School of Performing Arts at Girne American University (GAU) offers a four year undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Dance to prepare students for the diversity of the contemporary dance world. The school was founded in 2008, consisting of Dance and Theatre Departments, to meet a growing demand for professional education in the performing arts. In 2016, the Dance Department embraced a fresh perspective and direction, adopting the name “PERA”. This rebirth marked a transition towards a new international study programme, designed to fill a gap in educational opportunities for contemporary dance in North Cyprus. Since then, PERA has acted as a pioneer in contributing to the rapidly developing socio-cultural and artistic activities on the island.
The school is situated between the foothills of the Northern mountain range and the coastline. With its recently expanded facilities, PERA provides a distinctive and unique environment for nurturing individual and artistic development.
Envisaging a comprehensive educational philosophy, the entire curriculum of PERA is designed to focus on contemporary dance, adopting a versatile approach within the performing arts. To that end, PERA not only focuses on the technical foundations of contemporary dance but places an equal emphasis on stimulating students’ creative and performance skills to support them in becoming fully-equipped dance artists. The programme is further underpinned by a range of theoretical courses, aiming to nurture the ability of the students to analyse, reflect and evaluate various creative methods and artistic practices.
The core of the BA Dance Programme is comprised of fundamental approaches to movement (Body Conditioning, Yoga, Pilates), technical classes (Ballet and Contemporary), creative classes (Improvisation and Composition), theoretical studies (Music Analysis, Dance History, Anatomy, Interdisciplinary Practices, Critical Studies, English Language for Performing Arts), performance projects and intensive workshops involving both established and emerging cohort of guest artists and choreographers. Learning is further optimised by the inclusion of various industry-related modalities such as Physical Theatre (with a particular emphasis on voice work and visual languages), Art Therapy, Media Exploration and Site Specific practice.
With a department that embraces a flexible and responsive training structure, PERA provides students with regular opportunities to engage in a wide range of courses, workshops and performance projects, both with internationally acclaimed choreographers and emerging artists/choreographers from around the world. In all respects, students are constantly encouraged to access to a broader landscape of knowledge, expertise, and artistic possibilities to prepare them for the ever-widening and dynamic world of contemporary dance.