Jun 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Performing Arts

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The Performing Arts Department offers a unique approach to the study of dance, music and theatre within a Liberal Arts context. Students receive conservatory-calibre training that prepares them for graduate studies or a career in the performing arts, while developing the critical thinking and communication skills that are the hallmark of a liberally educated person. All majors take a sequence of courses in their chosen discipline-emphasizing performance practice, history and theory, criticism and analysis in either music, dance or theatre. Performing Arts students are also encouraged to explore interdisciplinary pathways through classes and performance opportunities beyond their home program.
The Performing Arts Department offers seven majors, which are listed separately in this catalog:

The Performing Arts Department builds creative artists with strong foundational skills and adventuresome spirits. Rigorous studio and lab courses build technique, while classes in history, theory and analysis foster critical engagement with the substance and styles of dance, music and theatre. Students learn to discuss and analyze both classic and contemporary works, and to understand the arts in the context of the history of great ideas and artistic achievements that have shaped our world.

Performing Arts’ signature values include:

  • Mentoring by faculty members who are both outstanding teachers and accomplished artists.
  • Frequent attendance at world-class dance, music, and theatre performances around the Bay Area.
  • Multiple and varied performance opportunities, beginning with the first year.
  • Challenging standards that help students achieve artistic excellence and professionalism.
  • Master classes, guest lectures and informal contact with professional artists, connecting classroom learning with the real world.
  • A welcoming and inclusive student cohort experience, in which students of all levels are supported and encouraged in their individual development.
  • Stimulating creative collaborations and intellectual exchange between programs.


Rosana Barragán, MFA, Associate Professor, Director, MFA in Dance (Phenomenology, Choreography, Somatic Movement, Dance History, Dance Movement)

CatherineMarie Davalos, MFA, Professor, Undergraduate Dance Program Director (Dance Movement, Dance History and Theory, Choreography, Somatic Movement, Dance Science, Production)

Rebecca Engle, MA, Professor Emerita, (Acting, Directing, Contemporary Theatre)

Julie Ford, DMA, Associate Professor, Head of Vocal/Choral Arts (Classical, Pop, and Jazz Choirs, Vocal Science, Lyric Diction, Private Voice, Conducting)

Dana Lawton, MFA, Professor, Dance (Dance Movement, Choreography, Dance Appreciation, Dance Pedagogy)

Rogelio Lopez, MFA, Associate Professor (Dance Movement, Choreography, Costume, Baile Folklorico, Production)

Sixto Montesinos, DMA, Assistant Professor, Music Program Director, Head of Instrumental Studies (Music Fundamentals, Orchestration, Jazz Band, Chamber Players, Concert Ensemble)

Lino Rivera, DMA, Professor (Piano, Music History, Music Theory, Form and Analysis, Chamber Music)

Shaunna Vella, MFA, Adjunct Associate Professor, Director of LEAP (Dance Movement, Dance and Social Justice, Performance Studies, Choreography, Production)

Jia Wu, MFA, Associate Professor, (Dance Movement, Chinese Dance and Diaspora Studies, Dance for the Camera, Choreography)

Deanna Zibello, MFA, Associate Professor, Theatre Program Director, Head of Design and Technical Theatre (Scenic Design, Collaboration, Play Analysis)

Martin Rokeach, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Music

Learning Outcomes

When they have completed the Performing Arts Program, students will be able to:

  • DEMONSTRATE multidimensional (individual and ensemble) performance capacity through training, embodiment, social/cultural context, and an understanding of theory.
  • ANALYZE and INTERPRET works of art from around the world, considering issues of access, representation, exclusion and inclusion in the field of Performing Arts.
  • DEVELOP an artistic voice and promote agency to express it in community. 

Prerequisite Grade

Any course listed in this department with a prerequisite assumes a grade of C- or better in the prerequisite course or the permission of the chair to waive that provision.

Split Major Agreements

Dance and Biology
Dance and Communication
Dance and English
Dance and Kinesiology
Dance and Psychology
Dance and Studio Art
Musical Theatre and Studio Art
Theatre and Studio Art
Theatre and English
Theatre and Social Justice (Sociology/Ethnic Studies)

Students considering a split major or an individualized major must have a curricular plan approved and on file with the department and the Registrar’s Office by the time they have accumulated 48 graduation units. For further information on these or other split or individualized majors, contact the program Director in Dance, Music, or Theatre.

Prerequisite Grade

Any course listed in this department with a prerequisite assumes a grade of C- or better in the prerequisite course or the permission of the chair to waive that provision.


    Performing Arts - Lower Division

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