What you should know
The group audition consists of a technique class in contemporary dance, improvisation led by faculty, and a choreographic process that culminates in the presentation of individually structured solos. This is followed by one on one interview with faculty.
Candidates are no longer required to prepare a choreographed solo prior to the audition. Choreography will be developed as part of the in-person audition process.
The audition assesses the physical, creative and personal potential of each applicant. Understandably, applicants come with a wide range of backgrounds and experience and may or may not have exposure to contemporary dance. Faculty take this into consideration. At the same time, the candidate is expected to come physically and mentally prepared to work at his/her fullest potential and to be responsive to new approaches, in all aspects of the audition.
A candidate will not be asked to wear a number, but be addressed by their name. This fosters a more conducive atmosphere for a productive audition. Admission is not based on age or body types but on potential to meet the physical and creative requirements of the program, a personalized artistic practice and the ability to work alone and collaboratively.
The interview at the end of the solo presentation reviews the audition process and addesses questions of personal aptitudes and motivation to study in this particular program.
The requirements stated below are some of the indicators used by the committee in assessing each candidate's abilities and potential.
Technical requirements include: ability to engage in a variety of space-time configurations with a clear sense of postural alignment, weight transfers and spatial organization, coordination, range of motion and mobility, fluid execution of sequences with varying degrees of complexity, dynamics, musicality and memory.
Creative process requirements include: receptivity, openness to diverse approaches and ideas, willingness to engage physically in exploration and movement research, ability to initiate and develop instructions alone and with others in the group. Ability to analyze one's process, to engage in critical reflection.
Solo choreography assessment includes: personalized choices that reflect a sense of structure, use of space, range of dynamics, physical connections, movement invention and use of music (or silence as deemed relevant). Solos that simply reflect existing, commercial or competitive type dance do not correspond to the stated criteria.
As the program emphasizes choreography and performance, applicants should be aware that they will need to commit to their own creative research, to participate in a variety of projects and deal with production demands in addition to attending all their classes and fulfilling course requirements. Autonomy and responsible choices to ensure one’s physical and mental well-being are essential.
Please note that auditions are exclusively for full-time Major in Contemporary Dance.
Candidates with a minimum of dance training may still audition. However, they must come fully prepared to meet the audition requirements by ensuring they engage in and sustain their training well in advance of the audition time. Effort should be made to enlist in technique classes, and where possible, in contemporary dance.
If it’s deemed that a candidate could enter 1st year but would need more preparation, recommendation will be made to enrol in training. A candidate may re-apply the following year when they have gained more experience in dance.
In the Fall and again in mid February during the University's Open House, the Contemporary Dance department holds a day of open classes in contemporary dance technique, creative process and choreography, topped with a short program of performances by current students and alumni. It's a chance to discover aspects of the program, meet teachers and students and visit the premises on the downtown (Sir George William) campus. Some guided tours are also organized by the university. Exceptionally, out-of-town applicants who are unable to take part in these events may be allowed to view classes, with prior permission from the department's academic advisor.