Contemporary Dance Practices

An International Bachelor of Arts programme in performing arts with focus on contemporary dance practices. Contemporary Dance Practices is a part of the Department of Performing Arts at Iceland Academy of the Arts. It is a three year full time undergraduate studies., 180 ECTS.

At the BA in Contemporary Dance Practices program we aim at educating dance artists with a unique voice and capacity to sustain a carrier within the contemporary dance scene internationally or to continue their studies on a MA level. Situated in Reykjavík, Iceland, the access to nature  and the proximity of the professional performing arts scene makes a suitable platform for a dynamic learning experience where the student is both inspired and challenged technically, contextually and artistically. Theory, technique, choreography and artistic expressions are explored individually and in collaborations for the student to develop a personal approach to movement, methods, choreography, creative process, staging and production.

The program places dance in dialogue with other art forms, creating a platform for exploration into different disciplines and approaches through collaborative creative process. The Department of Performing Arts maintains a fruitful collaboration with local and international art institutions, festivals and independent artists, such as Reykjavík Dance Festival, LÓKAL International Theater Festival, The Iceland Dance Company and theaters and museums in the city.
Within the programme there are three main strands of practices that intertwine; technique, theory and creative process and running concurrently is a strand focusing on the sustainability of the artist. Big emphasis is on fostering and developing critical thinking of the students. The programme provides a rigorous training in different styles of contemporary techniques and improvisation, supported by classic foundational dance techniques and other somatic practices. 
The course is international and is taught in English.


Programme: Contemporary Dance Practices
Degree: BA
Credits: 180 ECTS
Study length: 6 semesters – 3 years


Opening of applications:
November 10th 2023

Application deadline: 
January 22nd 2024

Applications fee: 5000 ISK

Autumn semester begins:
August 2024


Marinella Arnórsdóttir, department coordinator, marinella [at]


Electronic Application


Department of Performing Arts


Information for new students at IUA

The intimate and collective environment of IAA is enhancing my individual growth.

Feeling the support and trust of fellow students, professors and the program director is unique.

It enables personal development towards becoming an independent performance artist on a big scale. It creates a space for playful and serious exploration where tremendous creativity emerges.

The diversity of the subjects of the Contemporary Dance program is expanding my physical, conceptual and artistic awareness towards dance enormously.

Studying in Iceland, a more isolated place, is allowing me to delve more deeply into every micro aspect of my studies. The dance scene in Reykjavík is very open minded and welcoming which offers great participation. 

Yelena Nadjeschda Ita Arakelow


It is safe to say that the emergene of the programme in dance has brought considerable benefits to the icelandic dance community. The Programme boasts a fine selection of local and international teachers and artists who communicate to students new ideologies and methods in dance. Their contribution, experience, professionalism, interest and support are immeasurable, and inspire further successes in the field. 

Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, Programme Director.