secretary of CPC General Branch in the School of Dances, executive deputy dean of the school, associate professor, supervisor for postgraduates and vice chairman of Jiangsu Dancers Association, has published a number of academic papers in core magazines and won the titles of Jiangsu Excellent Party Worker in Educational Institutions of Higher Learning and Excellent Party Member granted by the Party Committee of Nanjing University of the Arts. Zhu Qingyuan, a dance talent introduced by the School of Dances, once served as the director of the Academic Affairs Office of Beijing Dance Academy, current dean of the Department of Dance Studies, supervisor for postgraduates and recipient of special government allowance from the State Council. Yuan Xiaohong, head of the Musical Teaching and Research Office, is a state first-class actress and has starred more than 10 large operas, won the Award for Excellent Actress in National Operas Performance Exhibition for several times, and won the national Splendor Award.

The School of Dances includes 6 departments for undergraduates, namely Dance Performance, Kun Dance Performance, Choreography, Dance Education, Dance Studies and Stage Musicals. A master’s program has been set for Choreography and Studies on the Body Language of Dances, respectively. The school mainly provides the following courses: Chinese classic dance basic training, ballet basic training, modern dance basic training, choreography techniques, Chinese classical dance body rhythm, Kun dance, Chinese folk dance, dance education, dance psychology, history of Chinese and foreign dances, dance pedagogy, dance art introduction, dance work critiques, musical introduction, dance anatomy, music theories, vocal music and chorus. All majors in the School of Dances are for undergraduates and postgraduates around China. With nearly 500 students and teachers, it is the largest base of dance education in Jiangsu Province with the most complete set of disciplines, the fastest development speed and the greatest development potential, and capable of integrating teaching, performance and scientific research into one.

Teachers of the School of Dances have excellent professional skills, great teaching ability and outstanding scientific and research capabilities. Currently, 75% of the professional teachers on the school’s regular payroll were graduated from different majors of Beijing Dance Academy, including Ballet, Chinese Classical Dance, Folk Dance, Choreography and Dance Studies. Each of them has got a B.A. or M.A. degree and some of them have obtained intermediate and senior professional titles with a wealth of teaching, scientific research and staging experience. To improve its faculty building, the School of Dances has invited several experts in Chinese classical dance, choreography and dance theories education to serve as the visiting professors or part-time supervisors for postgraduates.

To cultivate dance talents with good moral and artistic qualities, the School of Dances has been adhering to the excellent cultural traditions of Nanjing University of the Arts. Supported by the profound cultural deposits and the integrated art advantages of Nanjing University of the Arts, an old university with a 100-year-long history, the School of Dances makes active use of the resources of Nanjing University of the Arts to achieve the objective of cultivating students with a solid professional foundation while actively introducing advanced teaching philosophies and methods from around China so as to construct a rational structure and system of professional courses. The advanced credit system and the open course-selecting system adopted by the School of Dances make it more efficient to achieve the objective of cultivating students with a solid professional foundation and a wide range of job opportunities after graduation. While strengthening the training of basic dance skills, the School of Dances provides nearly 80 courses in 60 majors, including Fine Arts, Music, Stage Design, Performance and Humanism so as to establish an education system placing equal importance on basic dance skills and the cultivation of artistic temperament, presenting unique advantages among all dance-specific educational institutions of higher learning in China.

In recent years, the School of Dances has made inspiring achievements in both scientific researches and art practice. Its students and teachers have published over 50 academic papers in national core magazines and other professional publications, published or participated in the compilation of 5 books and textbooks, completed a number of projects funded by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and Jiangsu Province. Some students and teachers won the top three prizes in the “Peach and Plum” National Academic Paper Competition. At dance competitions of all types at all levels in China, the original dance works created by teachers and students of the School of Dances, 150 persons in total, have won more than 50 provincial awards for creation and performance, as well as Honorable Mention. Of which, nearly a hundred students were once selected by the “Peach and Plum” Dance Competition; Jiangsu Folk Dances Combination won the Award for Excellent Performance of Dance Combinations among the excellent dance teaching combinations; Zheng Ya’nan, Zhang Wenhui and Xi Huan each won the third prize among the B-level Young Dancers of Chinese Classic Dance at the 8th and 9th National “Peach and Plum” Dance Competition; several original dance works created by the students of the School of Dances won the awards for excellent performance and creation of the B-level Chinese Class Dance and Chinese Folk Dance at the 8th and 9th National “Peach and Plum” Dance Competition; and many teachers won the award for excellent teachers at the 8th and 9th National “Peach and Plum” Dance Competition. Original dance creation Mei Yuan Mei won the first prize at the Dance Competition of the Second National College Student Art Festival and the Evaluation Committee Special Award which is the highest honor of East China Six Provinces and One City Professional Dance Competition; dance One Plus One won the Silver Award for Best Editing and Direction and the Award for Excellent Performance at the 6th “Chinese Dance Lotus Award” Campus Dance Competition; Shareholders Aria and Double-faced Adhesive Tape won the Golden Award for Creation and the first prize for performance at the East China Six Provinces and One City Professional Dance Competition namely the First Cross-strait Youth Dance Carnival; Wind Leopard won the Silver Award for Creation and the second prize for performance in the same competition; a number of students won the title of Star of Hope at the “Lotus Cup” Young Dancers Competition held by Jiangsu Province; and students majored in musicals won the Silver Award in the National “Yangtze River Delta” Vocal Music Competition in 2008 and 2009. As for art exchange and creation, Kun dance Garden Party was performed at the opening ceremony of the 2nd International Youth Art Week. Besides, students majored in Kun Dance and from other majors also performed the large symphonic poem dance Beauty Yu, producing a widespread social influence.

The School of Dances keeps a close eye on the international academic development and trends and vigorously carries out foreign exchanges so as to cultivate its students’ awareness of cross-cultural academic exchanges and ability to engage in academic exchanges. Each year, the school carries out foreign exchanges and training activities, recommends middle-aged and young teachers and excellent students to learn dances in foreign colleges and universities, and invites foreign experts and groups to come and give lectures, teach classes, and carry out academic interactions.

The School of Dances has good educational conditions, excellent teaching facilities, a number of exercise rooms, piano practice studios, well-equipped multimedia classrooms for literacy courses, and a dance resource center with a rich collection of books and complete audio and visual materials. As for art practice, the School of Dances makes use of the hardware of Nanjing University of the Arts-the small theater and the concert hall to provide several opportunities for students to stage and practice in each semester so as to improve their performing ability.

The School of Dances will continue taking the Party’s educational policy as its guidance to intensify professional education reform and improve its educational quality. With the cultivation of inter-disciplinary talents featured by “a solid professional foundation, practical attitude and high qualities” as its objective, the School of Dances will make great efforts to cultivate qualified dance and musical talents for the country.