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Contemporary Dance Practices BA

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An International Bachelor of Arts programme in Performing Arts with focus on Contemporary Dance Practices. It is a three-year full time undergraduate study, 180 ECTS, taught in English. 

  • Opnað fyrir umsóknir

    9. janúar 2024

  • Umsóknarfrestur

    12. Apríl 2024

  • Umsóknum svarað

    Maí / júní 2024

  • Skrásetningargjald

    Skoða nánar

  • Nafn námsleiðar

    Contemporary Dance Practices BA

  • Nafn gráðu


  • Einingar

    180 ETC

  • Lengd náms

    6 annir – 3 ár

Upplýsingar um nám eru á ensku hjá námsleiðum þar sem kennslutungumál er enska.

About the study programme

Contemporary Dance Practices offers students a space to develop a dance practice where they are inspired and challenged technically, contextually and artistically. Throughout the studies students are introduced to different approaches to contemporary dance in creative, technical and theoretical work. The programme prepares students for the international contemporary dance scene and provides a good foundation for further studies on a master’s level. 

Situated in Reykjavík, Iceland, the access to nature and the proximity of the professional performing arts scene makes the programme a vibrant platform for a dynamic learning experience. 

Course structure

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. An emphasis is placed on fostering and developing critical thinking of the students. The programme provides training in different styles of contemporary techniques and improvisation, supported by ballet for contemporary dancers and somatic practices. In creative process the emphasis is on developing and inspiring a personal approach and critical awareness in creative work. Through theory, students strengthen their social and political awareness in relation to dance and choreography.  

The programme places dance in dialogue with other art forms, creating a platform for exploration into different disciplines and approaches through collaborative creative processes. 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 Theatre Festival, The Iceland Dance Company and theatres and museums in the city. 

Students conclude their study with an Individual Project, Ensemble Work and a Final Paper.  

The programme consists of: 

  • Compulsory courses 140 credits 
  • Electives 10 credits 
  • Internship or exchange program 30 credits 

After graduation

At the end of their studies students should possess the knowledge, skills and competences within the field of contemporary dance to be able to work as creative dance artists, be it independently or in a company structure in the performing arts. The programme also prepares students for further studies at a graduate level. 

Application Process

The whole admission process for the Contemporary Dance Practice program will be completed online and applicants are asked to submit digital audition documents.

The application process consists of completing an electronic application, paying an application fee and finally submitting the application. It is possible to save the application and return to working on it later. Please note that it is necessary to attach a photo of the applicant to the electronic application under “Other documents”.  In the electronic application form, applicants have the option of writing a short statement outlining reasons for applying, educational goals and future aspirations under “Cover letter”.

Applicants are asked to monitor the application process through the communication/application portal. All communication will be conducted through the portal and IUA staff will notify the applicant if some necessary supporting documents are missing.

  • The Application

    An application is not valid until the applicant has submitted the application and paid the application fee. Applicants must submit the following documents:

    1. Certified copy of degree certificate(s) and programme / course transcript(s) (PDF)

    Applicant should have finished Matriculation Exam or comparible education and it is preferable that they have finished Secondary stage in dance or comparible education.

    If applicants have other certificate/s that they want to submitt please attach them to the electronic applications under “Diploma/Transcript 3.

    1. Portrait photo.

    Attach to the electronic application under “Other documents”

    1. Statement letter (PDF).

    Attach to the electronic application under “Statement of your objectives and expectations regarding the studies.”

    Write your personal letter to dance.

    1. Why do you want to become a dance artist?
    2. Why dance?
    3. What, or who, inspires you?
    4. What moves you, and what puzzles you about dance?
    5. What do you think is the dance of the future?
    • With your letter you are welcome to include excerpts of your own creative work; images, drawings or poetry.
    • Maximum length of text: 400 words
    • Maximum length of entire letter (including extra material) 4 pages.
    • Please attach your PDF document to the electronic application under “Statement of your objectives and expectations regarding the studies”.


    1. Two Video Tasks.

    Attach to the electronic application under “Links.”


    2 minute video – Physicality Task:

    Show us your moving body. We want to get to know your physicality, your technical knowledge and movement qualities. Your dance can be learnt material, your own choreography or improvised dance.


    1-2 minute video – Creative Task:

    Film your own short solo reacting to one of these titles:

    • Cycle
    • Dreaming landscape
    • Electric
    • Uncanny


    Practical instructions for video recording:

    • The submitted recordings must, be unbroken, ie. it is not allowed to join two or more recordings together and no special effects.
    • It is important that the recording is of good picture and sound quality.
    • The recording equipment must be stationary during shooting. Vertical or horizontal shooting is optional.
    • We want to see only you in the video (not dancing with a partner or group).
    • Make sure that we see the whole body for the entire duration of the video.
    • You are welcome to use music but no props.


    How to share your video recordings:

    Note – Videos are received through an unlisted youtube link. Applicants are responsible for the links being active.

    Name the videos after this formula:

    • Full name of the applicant – Course applied for – Task name:
      e.g. “John Doe – Contemporary Dance Practices – Creative Task”
    • Copy the two URL’s and insert to the “Links” section in the electronic application.

    Here is an introductory video on how to upload an “unlisted” youtube video.

  • Admission Process

    The Dean of the Department of Performing Arts appoints a four-person audition committee. The committee’s responsibility is to select individuals they believe are qualified and competent to take advantage of the education offered at the Contemporary Dance Programme. The conclusion of the comittee should not be interpreted as a judgment of the applicants artistic talent. The comittee’s work is confidential and individual applications won’t be specifically reviewed. The comittee’s decision is final and can’t be referred for review elsewhere within the school.
    Step 1
    • Application opens: November 10th 2023.
    • Application deadline: January 22nd 2024.
    • All applicants will receive an email with the results by February 7th 2024.
    Step 2
    • Selected candidates will recieve an email with detailed information on two additional video assignments.
    • Applicants submit these assignments through an unlisted youtube link via email before February 15th 2024.
    • Interviews with the audition comittee will take place from February 24th-25th 2024.
    Components evaluated by the audition comittee include:
    • Physicality and body awareness: Examination of the applicants’ skills and potentials in physical work with time and space. Terms include alignment and flow of movement, coordination, musicality, endurance, strength and ability to embody ideas in movement. (Step 1 + 2)
    • Technique and artistry: Applicant’s understanding and ability of movement as a creative and expressive medium. (Step 1 + 2)
    • Creativity: The ability to present ideas and channel them with creative means. Curiosity and confidence in ideas and presentation is evaluated. (Step 1 + 2)
    • Work Ethics: Applicant’s attitude towards work; curiosity, independent approach and initiative. Applicant’s collaborative ability: How they work with guidance and input from others. (Step 2)
    • Performativity: Applicant’s awareness and mindfulness towards performance with respect to time, space and context. Ability and potential to use the voice in a creative way. (Step 2)
    • Communication and Critical Thinking: Applicant’s ability to express their thoughts and comments on their choices and the tasks they meet in the application process. (Step 2)
    Letters with the results of the committee will be sent via email to the applicants by March 1st 2024. Applicants who are offered admission must confirm this to the Department Office before April 1st, 2024 by paying a confirmation fee (non refundable). If it is not paid on time, the IUA will assume the student has decided not to study at the IUA.
  • Admission Requirements

    Applicant should have finished Matriculation Exam or comparible education and it is preferable that they have finished Secondary stage in dance or comparible education.
    Exceptions regarding intake – The IUA is allowed to accept students into the school that have knowledge and experience which is considered adequate preparation for BA studies within the school. It is though expected that the students shall have finished no less than 105 ECTS from the older system of the upper secondary school system or 150 ECTS according to the new system.
  • Language Requirements

    The BA Programme in Contemporary Dance Practices is an international programme conducted in English.
    Students must be proficient in spoken and written English.

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