Robin G

Barnard

53 posts in this topic

Hi, I am looking into Barnard mainly as a back up school, but the more I hear about it, the more I like it. I'm want choreography to be my concentration so does anyone know anything about the choreography classes? Thanks!

 

I don't have any personal experience with choreography classes at Barnard, but I can direct you to the course listing/description of degree requirements. For either a major or minor/concentration at both Barnard and Columbia, a class in dance composition is a requirement.

 

http://barnard.edu/dance/major.html

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My dd is looking closely at Barnard and will probably visit the school this summer. Any advice on her dropping in and taking a ballet class while she's there? Is there someone in the dance dept. that she can email or call ahead of time to make arrangements to take a class?

 

Also, does it help for her to include a DVD or website link with her application that shows her ballet and performance experiences? And seeing that they seem to have an impressive ballet faculty and a large no. of ballet classes & levels, would the admissions office be esp. interested in her ballet background?

 

Thanks everyone!

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Hello, I called the head of the dance department and I am sorry but I can't remember her name, but she promptly called me back and answered all of my questions. She encouraged us to come up for orientation and afterwards have my dd take a class or two to check out the dance teachers. They do have certain orientation dates throughout the year so I would check their website for those dates. Good luck!

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Thanks very much lsu! Will definitely make contact with the dance dept. head as the summer nears.

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Hi, I am looking into Barnard mainly as a back up school, but the more I hear about it, the more I like it. I'm want choreography to be my concentration so does anyone know anything about the choreography classes? Thanks!
I don't know anything about the choreography offerings at Barnard, but here is what I recommend to avoid- take it as you will:

 

Avoid:

"Touchy-feely" choreography programs which emphasize contact improv and/or a "post-modern" focus, use promotional literature with psychobabble phrases like "found movement" "honest movement" or "deeply felt movement;" programs which have no emphasis on study of artistic movements or music, and do not include Doris Humphrey's book, "The Art of Making Dances" as a text. Contact the head of the choreography department and ask him or her about their feelings on choreographing from music (are they open minded, or dogmatically opposed- if the latter, look out, if you are a music person!).

 

I was fortunate enough to go through a choreography program based on Louis Horst's choreography teaching syllabus, developed during his years with Martha Graham. We used the Humphrey book, studied pre-classic musical forms and the paintings, sculpture and music of all the major artistic periods, had structured and detailed weekly assignments, and were discouraged from dancing in our own compositions (this is a great rule!).

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Thank you, Hollywood Ballet!

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Well, I hope it's a little helpful, dancinpants. I really think that too many university dance departments are headed by faculty who have some axe to grind against technique in general, and ballet in particular. And their attitude toward jazz dance can be even more snobbish. It must be that once they get tenure, they forget that the vast majority of paying jobs in dance are in ballet companies, and in the entertainment industry, where jazz and particularly hip hop are the preferred styles.

Hopefully Barnard is one of the (many) good ones. Good luck!

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My dd is looking closely at Barnard and will probably visit the school this summer. Any advice on her dropping in and taking a ballet class while she's there? Is there someone in the dance dept. that she can email or call ahead of time to make arrangements to take a class?

 

Also, does it help for her to include a DVD or website link with her application that shows her ballet and performance experiences? And seeing that they seem to have an impressive ballet faculty and a large no. of ballet classes & levels, would the admissions office be esp. interested in her ballet background?

 

Thanks everyone!

 

Wow, lots of new posts in the Barnard thread since the last time I visited! I'm a current Columbia student taking classes in Barnard dance department, so hoepfully I can answer some questions.

 

First of all, if you want to see what it's really like at Columbia, I would definitely visit during the school year while classes are in session. You won't get to drop in on classes or see too many undergrads during the summer.

 

When I was a senior in high school, I visited Barnard and looked in on Katie Glasner's Ballet V class during the fall open house. I believe that visiting students are often referred to her class, and it gives a good representation of the dance department.

 

I would definitely recommend emphasizing your dance background in your application, since the admissions procedures at both Barnard and Columbia weigh extracurricular activities and personal interests very heavily. While you are not auditioning directly for the dance department and the dance department website says that videos will not be viewed, the admissions committe may be interested in any extra materials pertinent to your overall application. I will say that your daughter's dance background will definitely be an asset in her application - just based on the number of dancers currently at Barnard and Columbia, it seems that dancers do very well in admissions!

 

As for the issue of "touchy-feely" classes and so on, there is a pretty large and diverse faculty, so you will certainly find a wide range of styles, some that will click with you and some that might not be the best fit for you as an individual. There are contact improvisation classes on the schedule, but they are not required for the major or concentration, so if these classes aren't your thing you don't have to take them!

 

Hope this helps!

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Thank you WaltzingThroughMyDreams for your helpful post! My daughter is getting her list of schools to visit for this summer and later in the fall, and will definitely share any info that we come across on various colleges that have topics here on BT, including Barnard.

 

Again, thank you!

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gogators, I received and responded to your PM, but I can't tell if my message was sent correctly. :pinch: Please let me know if you received it!

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I tried to PM a couple people with these questions but I don't think it worked...so here is my long list of questions about Barnard for anyone who would like to answer :excl:

Do you like being in the middle of a big city? Is it any less of a small community because of this?

Is there any Barnard-Columbia rivalry that would make it uncomfortable to take certain Columbia classes?

What do you do for fun?

Do you like the dance program? Are there many performances?

Is it more ballet or modern oriented? How much ballet can you take each week?

Do you ever take classes elsewhere, like at the Ailey studios or at Steps?

That's all...for now ;)

Thanks!

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Dd recently visited Barnard and loved the school -- academics, campus, the whole package. Esp. likes the opportunity of taking ballet classes nearby in the city, as well as on campus thru Barnard/Columbia.

 

One note is, unlike other college admissions, Barnard does not forward the Common App's Arts Supplement (which would be used to highlight a student's participation in ballet) to their dance dept for evaluation. The admissions officers evaluate the arts supplement as part of the whole application package. I believe the reason is they admit the students first academically -- their talent & ability in a specific art form is considered but is not a primary factor, and Barnard's dance dept. does not "flag" a student's application for talent, like they may do at other colleges.

 

But maybe others more knowledgeable with Barnard's application process may know otherwise.

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I know these were asked several months ago, but I thought I'd try to answer them anyway. I graduated from Barnard in May.

 

Re Community: There is definitely a feeling of community. Both Barnard and Columbia are gated campuses (unlike NYU, for example) which helps. Barnard in particular is very active in encouraging school spirit. But being in NYC means that you can participate in the Barnard community as much or as little as you want. I loved being in NYC, but then again I'm definitely a city girl.

 

Re BC-CC Rivalry: There lots of sayings about Barnard vs. Columbia women, but for all intents and purposes you can't tell which school a girl is from when she's next to you in class. (Unless they're wearing Columbia or Barnard sweats, of course.) There are also two more undergraduate colleges at Columbia -- SEAS (engineering) and GS (general studies). So it's not just Barnard College and Columbia College.

 

Re Fun: Well, you're in the middle of New York, so they're lots of options for fun. If you want to be more specific ...

 

Re Dance Dept: Dance is one of Barnard's strongest departments, IMO. It's a big department in terms of faculty, which means there are many different views and ways of teaching. I really appreciated the variety. (I wasn't a dance major, but I was pre-professional before I went to Barnard, and I took one dance class every semester at BC.) At my ballet school before Barnard, jazz and modern and tap, etc. were always an afterthought, which is definitely not true at Barnard. For example, the biggest class for many years running has been the intro African Dance class. (They literally have to turn people who haven't pre-registered away.) I would actually say there's a slight emphasis towards modern, rather than ballet. But the ballet faculty is still very strong.

 

As to performances, if you mean performances by Barnard dancers, the Dance Dept. does a program (about three performances) at the end of each semester (usually one ballet, two modern pieces). Seniors have workshops in which they present their work for graduation in the spring. And of course there are many of student clubs that present work throughout the year.

 

You can take as many technique classes as you want. The trick is fitting them in with the rest of your classes!

 

Yes, lots of people also take classes at Steps and other studios, especially over the weekend.

 

Gogators -- you are correct. The Admissions Dept. determines an applicant's admission without consulting any of the academic departments. Barnard takes a "holistic admissions approach" and looks for well-rounded candidates. But yeah, the grades aren't there, your chances of getting in are pretty slim.

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Dd took their Ballet VI class at Barnard and was impressed. Though she had a substitute (Cynthia Anderson who usually teaches the class that day was at ABT's curriculum teacher training at ABT), she had a good class - 1.5 hr technique followed by an hour pointe class. Class featured live piano accompiant (as all classes do, I believe). I noticed the African dance class next-door had a live percussionist - drums, cymbals, you name it.

 

They have an impressive faculty, including Alegra Kent and dd felt the dance dept head very much understood a pre-pro student's need for daily high-level classes, even if they do not major in dance. (All dance productions, classes, etc. are open to non-dance majors.)

 

The school is located in a safe area of NYC, and what can you say -- it's located in the heart of the city with plenty to offer and things to do, along with excellent academics in a small-class setting and cross-registration privileges at Columbia. (Their graduation commencement speaker this spring is none other than Hilary Clinton.)

 

The hard part is getting accepted as they have only about a 20% acceptance rate. :)

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Dd took their Ballet VI class at Barnard and was impressed. Though she had a substitute (Cynthia Anderson who usually teaches the class that day was at ABT's curriculum teacher training at ABT), she had a good class - 1.5 hr technique followed by an hour pointe class. Class featured live piano accompiant (as all classes do, I believe). I noticed the African dance class next-door had a live percussionist - drums, cymbals, you name it.

 

I didn't notice your post until now, but I was in the ballet class your daughter attended at Barnard. She's a lovely dancer! :innocent: It's too bad Cynthia was out that day - that was the only class all semester we had a substitute.

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