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Raul Tamez -2017 MA Dance student from Mexico

Raul Tamez -2017 MA Dance student from Mexico

MA Dance
1 Year Full-Time

The Masters Dance programme at IAB is designed for professional dance artists who wish to transition to the next stage of their career.

The MA dance, through an immersive and intensive experience, helps its students to expand and explore new territories and to define and refine a personal, informed, creative approach to dance performance and choreography. It seeks to create rigorous, empowered creative performers and dance makers, acting as an incubator for talent.

Programme Aims
The ultimate aim of the programme is to support and develop a new generation of creative dancers and choreographers who can make a contribution to the development of dance. More specifically the programme aims to develop individuals who can: 

  • Create challenging, innovative performances which respond dynamically and imaginatively to diverse context, settings and stimuli

  • Demonstrate, through practice, a rigorous research-led understanding of contemporary critical thinking intrinsic to, and surrounding, dance and performance

  • Demonstrate a clear and embodied understanding of diverse dance technique and its relationship to performance

  • Demonstrate an empowered entrepreneurial outlook to creative practice

Unique Features of the Programme
The MA Dance programme has a number of distinguishing features: 

  • The substantial opportunity to experiment, explore and expand, and to create new dance work in a stimulating and culturally diverse creative environment

  • The opportunity to develop as creative, informed, empowered and technical dance performers

  • Its relationship with its partners MA Acting and MA Musical Theatre

  • Its unique synthesis of dance technique, choreographic practice, critical thinking and entrepreneurial endeavour

  • Its student-centred, individual research approach to teaching and learning

  • Substantial one to one mentoring and coaching

Teaching and Learning Strategies
The MA Dance (Choreography and Performance) is committed to a student-centred approach with a strong emphasis on action research.

The majority of taught time is spent in practical workshop and laboratory sessions exploring the principles and practices of dance technique, performance and choreography. Students explore repertoire from leading practitioners and lead a number of dance theatre performances as choreographer and performer.

The programme includes specific and focused lecture programmes exploring the history, theory and context of global dance theatre production. This runs parallel to a comprehensive programme of lectures and workshops in creative dance theatre producing. 


The MA Dance consists of seven modules and is made up of 90 ECTS units (180 UK credits). The programme starts in September each year.

This module develops the ability to contextualise and evaluate your work and the work of others. Through this module students will critically engage with a range of theoretical and conceptual approaches relevant to contemporary performance practice. The module also supports the development of Masters level research and writing skills. (10 ECTS Units)

This module leads to a clear and practical understanding of theatre producing in a variety of contexts. Creative Theatre Producing is not explored as an abstract concept but as a set of real-world practical skills, enabling students to bring their creative and artistic vision to fruition. (10 ECTS Units)

This module focuses on developing understanding of the relationship between the performance and the performance space, design and technology. The subject is explored through both practice (interrogating performance texts to explore design possibilities) and theory (exploring the various theories surrounding mise-en-scène, text, choreography and performance). (5 ECTS Units)

The module introduces a range of diverse and challenging concepts and practices in dance and performance technique. It is grounded in ballet and contemporary dance but will also allow participants to access new/alternative dance skills and techniques. It is designed to both enhance technical skills and, importantly, explore new and emerging dance techniques from across the world. Daily classes are held either with other students or in specialist sessions.

The module will involve a range of diverse dance performances frequently led by leading international guest artists. (15 ECTS Units)

CHOREOGRAPHY LABORATORY 1 - Process and Methodology
This module provides a broad introduction to the principles and practices of choreographic composition and techniques, leading to a solid understanding of working practices and the technical and human processes of taking an idea through to performance. The module provides the conceptual and practical underpinning for the module ´Choreography and Performance Workshop. (10 ECTS Units)

CHOREOGRAPHY LABORATORY 2 - Consolidated Practice
This module provides the opportunity to work with both established and emerging choreographic talent and explore diverse approaches to creative choreographic practice. The module concludes with the presentation of a choreographic concert of work developed during studies engaged with developing a signature style/methodology. (10 ECTS Units)

The Final Project is the culmination of the programme. It requires a substantial and sustained body of practical, creative performance work which capitalises on your experience, learning, aspirations and intentions as an artist. Each student has the opportunity to negotiate a personal plan and strategy for the project. The Final project is shared between all MA students at the IAB and offers opportunity for collaboration across the MA community. (30 ECTS Units)


The MA Dance Programme is designed for mature, adventurous and ambitious professional level dance artists who wish to develop/transition their career following considerable prior experience of dance and dance technique. The experience may come from professional dance training, undergraduate studies in the performing arts, or professional theatre experience.


Depending on choices made through the programme students may progress to careers across a broad spectrum of dance practice. These include:

  • Choreographers (commercial or contemporary)

  • Performers

  • Dance animateurs

  • Dance teachers and facilitators

  • Dance Programmers/administrators


Applicants are normally required to have achieved a degree in an area related to the performing arts. Those who hold unrelated degrees are also encouraged to apply if they can demonstrate substantial levels of performing arts experience as a theatre maker or performer. Applicants without degrees may apply if they are able to demonstrate that they have substantial and directly relevant professional or professional-level work experience (normally three years minimum).

2018 MA Dance show in IAB theatre.

Liv from Sweden tells us about her time on the IAB MA Dance programme

Masters Dance show November 2018

Masters Dance show November 2018

Partnered with Studio Wayne McGregor

Partnered with Studio Wayne McGregor


Programme Details

Awarding Institution: Liverpool John Moores University

Tuition Fees for Courses Starting September 2020

The Tuition Fee category to select is normally determined by the country of your residence. To be eligible you must have had full residency status in that country for a minimum of six months prior to submission of your application to the IAB. We will ask you to provide proof of residency. 

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