A future-oriented reform of professional ballet and dance education at universities is urgently needed. It is necessary to take a holistic view of students, to boost them to become responsible partners in the community, to free ourselves from traditional authoritarian pedagogical behaviour, and to commit ourselves to ethical principles. Inextricably linked to professional dance education today are aspects such as psychological and dance medical care, nutritional counselling, and scientific anchoring, which are of central importance in the later engagement in the professional world. Dance, art and culture are increasingly understood as interdisciplinary areas that are closely connected to each other and are immersed within broader educational and cultural contexts. The dance world itself has changed and, due to a newfound mobility, it is more international and multicultural than ever before. This represents both an opportunity and a challenge for aspiring dancers. In a formative phase of life, it is therefore important to support and encourage them in the best possible way. In this way, they can prepare themselves for their professional reality and mature into unique and physically and mentally healthy artists.
The Ballet Academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich has met these multiple challenges, as have other national and international institutions that are pioneers in professional dance training. In a participatory process, the Munich Ballet Academy has developed a pedagogical concept to consolidate its principles, which has been the binding basis and guideline for its training work since October 2020. This exposé represents a starting point for the discourse of the symposium Dance Education in Transition with world-renowned and experienced dance experts on current innovative pedagogical approaches to dance education at universities. The aim is to critically analyse the present situation and to define ways in which professional dance education in the 21st century could and should evolve.
Where do we stand? Where do we want to go?
How can excellence in the artistic performance be reconciled with the appreciation of the person in contemporary dance education?
How can the necessary change of cultural, pedagogical and ethical positions be accomplished in higher education and ultimately in the dance professional world?
Curators of the event are: Anna Beke, Prof. Jan Broeckx, David Russo, Prof. Dr. Andrea Sangiorgio (HMTM), Claudia Feest, Michael Freundt (DTD)