The School of Dance is a secondary school of Nanjing University of the Arts (NUA). It developed from the Dance Subject established by the Secondary School of NUA in 1970. In 2000, it began to enroll full-time undergraduate and college students nationwide. The Department of Dance was founded in 2004 and renamed the School of Dance in 2007. There are more than 700 undergraduates, postgraduates, doctoral students, and international students.
The School of Dance has four undergraduate majors including Choreography, Dance Performance, Dancology, and Dance Education, and eight undergraduate training directions including Chinese Folk Dance Performance, Chinese Classical Dance Performance, and so on. It has five postgraduate programs including Dance Theory & Aesthetics, Chinese Modern & Contemporary Dance History, Choreography, Dance Performance, and Dance Education. There is one doctoral program in Research on Chinese Contemporary Dance Dramas and the first-level discipline post-doctoral research station in Music and Dancology. The School has set up the Chinese Contemporary Dance Drama Research Center, which has hosted seven influential national academic seminars. The School has successively inaugurated Jiangsu Folk Dance Teaching and Creation Laboratory, Kun Dance Teaching and Practice Base, the Repository and Creation and Research Platform of Chinese Contemporary Dance Drama Research Center, and Jiangsu Folk Dance Inheritance Base, which is a fine traditional Chinese culture inheritance base in Jiangsu universities. Dancology has been constructed as a national first-class undergraduate major. Dance Criticism has been approved as a construction site of a national first-class undergraduate major and course respectively.
In terms of the development of teaching materials, the School of Dance has launched The NUA Dancology Series which is highly influential in the dance education field in China. The seven published textbooks include A Course in Chinese and Foreign Dance Thoughts, A Course in Conception and Literary Expression of Dance Dramas, Theory of Choreography, A Course in Morphological Analysis of Dance Criticism (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2), History of Chinese New Dance in the New Era, Origin and Development of Chinese Dance, and Overview of Discipline Development of Chinese Classical Dance. The School has accomplished a number of scientific research projects of the Ministry of Culture, and the Ministry of Education, or at the provincial level, and the initiation of three national social science fund art projects has been approved in three consecutive years. It has undertaken the sub-topic for two major projects of the National Social Science Fund, such as Research on the History, Creative Practice and Development Trend of Contemporary Chinese Dance Dramas. The School of Dance has initiated seven research projects and one art talent training project supported by China National Arts Fund. It has one gold medal winner, two silver medal winners, two bronze medal winners, and one nominee of Lotus Award-Classical Dance. One work secured the second award, one work obtained the third award and four works were rated as excellent at the National Dance Exhibition. The School of Dance has two winners of the first prize at the National College Student Art Exhibition and Performance. Six works have been selected for the Achievement Exhibition of the Taoli Cup National Dancing Education Performance of China. The School of Dance will adhere to the motto of being knowledgeable, special, perseverant and perfect, and give full play to the discipline advantages of NUA as a comprehensive university of the arts. In order to meet the needs of national and local economic and cultural development, it strives to build a specialized dance discipline that boasts distinctive characteristics and integrates scientific research, teaching and performance. The School of Dance will continue to play a leading role in developing dance teaching materials in the country, and publish more textbooks in the series, such as Development History of Chinese Contemporary Dance Dramas, A Course in Chinese Folk Dancology, Overview of Discipline Development of Chinese Folk Dance, Dance Morphology, and History of Thoughts in Dance Aesthetics in the New Era. It will promote the development of the Repository and Creation and Research Platform of Chinese Contemporary Dance Drama Research Center, be committed to further developing the connotation of Dance as a national first-class major, and establish an integrated talent training mechanism for bachelors, masters, and doctors.
In terms of artistic practice, hundreds of teachers and students have been selected for national dance competitions such as Taoli Cup, Lotus Award, and the National Dance Exhibition. The original work Waiting for the Yuhua Stone, a classical dance, won the 12th China Dance Lotus Award, which is the top one in the professional dance field in China, and the first prize in Group B of the Art Performance category in the sixth National College Student Art Exhibition and Performance. The original work Ripening in Autumn, an ethnic and folk dance, was nominated for the 13th China Dance Lotus Award. The original work Dance Inheritor: Tibetan Drums was selected for the 13th National Dance Exhibition.
The School's original dance works, created by over 200 teachers and students, have gained more than 100 provincial and above choreography awards, performance awards, excellence awards, and other awards. These works include Waiting for Yuhua Stone, Ripening in Autumn, Crescent in Moon Bay, Dance Inheritor: Tibetan Drums, The Age of Awakening, Quest, The Song of the Yellow Earth, and Greenness in the Big Desert. Original dance dramas such as Pan Yuliang, Twelve Seconds, If the Bell Rings, Song of Youth, West Beyond the Yang Pass, Chang'e Flying to the Moon, Solar Terms in South China, Stride in the New Era, Anecdotes of Nanjing, and Extraordinary Years were performed in public and won provincial awards. In recent years, the School of Dance has been building on a sound momentum. Since 2017, it has initiated a total of seven stage art creation projects supported by the China National Arts Fund. In addition, the teachers and students have actively and successfully participated in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, Jiangsu Province Always Follow the Party large-scale art performance to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and other important art performance events, fully demonstrating the fruitful teaching achievements of the School.
The School of Dance has first-class educational conditions and teaching facilities, including more than 10 spacious and bright dance practice rooms with advanced facilities, multiple multi-functional rehearsal halls, multimedia theory classrooms, and dance reference rooms. In addition, the university's experimental theatre, NUA Theatre and Concert Hall, Run Run Shaw Library, and other venues also provide students with quality venues for art practice.
With superior educational strength and advanced teaching philosophy, the School of Dance of NUA integrates teaching, performance, scientific research, and creation. It has become the cradle of higher dance art education in China and continuously provides high-quality dance talent. Relying on the well-earned reputation and high quality of dance talent training, the School regularly holds graduate recruitment fairs in various forms to actively build a platform for students to choose and find jobs. Every year, it attracts a wide array of well-known enterprises and institutions to recruit graduates, of which more than 97% are employed.