Dance has been called the most fundamental of the arts because it only needs the body as a tool for expression and communication. By studying the creative process through dance, we develop a physical and aesthetic base for understanding ourselves and our relationship to the world in which we live. The Knox Dance Program is committed to the rigorous study and practice of dance as a vital means by which we may investigate the world and our place in it.
Knox College offers a minor in dance that can be fulfilled by any student, whether they want to continue studying dance at the professional level or simply explore personal expression through movement while pursuing other career paths. The dance minor's focus on aesthetic expression and technique compliments any major within the liberal arts curriculum. Students who minor in dance graduate well prepared for advanced study in performance, choreography, design, dance education, and dance therapy, as well as many other career options.
The Knox Dance Program immerses students both artistically and intellectually in the world of contemporary dance studies. Our course work covers all aspects of dance/movement studies, including classes in dance technique, dance theory, dance history, somatic practice, and performance, ensuring that students not only engage with dance through motion, but also examine dance through the lens of its historical, social, political, and artistic context. The goal of the Dance Program is to encourage creative practice through the development of student choreography and performance while remaining mindful of how dance draws connections to the greater world as a whole.
The Knox College Dance Program is housed in the Auxiliary Gym; an historic campus building that was constructed in 1918 as the Women's Gymnasium and was one of the earliest buildings grouped near the Campus Quad. Today the main floor of the building is a vast dance studio with a marley dance floor measuring 35'x45'. The studio includes movable risers and chairs for small class showings and informal presentations. Also used by the art department, the basement floor of the auxiliary gym has been converted into painting studios.
Major dance performances are presented in Harbach Theatre. Named after the famous American musical theatre librettist, Otto Harbach, this arena style theatre seats between 400-500 people in either a modified apron thrust or proscenium stage. Exceptional acoustics and sight lines highlight performances on the 72-foot stage with full white and black cycloramas.
Leading up to a worldwide event -- Gun Control Theatre Action Week, May 27 through June 2 -- a play by Knox College theatre professor Neil Blackadder was selected for a new collection, "24 Gun Control Plays."
Rana Tahir, a double major in creative writing and political science, wrote dozens of poems and created 29 paintings after interviewing Kuwaiti residents about the 1990 Iraqi occupation.
Knox College awarded more than $3,000 in prizes in the 2013 Al Young Art Show. Organizing 200 art works in an array of media is a challenge, according student Katie O'Connor, who helped arrange the entries.