Performance Opportunities for Students


The Festival, held each year in late fall, is the program’s major event of the year. Students prepare throughout the fall semester for this performance which is presented in the 350-seat Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center. Repertory and new works by professional choreographers and faculty are staged on students either through a fall course or through extracurricular rehearsals with guest choreographers. In past years, students have performed the works of Kyle Abraham, Robert Battle, Camille A. Brown, Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham, Francesca Harper, Bill T. Jones, Mark Morris, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Shechter, and Pam Tanowitz. Professional lighting and costume designers collaborate with the Lewis Center’s production team to present one of the Lewis Center’s essential performance events.

Princeton Dance Festival 2020

In this video, discover how the Program in Dance reimagined its annual Princeton Dance Festival for a socially distanced world during a global pandemic with the help of faculty, choreographers, and participating students living throughout the United States and abroad.



Seniors in the Program in Dance can satisfy their independent work toward a certificate in dance by choreographing new work, performances, or through scholarly research. Thesis productions take place mainly in the spring semester and are supported through faculty and guest artist advisors and design teams and by the Lewis Center’s production department. Seniors choreographing new work cast their pieces from students both in and outside the Dance Program, providing students an opportunity to work with a senior in the realization of their vision for new choreography; sometimes the seniors choose to create these works in collaboration with their casts. Seniors electing to do a performance thesis are matched with guest or faculty choreographers to perform a new or repertory work — often a solo, duet or small ensemble piece.

Some of the thesis works are part of the spring senior thesis collaborative dance concert presented in the Berlind Theatre or state-of-the-art Hearst Dance Theater in the Lewis Arts complex, while others are presented as individual productions, some of them as site-specific works. Most or all the seniors in the program perform together at the end of the spring in a repertory or new work choreographed by a guest choreographer.



Performance Lab is a unique opportunity for students of all years both within and outside the Dance Program to spend dedicated time outside of a course making and thinking about performance from an interdisciplinary perspective. Performance work might be based in dance, writing, theater, music, visual art, new and/or expanded fields. Development of your work is supported through discussion with other artists and regular meetings with a dance faculty mentor. The participating students have the option to host a small, informal public showing during the spring semester. The event itself changes from year to year in collaboration with the students.